Smashing my meat through Texas – Burger

Hi Folks.  Another year means another burger recipe.  This one took top honors at the second annual Nunes’ Yard Knife Fight!  I’ll give the recipe for a single burger.  Please scale up for each burger.

2x 85g balls of regular ground beef (not lean, you need the fat)
2x slice of pepper-jack cheese
1tsp BBQ sauce
1tsp mayonnaise
1tbsp (heaped) sauced pulled pork
1-2 onion rings*
2tsp butter
1 plain white bun (fresh but not fancy)
Salt
Pepper

*if you are making your own onion rings here is the ingredients for that.
3/4C of AP Flour
1 can cheap beer
Salt & Pepper
1 Sweet Onion

Ok so IF you can, make your own pulled pork some time in advance.  Pulled pork is great in that you can freeze leftovers and this is a great use.  I always like to put a pork product on my burgers (typically bacon) but this is a great little mix up.  Because the pulled pork is (or should be) a smoked product you still get a little of that bacon-esq flavor going on while providing new flavors and a neat new texture.  Pulled pork is less ‘chewy’ than bacon.  Keep the pulled pork warm on a very low burner while you work on the rest of the burger.

Cut and butter your bun and set aside.

Start heating your frying oil to about 350F (170C).  You can use store bought onion rings if you must but they are so easy to make using a simple beer batter.  O used 3/4C of AP flour, 1 can of cheap beer, salt, pepper and whatever other seasoning.  Whip it smooth.  Cut your onion into 1cm thick rings, dump in the batter and fry until crispy and golden.  Don’t over crowd your oil or the temp will drop.  I use about 5cm of oil in a dutch oven as my fryer.  Use a neutral oil like canola or vegetable.  You can use peanut (great fry oil) but check with guest re: allergies please.  I used a large sweet onion here.  Try to match your onion size to the size of your bun.  You want it to be just under bun diameter.  Once the rings come out of the oil place on a rack or paper towel to let extra oil off.  SALT YOUR RINGS!  They will taste super bland if you don’t.  Don’t be shy with the salt.  We aren’t making health food here today folks.  Keep the rings in just a low, warm oven (170F is my lowest oven setting).

Ok.  Now get a flat top or cast iron skillet nice and hot.  A medium high heat on a stovetop is great.  You CANNOT make this type of burger on a grill.  Trust me.  Toast your buns until they are nice and golden.  Set aside but have your other condiments ready.  These come together fast.

Toss your pulled pork onto the griddle.  It will get crispy as you cook your burgers.

Ball your meat into loose balls.  Do not add filler.  Do not pack tight.  Just nice loose balls of only meat.  Once your grill is hot place two balls down and then smash them to about 50 to 75mm thick.  Real nice and thin.  If you have a wide, flat fipper use that.  I used a sauce pot.  Whatever you have that is heavy and flat.  Smash it good.  These are called smash burgers.  Now DO NOT TOUCH the burgers for at least 45 to 90 seconds.  Just toss salt and pepper on them. Again be generous.  There is no other seasoning in these burgers.  Once you see the browning start to creep up the sides of the burger and you see some fat really start to sizzle, then we can flip.

Once we flip don’t bother seasoning again.  These are nice and thin so one side is fine.  Place your pepper jack on one of the burgers and rush over to your bun.  WAIT!  Check that pulled pork.  Toss it around a bit.  Don’t let it burn.  Ok.  Now to your bun.

You about about 45 seconds to get this right so buckle up charlie.  Toss some BBQ sauce on the bottom bun and some mayo on the top but.

Put your onion ring on the top bun and go get your pulled pork, put it on the bottom bun.

Ok.  Now your burgers should be just about ready.  Have a little peak under them to make sure they are nice and crusty.  Put the plain patty over the cheesed patty and then transfer onto your pulled pork.

That is it.  Bob’s your uncle.  It was a hell of a ride but you now have a very tasty BBQ inspired burger.  Enjoy!

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King Kamehameha’s Revenge

I blog post from Brad!?  Hath hell frozen over?  Nah.  I just made a kick butt burger and I don’t want to forget what I did.  This burger was created for the first annual Nunes’ Yard Knife Fight burger contest.  I huge shout out to the Johnson’s for stepping up with their Little Nero slider/caesar combo.  Everyone ate well so we are all winners.

Yield 8 large burgers

The patties

  • 600g grnd pork
  • 600g grnd beef
  • 1 egg
  • breadcrumbs (opt)
  • 3 table spoons Epicure Asian Stir Fry seasoning
  • 2 table spoons of soy sauce
  • salt & peppers

The rest

  • large Hawaiian sweet rolls (or other bun)
  • 8 pineapple rings
  • 8 thin slices of Spam
  • 2 med onions
  • ~8 large mushrooms
  • 1.5oz of Canadian Rye Whiskey (I recommend Crown Royal)
  • Teriyaki sauce (~1 tsp per burger)
  • Mayo
  • Butter
  • Pepper Jack Cheese (or other spicy mild gooey/melty cheese)
  • Siracha

Combine all the fixings for the burgers in a large bowl and mix well.  You your hands.  Get right in there and squeeze that flesh.  Go right savage.  Add breadcrumbs if your mixture is a little too wet/loose.  You want it to form up into nice balls.

Roll out 16 ~200g balls of meat.  Press them flat and then place a small chunk of the pepper jack cheese on 8 of them.  Use the remaining 8 as toppers and seal that chunk-o-cheese in the burger.

Set your Sous-vide machine to 140F and…  WHAT!?  You don’t have a sous-vide machine?  Why is Brad going all French when he just took French 11 so he could go on the sweet ski trip (props to putting up with me Mdm. Park)?  Anyway I’m not going to go into it but google sous-vide and then go buy a unit.  It will change your life.  Anyway sous-vide the burgers at 140 for 90 minutes.

While your burgers are getting all frisky.  slice the onions and the mushrooms and cook them slowly over medium heat with a lot of butter (2-4 tbsps) for at least 30 minutes, longer if you aren’t burning them.  Low and slow makes the best onions.  I recommend doing this in a cast iron skillet for reasons soon to be revealed.

Don’t forget to start your charcoal grill (because propane is for chumps!) when your burgers at at the 45 minute mark.

Once the grill is at temp you can grill your Spam and pineapple, leaving it at the corner of the grill to stay warm.

When there is 5 minutes left on your sous-vide, toss the whiskey into the onions/mushrooms and ignite to flambe them.  This legit works so well in imparting that nice sweet rye flavor into the onion/mushroom mix and adding some really nice char flavors.  It really elevates the onions.  I call them Royal Onions (because Crown Royal).  I guess they could be Club Onions or Alberta Premium Onions if you are desperate.  Anyway light it up.  Your guest will be impressed (if you don’t burn anything down.  Do this step outside with a hose nearby for safety).  Anyway keep those beauties warm.

Toast your buns before you put the burgers on the grill you want them set up and ready to go.  Throw some mayo on both the top and bottom bun.

Once your burgers are done sous-vide grill them on the hottest part of the grill for about 60 seconds per side.  Move quickly.  Drop burger on the grill, slather a little teriyaki sauce on it and get ready with a second slice of pepper jack.  After no more than 60 seconds flip, slather again and throw that cheese on.  Keep the slice thin so it melts.  Remember there is cheese in the burger so you don’t need much more.

Just before the burger comes off, throw some of your royal onion/mushroom on the bottom bun.  Then hit it with your burger.  Then the grilled pineapple and the Spam.  Now drizzle (for shizzle) the Siracha over the mess and top with the final bun.

Now I recommend serving this with some sweet potato fries and Siracha mayo.  Throw a drink umbrella in it and try (unsuccessfully) to convince your wife to serve it in a grass skirt and coconut bikini.  You also have to do a perfect cross section and show off the cheese oozing out of it.

So why the name?  Well clearly it is Hawaiian themed.  I also wanted the cheese to kinda be like lava flowing.  And the revenge is because it has a little heat to it.  It really isn’t that hot.  You could crank it up with a hotter hot sauce if you wanted to but this is a real nice mild heat.

So there you have it.  Enjoy and maybe I’ll post more things here.

California Club Chicken Burger

I was inspired to make these things by a California club sandwich I had at a restaurant.  I know it is not a true club because I am not using turkey but the chicken really works here.  This is plenty for about 6-8 burgers.

6-8 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
1lb bacon
1 lrg tomato
½ head of lettuce
6-8 slices of havarti cheese
6-8 Kiser buns
16 tbsp guacamole
mayonnaise
BBQ sauce
Start by putting a layer of tinfoil over the top rack of your BBQ.  Lay the bacon on the tinfoil.  Fire up your BBQ and let the bacon cook on med to med low heat for about 15-20 mins.  This is a good time to make your guacamole.  Check out this post for my homemade guac.  Be sure to keep checking the bacon every 5 mins or so.  You want it to be crispy but not burnt.  Remove the bacon and set it aside.  Turn the heat up to med high.  Be sure to oil your grill before cooking chicken.  Because it has less fat I find it sticks easier.  Put your chicken on the grill and brush with the BBQ sauce.  You want to turn the chicken about every 5-6 minutes (that means about 10 mins a side).  Be sure not to burn it but always cook your chicken well.  After you flip the chicken, brush the exposed side with more BBQ sauce.  About 2 mins before removing the chicken, place a slice of cheese on each breast.  Once you have removed the chicken you are ready to build the burger.  On the bottom half of the bun, scoop on about 2 tbsp of guac.  Place the chicken breast on the guac.  Put two strips of bacon (each cut in half so you end up with 4 pieces) on the chicken.  On the top half of the bun, spread some mayo.  Then place the lettuce and the tomato on the mayo.  I personally like to keep the tomato closest to the meat.  Close the burger!  Server with some nice salads and LOTS of napkins!  If you have leftover bacon, use them as bacon bits in a ceaser salad.  If you have left over guacamole, sever it on the side with some chips!