Simple rules for making the best burgers ever:
1: Don't be cheap when selecting meat for the patties. Whenever I make burgers, I try to buy minced beef at the local butcher, simply because it only has 1 ingredient: meat. If you read the labels in the supermarket, you'll see that there's a lot of stuff already added to the meat, like salt, E-numbers and even sugar. Normally I'm not that picky to be honest, but in order to make a Great Burger instead of Just a Burger, I like to go the extra mile. Today I choose 100% Angus beef!
2: Don't add salt until the patties are done (as in medium- don't over-grill them!)- if you add salt to raw minced meat it'll actually change the structure of the patties, they'll really be even more tender when you add salt when they're already on your plate :)
- 300 gr. minced (Angus) beef
- chopped fresh parley, as much as you like!
- 1 egg
- A couple of sauteed shallots & garlic (I used 1 clove and 1 shallot p.p. )
- Fresh black pepper & dash of cinnamon (really!)
Mix everything together in a small bowl, divide in two generous patties, put your best (grill) pan over medium heat, add butter, wait til it's melting & bubbling and -gently- put the patties in a hot pan (medium heat). I opted for butter instead of olive oil this time, just because I could. Full fat, unsalted, creamy butter. I have no regrets.
It took ±2x3 minutes for both sides of the burger to be nice and brown, but this might be different for you since we'll most likely not use the exact same pan, so just keep an eye on them and go with your gut; if they look ready, feel ready & you're hungry: they're probably ready. Transfer the burgers onto a plate and cover with tin foil: let it rest for 10 min. so the Awesome Burger Juices stay inside your Awesome Burger. It should be a little pink on the inside and very, very juicy.
I like to try new burgers/bread combinations, this time I choose a big loaf of red pepper & cheese bread from Marks & Spencer, a little heavy but oh SO good. I sliced it horizontally and then vertically so I ended up with 2 big sandwiches (I sliced off both heels/bread-ends). I grilled all 4 pieces of bread (2 top, 2 bottom), soft side in the pan, crust side up) in a dry pan on medium heat for a minute, nothing worse than cold buns, hun.
- 1 zucchini (my something sweet: grilled & seasoned with pepper, salt & lightly honey glazed)
- A handful of Baby Spinach leaves (if you think it's too bitter, stick with regular lettuce)
- Pecorino Romano (love me some salty cheese)
- Bacon, I tried to keep it civil with 2 slices p.p., but with bacon more = actually better. Just watch your arteries.
- Aioli, a big dollop, maybe two. Or three.
Building the Burger:
1. Put a big dollop of aioli on the bottom AND the top part of your sandwich.
2. Baby Spinach leaves, about a handful.
3. Crispy bacon.
4. Honey glazed grilled zucchini, two slices
5. THE BURGER.
6. Fresh shaving of Pecorino Romano: an amazing salty Italian sheep's milk cheese- no need for extra salt.
Don't even try to eat this with a fork & knife; you'll need both hands and YES it will be a gloriously messy affair.