Happy Labor Day weekend everybody! I hope you are all firing up the grill (or grill pan) for the Labor Day BBQ festivities or going over to someone’s place that is doing the grilling. Now that we have a place out of the city and room for a real outdoor grill, it has become my mission to master it. We were one of the lucky ones who at one time had a backyard in the city, but that was many years ago. My grill skills have had to be reawakened. And lets face it, in the city we are really spoiled with some of the best food around. If we wanted a burger we had “Shake Shack” down the street in Madison Square Park or “The Burger Joint” just uptown in the Parker Meridian. Both great for different reasons, and only minutes away. Out in the country, well, you better learn how to make it yourself! I find that most places are just trying to stuff everything under the sun in a burger, and that could be fun, but the majority are just missing the boat. Bloated burgers (the size of my head) with bad taste combinations.
This is what made me think about what we really love about the humble burger, THE BURGER! Don’t get me wrong, we like toppings, but the meat comes first. I’m not saying go out and massage your cow for an hour in sake, but if you do, let me know and I will be there with a camera. 🙂 I’m just saying pick up some quality meat from a place you trust and you know the meat has good flavor. When making a burger I like to get the 80-85% fat variety. You need some fat to keep it juicy, but if it’s too fatty it does’t necessarily mean flavor, just greasy.
Also another key technique is after you add your ingredients, work the meat with your hands into patties until the warmth of you hands starts to melt the fat a bit and the burger really binds together. Then put the meat back in the fridge to firm back up before cooking it. This with help your burger stay together while it cooks.
Here is what we love on our burgers. What do you like on yours?