Post #514 “I Will Gladly Pay You Tuesday For A Hamburger Today”

November 8, 2016 at 10:42 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Post #514 “I Will Gladly Pay You Tuesday For A Hamburger Today”

I love hamburgers and always have.  One of my earliest memories is curling up on a chair in living room with a paper plate holding a hamburger and some potato chips while a glass of some red kool aid drink sat on the end table next to me.  My little brother had the exact same plate set-up and was bouncing with excitement.  We were about to watch “Godzilla” on television while eating our burgers in the living room instead of at the table!  Since then, I’ve probably eaten more hamburgers than is good for me, but what the heck.  It’s good stuff.

wimpy

Several months ago, a friend had come to the house for a few days and we were wondering what to do about dinner.  I thawed out a pound of hamburger, heated up a flat iron skillet, made four large cheeseburgers, served them with chips and pickles, and wine.

“These are wonderful!” she exclaimed.  “How did you get that crust on the outside?”

“It’s the flatiron skillet.”  I said.  “Get it blazingly hot then turn the heat down.  Slap the burger on it for a couple of minutes on one side, then flip it.  The sear creates the crust and holds the juices inside.  Then cook until you get the level of doneness you like.  I’ve watched short order cooks do this a bunch of times.”

I typically try to use meat with a 20% fat content.  Any more than that and the burger shrinks too much and is swimming in rendered fat.  Any less and the burger will tend to burn and have less flavor.  You can make your own ground beef from a good quality chuck roast, adding as much fat as you like.  You can chop it by hand if you have time, two very sharp large knives, and a solid cutting board.  Alternatively, and far more easily, you can chop it using a food processor.  Cut the roast into 1/2 inch cubes and place them in a single layer on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper.  Place it in the freezer for about 45 minutes.  When they come out, they should be firm but still pliable.  They should NOT be frozen solid as this will harm the machine.  Using the single blade, place enough meat to fill the container about a third of the way.  Work in batches as you need to.  Pulse the meat 10-15 times and remove to the baking sheet.  When all the meat is processed, sprinkle with a little salt and pepper, and mix, then form into patties.  If the meat was lean, add a little oil to the skillet before frying.  Cook as normal.

I’ve done this a couple of times and the burgers taste really good.  I explained how to do this to a friend, but he did it wrong.  Not sure what he did, but the burgers were stringy and lumpy and didn’t hold together well.  Tasted good, though.

When I was a kid, I once tried to add grated cheese to my burgers as I was forming them, but it didn’t work too well.  Not sure why.  Maybe too much cheese.  I like cheese, so I might have gone a little overboard with it.

One of my favorite burgers is an onion burger and it’s so easy to do.  Fry some thinly sliced onions in a tablespoon of olive oil until well cooked and caramelized.  Divide the onions into piles of the number of burgers you want to make and put them on a baking sheet.  Separate the meat into equal amounts of the number of burgers you’re making.  Press the meat firmly onto the onions making sure to cover the onions completely.  Heat a flat bottomed skillet and add a small amount of oil.  Carefully place the burgers onto the skillet and cook for three to four minutes.  Carefully flip the burger and finish cooking until it reaches the level of doneness you want.  Easy peasy and delicious.

My brother used to make burgers the size of a golf ball and smash them down.  He’d sear one side, then the other, and eat them practically raw.  Nowadays, we call them sliders.

I love sliders.

I never eat very much at one meal.  (I tend to eat several times a day, just smaller portions.)  Sliders are the perfect size for me.  I love going to a restaurant and ordering the slider appetizer.  It’s usually cheaper, and I get 3-4 small burgers.  I can eat two, sometimes three, and take the other(s) home to the dogs.

When I was a teenager, I worked at the ubiquitous fast food place well known for arches.  Over time, I developed a taste for a particular burger, a double cheeseburger, plain, with extra cheese.  It was delicious.  Well cooked burgers, toasty but soft bun, and melty cheese dripping from all the nooks and crannies.  I’ve never been able to duplicate it at home.  Probably because I make better quality burgers and use better quality cheese.  (Once in a while, I think fondly back to the burgers I used to get in the high school cafeteria, but then I get over it.)

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Today is Election Day in the U.S.  For all my U.S. readers, I urge you to get out and vote.  Each election cycle is incredibly important, but this particular one even more so.

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Enjoy

 

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