Thursday, August 13, 2009
THE ULTIMATE BURGER FOR TYLER FLORENCE FRIDAYS
Thank goodness the burger craving goes away with fall. It's a fact of life that the warm weather seems to bring out the carnivore in me. I eat more steaks and burgers in the summertiime than at any other time of year.
A few years back I bought Larry the Kitchen Aid grinder attachment since he butchers his own venison. After watching the box collect dust, I tried it out a while back and really liked what it did for my Bolognese sauce. I decided it was time to try Tyler's ultimate burger (from his cookbook, Tyler's Ultimate), which calls for grinding up your own beef brisket. I had to negotiate with the butcher to get a piece that wouldn't have us eating burgers every night for a week. I still ended up freezing a half dozen burgers and I know they won't taste as delicious as the fresh ones did.
From Tyler's "burger bar," I chose to make the sauteed mushrooms and the carmelized onions. Oh...my...goodness. This was burger heaven and we both ate two burgers, one on the bun and one naked just to use up every last topping.
MAKES 8 BURGERS
2 lbs brisket, ground
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
8 thin slices Swiss cheese
8 hamburger buns, split
Burger Bar Fixins (see below)
Preheat an outdoor grill to medium hot. Be sure to grease the grill well.
Season the ground meat in a bowl with salt and pepper and give it about 3 turns with a wooden spoon. Shape into 8 patties, When the grill is hot, put the burgers on the grill and cook for 7 minutes per side for rare, 8 for medium, adding the cheese in the final minute.
Saute 1 lb thickly sliced mushrooms in 1/4 cup olive oil with 2 sliced garlic cloves and 1 tbs fresh thyme leaves over super-high heat until nicely browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in a couple of drops of fresh lemon juice to brighten the flavor.
Heat 2 tbs unsalted butter with 2 tbs olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add 2 onions sliced 1/2 inch thick, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook slowly until carmelized, 15 to 20 minutes.
My butcher couldn't grind the brisket for me--something about the grinder being too big, I think. I enjoyed grinding my own--just cut it into chunks and used my tamper. Be sure you don't overhandle the meat. This is what makes some burgers dry. Tyler mentions giving the seasoned meat 3 turns. He doesn't elaborate about shaping them, but I can tell you if you squeeze them into shape, they're ruined. Just pick up 4 oz and very lightly shape with your hands. It's like pie crust: the less you handle it, the better it tastes. These burgers had that really meaty, fresh flavor and were so juicy, I ruined a white tank top. On the matter of oil--don't use 1/4 cup; it's too much!!!!!!!!!! The fresh thyme and lemon juice really made those mushrooms flavorful. The carmelized onions benefit from the longest possible time in the pan. I used my new cast iron skillet for the mushrooms and they browned beautifully. This may be more work than you're used to for burgers, but pour yourself a beautiful Sangiovese or a cold Mexican beer and you'll think you're on vacation.
Be sure to check out what other Tyler devotees are cooking this week at Tyler Florence Fridays.