So, *slaps the meat on the table* what will we cook tonight? Simple. Burgers.
I love burgers. To me you can‘t go wrong with good bread, a piece of animal protein, and fresh vegetables.
If I could, I would eat burgers every day and a couple of years ago, I did. That is when I developed and practiced with various techniques of trial and error to make, in my opinion, an outstanding burger recipe.
The base recipe for burgers has been around for at least forever and it was important for me to make it my own and trust me, it took MANY experiments.
Since I have made these “Pleaser” burgers people’s reactions range from, “oh god, please let me bear your children,” to “oh my gosh? Are you serious? Did you just?? Mhmmmpff! Hey… do you got some more?”
Makes 4 patties
A dash of Brown Sauce
Optional additional ingredients:
1 red onion
2 big gherkins
4 eggs (one egg each per burger)
As much as you want of Brie Cheese, since the chef will snack on it unavoidably.
1) First we need to make some patties. Get the best quality beef mince you can get your hands on, or ideally, go to the butcher you trust and get a piece from the shoulder part of the sacred cow. Funnily, that is pretty cheap as well.
2) Grab a bowl and mix the raw mince meat with one egg, plenty of salt and pepper, a dash of brown sauce, and a generous dash of toasted breadcrumbs (if you make your own buns, sacrifice one, toast it really well and grind it into crumbs).
3) Form some succulent big patties that just want to be eaten. You know you’re on the right way when the patty feels meaty and big, sticking well together.
Side Note: Alternatively, if you want to go old-school, you can also just use the meat, unseasoned, untampered. Nice thin patties, ideally frozen and then directly thrown on the sizzling grill or pan!
4) Now, as previously mentioned, you can make your own buns if you want to, which is in my opinion one of the greatest fun of making burgers in the first place – but who has time to do that when you’ve been slaving away at your job?
But I digress.
You can get beautiful buns from the local bakery, if such exists near you. Some rumours from the early 2010s even say that you can use sweet donuts as well. Dangerous but definitely worth a try!
5) From here on it’s all about prepping:
- Mayo. Self-made is easy and quick, just add a high quality olive oil and an egg yolk and stir it until it’s jello. If you want to go fancy and want to make a whole lot of mayo: get a goose’s egg from a farm shop (there’s one in Herne Hill) and this will create awe and a sensational taste.
- Swiss mustard.
- Cut some red onions super thin.
- Cut the romaine…. Oh wait! No! Not super thin, actually, you want to cut them into strings by peeling every leaf like it’s expensive parchment, roll it up, roll one up if you want to too, and cut them into them good strips, you’ll know when they’re right. Add a dash of salt, pepper, olive oil and a bit of apple cider vinegar – you’ll thank me later.
- Cut the cheese into good blades, not too thin.
- Cut the gherkins ideally thin as well, but here you can really show your creativity. Cut them thin, cut them into shapes, heck, put them as a whole on your top bun, I don’t care. Taste will be great nonetheless!
Now look at what you’ve cut. Look closely. Admire it. Respect it. That’s thousands of years of culture right there. The best ingredients all over the world, to be assembled into one tasty dish. That’s what I call being alive!
6) Boom. Patties in the pan or on the grill, don’t mix this one up! Dash of salt and pepper once it’s ready.
7) Buns into a pan or a toaster just for a little. Once the buns is readily toasted, hungry, thirsty for mayo, give it what it needs. Mayo on bottom bun, then a bed of lettuce.
8) Add the perfectly medium patty. It had a long journey, let it rest for a moment on that bed of lettuce. Give it a break, add some cheese to cool it off, summer is hot enough already!
9) Prepare the top bun with mayo and mustard, fight the urge to add more sauces. Keep it simple! What good is it to spoil the ingredients with too much? Too much sauce? Too much care? Wait what? No! There can never be enough care! Draw a heart or any other symbol you like with just a bit of sauce and you’ll know exactly what difference it will make.
This one if for the pro’s only. We step into the Major-League now. If you’re of the faint of heart, don’t cross this line. Add egg and yolk (or just crack one into the pan), not a fried egg, but a fried “crushed yolk”- egg. Add this for maximum, I repeat MAXIMUM taste sensation.
10) Now comes the real magic. You’ve been waiting for this moment. Everything you’ve done so far has been for this moment. The final assembly. The bottom of the burger waits anxiously in excitement for the unification with the top bun. If you’ve done it right will be shown right here. You take the top bun, put it gently on the bottom burger and with a gentle yet decisive push you merge them together.
Now it’s a burger. Now it’s done, ready to be served on a plate.
At this point you can behold the magnificent creation that you are responsible of. The juices flowing out of the meat, infusing the veg and buns ever so lightly. Yearning for its final destination with perfect balance in both taste and structural integrity.
From this point on, it’s all free game. Serve it with fries, serve it with a milkshake, serve it both together, do what you want to increase the sensation of this experience – for your guests and yourself.
And that’s… how you make a “Pleaser” burger.