Let’s talk about burgers. Gourmet hamburger joints are popping up everywhere, and the meat tastes amazing. Better than we knew burgers could be. And we thought they were pretty awesome before beef went boutique. Now we don’t know if we’re eating hamburgers, steak, or some magical in-between meat. For Father’s Day, why not create your own masterpiece with some tips from the pros?
Meat Mixtures for Hamburgers
What these burger joints are doing is changing the meat combinations and fat ratios. According to First We Feast, Tom Mylan of The Meat Hook recommends having your butcher put your meat choice twice through the grinder with a medium blade because “This gives the burger the right texture; it will have those individual pieces of meat that are going to make you go, ‘Oh my God, this is kind of like I’m eating a steak.”
When it comes to fat content and you’re going with medium-well to medium-rare, then “If you want a good burger, 70/30 is definitely the way to go. If you like your burger well done, it should be more like 40% fat. If you want it to be really rare, you would bring down the fat content, because you don’t want a lot of un-rendered fat in your burger.” (Go with 80/20, or 90/10 for a black-and-blue burger.)
Mylan’s House Blend: 70% lean muscle (chuck or round) ground with 30% fat (navel, short rib, or brisket).
He also recommends using a hamburger patty maker, being gentle, and not slapping the meat back and forth in your hands. Line the patty maker with plastic wrap above and below the meat.
Before Assembling Your Patties
I’ve recently learned a new tip that I now use for all ground beef. It turns tacos luscious and makes casseroles into a gourmet feast. It makes hamburgers juicier and brown easier. Maybe all of you already knew this, but if so--why didn’t anyone tell me?!
Mix ¾ tsp baking soda to two tablespoons of water per two pounds of ground meat. Massage the water mixture into the ground meat and let it sit out for twenty minutes before cooking. That’s it.
The result is beef with a tremendous mouth-feel. The baking soda makes the meat hold onto a lot more liquid, resulting in super-juicy burgers.
Lemon Tarragon Sauce for Burgers
Cubby’s of Utah has a Houdini burger with a garlic aioli tarragon sauce that is to die for. We don’t have their recipe but thought it would be fun to come up with our own.
To top off your burger, why not experiment with your own favorite flavors? Your burger is great as-is, but it doesn’t hurt to try something new.
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- Two tablespoons lemon juice
- Two cloves of garlic, minced
- Whisk in two tablespoons of olive oil
- Stir in a pinch of tarragon, adding more to taste.
When it comes to grilled corn, people seem to love Bobby Flay’s from The Food Network. So we’re going to recommend that you give it a try.
- Heat the grill to medium.
- Pull the outer husks down the ear to the base. Strip away the silk from each ear of corn by hand. Fold husks back into place, and place the ears of corn in a large bowl of cold water with 1 tablespoon of salt for 10 minutes.
- Remove corn from water and shake off excess. Place the corn on the grill, close the cover and grill for 15 to 20 minutes, turning every 5 minutes, or until kernels are tender when pierced with a paring knife. Remove the husks and eat on the cob or remove the kernels. Serve with the BBQ Butter and/or Herb Butter. Spread over the corn while hot.
- Heat the oil in a medium saute pan over high heat until almost smoking. Add the onion and cook until soft, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the paprika, cayenne, cumin and ancho powder and cook for 1 minute. Add 1/2 cup of water and cook until the mixture becomes thickened and the water reduces. Let cool slightly.
- Place the butter in a food processor, add the spice mixture and Worcestershire sauce and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, scrape the mixture into a small bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. Bring to room temperature before serving.
- Combine in a food processor and process until smooth.
While you’re at the grill this Father’s Day, why not get yourself a “Grill Master” tee with a matching “Grill Novice” top for the kids? Or “Head Chef” and “Sous Chef.” You might as well enjoy the day in style.
Enjoy! Happy Father’s Day from The Spunky Stork team.