In Search Of The Perfect Burger: Part II
On January 21st, 2019 I published my personal dissertation on searching for the Perfect Burger (In Search Of The Perfect Burger: Part I). As of this date, I still haven’t found a place that serves one. At least not in this day and age.
We have a restaurant here called Ed’s Restaurant that serves a burger called the Pub Burger that is the best one in town, but it still depends heavily on the condiments it is served with. The size of the patty is such that the chef cuts the whole burger in half and serves it that way. There is some flavor in the way the meat is cooked, but still, it is not especially flavorful on its own.
When we lived in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, the best burger there was served at a restaurant called Jacks. It was made with either ground chuck or sirloin, and seared on the outside to seal the juices inside. The meat had alot of flavor, but it was so greasy, the bun was soggy by the time you got it fixed the way you liked it. And, on top of that, you had to buy individual condiments separately. Not good!
The Stuffed Patty
- Take a chunk of ground beef, chuck, or sirloin and create the Base of the hamburger patty
- Cup the inside of the this Base such that it will hold the stuffing
- Place the flavorful stuffing inside the Cupped area and keep it away from the edges about a 1/4 inch
- Take another chunk of ground beef, chuck, or sirloin and create the top of the stuffed patty by flattening it out and size it to fit over the base
- Pinch the edges all around to seal the patty creation which will keep the stuffing inside while the burger cooks
- Cook the patty on high heat to sear the outside and seal the juices inside. The color inside needs to have a slight pink tone for full flavor
My Simple Creation
I do what is set forth above, and my recent efforts to get lots of flavor , has been to do the following:
- Make a ball of Ground Chuck or Ground Sirloin, with about a 85% to 15% meat to fat ratio and flatten it out on a cutting board with a slight cup in the center
- Fill the center with granulated bits of blue cheese (that I keep frozen to prevent spoilage). Keep the bits of cheese away from the edges. Break up larger chunks.
- Make a ball of ground chuck with the same meat ratio and flatten it out on a cutting board with a slight cup in the center.
- Work this second patty until it matches or slightly exceeds the size of the base.
- Carefully align and place over the top of lower patty section filled with blue cheese and press down slightly. Then pinch the edges together until the outside is sealed against any bits of blue cheese leaking out.
- Leave them on the cutting board and take them out to a pre heated BBQ grill.
- Careful scoop them off of the cutting board with a thin, metal, long-handled spatula that has a wide face. Put something behind them to keep them from falling apart when you run the spatula quickly underneath. Reshape them on spatula if necessary.
- Slide carefully on the hot grill and cook until the outside is well seared on both sides.
- Near the end of the cooking process, put bakery-made Hamburger Buns or Kaiser Role halves face down on an upper rack for one minute.
- Slather something like mayonnaise or similar oil-based condiment on the bun first to seal it against the juices emanating from the grilled burger patty which will keep it from turning soggy.
- Add condiments and Serve!
Variations I Like For The Stuffing
- Jalapeños and Munster Cheese
- Swiss Cheese and Spicy Mustard
- Sautéed White or Red Onions and Green Peppers
- Slightly cooked Bacon Pieces (placed inside the cavity, not outside)
- Sautéed Mushrooms cooked in butter until dark colored
NOTE: If you mix any ingredients within the meat itself, you lose a lot of the flavor doing it that way. For me, the only thing I add to the meat mixture itself is various spices like Cajun Seasoning, Cayenne Pepper, Freshly Ground Pepper, or Sea Salt. Plus, you don’t want anything you mix with the meat to cause it to fall apart on the grill. Dry bread crumbs is a juice and flavor killer.
PS: If you top your burger with condiments like mustard or mayonnaise, getting it at room temperature will keep the burger hot before serving. Putting a piece of lettuce on first, before you add the cold tomato slice, pickles, or onions will help retain the temperature longer. Kind of a bummer getting to the table with a burger that has lost most of its heat to the stuff you put on it.