All winter, I have been making my plans for the summer outdoor cooking season. I have a list of things that I want to achieve this year. I want to perfect my grilled pizzas. I want to do a Texas-style barbecued brisket. I want to cook some of my home made halloumi over charcoal. And I want to make the perfect burger.
The buns I made for my pulled brisket sandwiches were so good (thanks to Rosa) that I don't think I will look elsewhere.
Which conveniently leaves me free to focus on the burger patty itself. I read, I researched, and I came to the conclusion that the best burgers are nothing but seasoned beef - no fillers, no binders.
For my first attempt, I used some supermarket minced beef - Aberdeen Angus with 10% fat. I seasoned generously: 2/3tbs Maldon salt and 1tsp freshly ground black pepper for 500g meat. I believe that the only way to get your burger properly formed is to use your hands - I kneaded the seasoning in well, and then divided the meat into 4 patties and pressed them together firmly, then chilled them for about half an hour.
Sadly, the weather was uncooperative, so the burgers were cooked in a frying pan on the stove.
Because we were keen to see how good the flavour was, we didn't add a lot in the way of condiments - just some cheddar and a few rings of fried onion, and some kohlslaw (kohlrabi instead of cabbage) on the side.
For a first attempt, I was very happy with them! The 10% fat was about right, the burgers were moist but not fatty, and the seasoning was good. For my next attempt I will start to tweak the type of meat I use, probably grinding my own. I have read that Heston Blumenthal uses a combination of chuck, brisket and short ribs, so I can probably be guided by one of the best chefs in the world! And of course, barbecuing them over charcoal will add so much more flavour. The journey is going to be very enjoyable.
These fine looking sandwiches are going over to Deb's Kahakai Kitchen for Souper (soup, salad and sammie) Sunday!