Monday, 27 February 2012

Kickin' Burgers

We have a tradition in our house-Saturday night is 'copy take-out' night. It started a few years ago with hub's version of KFC 'Zinger' wraps and grew from there. Soon, 'Burger Dads' was born and before long, there were various concoctions being created on a Saturday night-burgers of all kinds, chicken a dozen different ways and always with 'sides'. Hub always used to cook all this up in pans or on the griddle and the mess was always a sight to behold-not to mention the health issue. So one day, I bit the bullet and invested in a large Foreman grill, hoping it would be a) healthier, b) cleaner and c) a whole lot quicker (with 7 kids all wanting different options it took some time).

And that was the very moment I lost that Saturday night off!

From then on, everything was from scratch, and with the addition of my new favourite seasoning I was on a roll-toasted first naturally.

I messed with this burger mix a couple of times to get it dead right, but this gives fresh burgers a real tang and the kick that the dill in the steak seasoning gives it is it's crowning glory. For those not able to get the mix, a small amount of finely chopped fresh dill (often found by the fresh fish counter) works just as well.

'Burger Mum's Mystery Mix'

This mix is for the large 700g packs of ground beef mince sold in UK supermarkets. Obviously adjust amount accordingly. With burgers, an 80/20 meat to fat ratio is best. Too fatty and they're nasty, too lean and they'll fall apart. Note that there's no egg or breadcrumbs in this recipe, just pure beef. That small amount of fat is what binds it together, and if you're cooking them on either a griddle, bbq or in a Foreman, any excess fat won't be an issue. If frying, then compensate with a low fat spray oil to get the colour on the outside.

Makes on average 6-7 1/4lb'ers or about 10-12 smaller patties.

1 heaped tsp Chipolte seasoning
1 heaped tsp Steak seasoning
2 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
2 tbsp A1 Sauce
Large pinch Kosher salt or equivalent
Generous amount of ground black pepper

Tip the ground beef into a large bowl and add all the ingredients. Mix thoroughly with hands (yes it's mucky and a bit icky, but it is the only way to guarantee everything is fully mixed in).

(I use a hamburger press to make the patties, but by hand is fine. One advantage of the press is that the wax discs you use with it makes it easier to store them in the fridge in advance of cooking them.)

Taking a large ball of mince at a time, press the meat together, and either using a press or by hand, shape into patties. Once all the meat has been used, chill the patties for at least 30 minutes. This lets the meat rest and helps the patties keep their shape.

Now everyone likes their burgers a different way, if they didn't, there'd only every be McDonalds, so once chilled, the frying part is up to you. Personally, me and the kids like ours well done, so they're on the Foreman for at least 5-6 minutes before we take them out. If you're having cheese, place it on about a minute before the end.

One thing you *must* do to make your homemade burgers stand out...Toast Those Buns!! And here's a little tip that I've learnt from repeated viewings of the likes of 'Diners, Drive-ins and Dives'; take some of the fat that the burgers have cooked in, and brush it on the inside of the buns-it really makes all the difference.
Not only does the toasting harden up the buns and make them easier to handle (especially if you load up on pickles etc) but it forms a barrier that stops the grease soaking in and giving you a soggy bun. Total no-no.

So then it's just down to you as to what you load up onto these babies, but personally, I cannot resist some sliced Monterey Jack, dill pickles and Heinz hot dog relish.

Add a Bud and it's perfection right there.

Enjoy, and do let me know if you've tried them.

K x