Taking a deep dive into my Year of Meat, I'm currently stuck on hamburgers, and all their incarnations.
Nostalgia hit hard one night, recalling the burger of my childhood. Ground beef, a packet of Lipton Onion Soup Mix, grilled and topped with caramelized onions. The craving was so powerful, I left the house in the middle of a rainstorm, and secured ingredients minutes before the grocery store closed. It was good, but not as good as I remembered.
And with that, my latest obsession was born.
What was missing? The flavor of the beef, for sure. Once you start grinding your own meat, aiming for flavorful cuts and just right texture, there's no looking back. I referenced Michael Symon's burger mix (sirloin, brisket, and short rib) and Sean Brock's favorite burger blend (chuck and flank). And I've been mining the archives at Serious Eat's Burger Lab. (See: Best way to grind beef, Ten Tips for Making Better Burgers, and Principles of Topping Burgers.)
Building on flavor, I've tried wrapping the meat around a pat of butter, adding a bit of sausage to the blend, and sauces galore. Tracking the variables, there may even be a spreadsheet involved. Just saying....
I haven't perfected my burger masterpiece yet, but fortunately, peak grilling season is still a few months away.
Until then, next up is this doozy, The Husk Cheeseburger.
Sean Brock On The Making Of The Husk Cheeseburger from Food Republic on Vimeo.