Friday, February 27, 2009

What makes the perfect burger?

What makes a perfect burger? It should have a bit of pork, but mostly beef. Beef should be a bit marbled. I mean it doesn’t make sense to get a very expensive filet mignon or a sirloin to make a burger because it’s too lean. You need fat and marbling for flavor. The meat can be a bit grisly. You don’t want to have something too soft because then there is no body and it’s just like eating baby food.

Seasoning. You should use salt and pepper. Onion and Garlic add savory accents to the meat.

If you want to get fancy, you can add some other herbs. I like a bit of rosemary at times, if I am feeling exotic. It is a strong herb and it can mask the flavor of the meat that you spent so most of your money on. I recommend using rosemary if you are making a lamb burger. Lamb is a bit musky in flavor so rosemary pairs well with it.

Ground lamb and beef works well together especially with a yogurt, cucumber dressing.

Now back to burgers. You will probably need a binder- something to stick everything together. For this I recommend you use bread crumbs or crustless white bread. You need something to hold the meat together or you’ll just have a sloppy joe. And that’s probably how it was invented- some guy just messed up.

You need more of a binder if you are grilling over flame then pan or griddle cooked burgers. The heat will start to pull the beef apart.

Then the bun. I think the perfect burger buns are butter milk buns. They are light and with a bit of sponginess to sop up the juicy goodness of the burger. Sesame buns are good also, but make sure that they are fresh. You don’t want to have an amazing burger served on a cardboard bun.

Wheat buns work well as well.

Toppings. They are endless, but I think the best topping is sautéed mushrooms and swiss cheese. Thin sliced mushrooms with a bit of garlic is perfect. If not, the classic pickle, mustard, ketchup, lettuce, and tomato. No, I did not say onion because it makes burger too slippery to eat.


The best burgers.

See this is a difference in preference. I like charcoal grilled burger. I’m not a huge fan of something that is cooked on a griddle, I think it’s too greasy, but I think this is because those are the burgers I grew up on.

The best burger I’ve had in Korea was a burger that had at a rooftop party. It was a burger that had barley added to the meat as a binder. I really liked the nutty, sweet accent it added to the meat.