Details:


June 2012
20 minutes of actual work
60 minutes start to finish
Serves 4

Types: Meat.
Cuisines: Canadian and American.
Seasons: Spring and Summer.
Events: Weekend, Every Day, Anniversaries, and Birthdays.
Meals: Entrée.

The Recipe

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Gone are the dreary winter months, dragging on for what seems like an eternity and more. We’re ushering in the Spring season, and in some parts of Canada Summer seems to have arrived. It’s hard not to gravitate to a patio, a lakeside cottage and memories of camping seasons gone by. With warm weather comes the art of grilling, and this Ultimate Beef Burger recipe is the culmination of nearly 3 years of hard work that involved many hours of trial, error and eating.

With most things in life, you get out what you put in and it’s with this in mind that we set out to create our perfect burger. I know what you’re thinking….everyone’s got THE PERFECT burger, so what’s so special about this one? Well, for one, we’ve kept it very simple, from the ground rib eye patty to our homemade burger buns. We were careful not to overload the burger with toppings, these burgers are trim and proper. This is the kind of burger you’d bring home to meet the family, you know?

We chose to do everything by hand in this recipe, and we think you should too. It’s a simple enough recipe that you can get great ingredients, take the time to treat them right and never get stressed out. Every component of the burger, the patty/bun/toppings, are easy-peasy, so focus on getting the greatest results from them.

We’ve listed out the ingredients and directions for everything below, but here are some tips to keep in mind while working away in the kitchen.

Tips & Tricks

  • Looking for the ultimate burger experience? Keep one thing in mind: Don’t overdo it. Keep it simple! Remember you have to get your mouth around this sucker, and you want to keep your hands as clean as possible.
  • Want the perfect burger bacon? Simply bake it twice. Bake once at 375F for 12 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool completely, then bake once again at 325F for 6 minutes. Voila, the perfect bacon. If you are using thin sliced bacon, reduce the cooking times to 10 minutes and 5 minutes.
  • If you’re going to hand make the patties, you may as well hand make the buns too. That way you can properly control the proper bun to meat ratio. We recommend the recipes in this cookbook: Bake!: Essential Techniques for Perfect Baking
  • Don’t be afraid to under cook the meat. A little pink is optimal, but no red! No one wants a dry and gritty patty, and above all, don’t burn the meat. Keep the flames under control at all times.
  • Don’t press on the burgers to release the juices, leave those in there.

The Formula

Ingredients

Beef Patties

  • 1.5 lb rib eye steak (with ~20% fat content)
  •  salt to taste
  •  pepper to taste

Caramelized Onions

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 1 tbsp sugar

Balsamic Mushrooms

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ lb  mushrooms

Toppings & Such

  •  Bacon
  •  Hamburger Buns
  •  Ketchup
  •  Grainy Style Dijon Mustard
  •  Cheese

Directions

Beef Patties

  1. Cut your steak into 1 inch wide cubes or strips. Season generously with kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper.
  2. Just before cooking the patties, grind the meat with a coarse setting in your meat grinder.
  3. Form the patties with your hands, make sure the patties are roughly 150grams per patty (~6oz). We found this weight works best to attain a great mouth feel and just the right bread to meat ratio.
  4. Make sure not to handle the meat any more than you have to. You do not need perfectly round patties, the less you grind and handle the meat the more tender it will come off the grill.
  5. Create an X indent in the center of the patty with your thumb. This depression will make sure the patties don't bulge when cooking and shrinking.
  6. Cook the patties on your grill for about 4-6 minutes per side, flipping only once. If you want the patty cooked medium/medium well, err closer to 4 minutes per side. If you want the patty cooked throughout, consider 6+ minutes per side. A good meat thermometer is your friend here.
  7. For an added touch, add some mesquite wood chips to your grill.

Caramelized Onions

  1. Slice the onions as finely as possible. We used a mandolin to help with this.
  2. Melt the butter in a medium-high heat pan, and once melted add the onions.
  3. Sweat the onions briefly, about 4 minutes, then add the sugar.
  4. Cook the onions, stirring often, until they have reached your desired level of 'caramelization'. We like ours very dark, but some don't. It takes us about 20 minutes.
  5. Set aside.

Balsamic Mushrooms

  1. Slice the mushrooms thinly.
  2. Melt the butter in a medium-high heat pan, and once melted add the mushrooms.
  3. Add the water and balsamic vinegar and continue to cook over medium-high heat.
  4. Once the liquid has been completely absorbed, about 20 minutes, the mushrooms are done.
Putting it all together
  1. Find your favorite hamburger buns. We had to make our own from this cookbook: Bake!: Essential Techniques for Perfect Baking. Slice them up and set them aside
  2. Choose your favorite cheese. Melanie used aged white cheddar (2 yr minimum!) and I used C'estbon Cheese Chevre.
  3. Start topping your burger with onions, bacon and mushrooms. Slather on any sauces you'd like, ketchup and grainy style dijon are perfect, and top it off with some lettuce or spinach.
  4. Serve with your choice of side: salad, fries, pickles, slaw...
  5. Enjoy!

What to do now?

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Table Talk about "The Ultimate Beef Burger"

  1. Maxine says:

    Thanks for sharing! I have always been so-so on adding things like eggs and breadcrumbs to the patties because I don’t see how it enhances the flavour since it acts as a binding agent, only…I guess.

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