Tuesday, August 3, 2010

burger anyone?

Many words have been written about the Hamburger. So many, that you have to wonder if there is anything more to say. The ultimate American "Sandwich"! Like so much of our culture it started with something we stole from somewhere else and completely took ownership of. Maybe Rob and I just needed an excuse to get together and enjoy some ground beef. Anyway I'll give it a go.

If you haven't already picked up Anthony Bourdain's new book "Medium Raw" I would recommend it. He writes a chapter about the beloved burger that is equal parts funny and scary.

In any case this American Classic seems to take on a new costume everyday. A new topping or addition to grab our attention. A new layer of gold on an already perfect lily. I admit it, I am among the guilty in this. One of my early creative endeavors, I might have been eight years old, was the "Hamdogger" a hot dog encased in ground beef, grilled and served on a hot dog bun. Destined for failure, because to leave the beef a respectable mid rare you end up with a cool hot dog. Not very appetizing. I have done my fare share of stuffing burgers, and topping them with all kinds of stuff. BBQ pulled pork inside of a cheese burger topped with coleslaw is a wonderful thing. The burger on a toasted English Muffin with Taylor Ham and Cheese was a Saturday night staple for me for quite some time.

If you haven't tasted, I'm sure that you have at least heard of the million dollar burgers making their way onto four star menus from coast to coast. There isn't a single thing wrong with the DB burger.http://http//www.danielnyc.com/dbbistro.html With it's filling of braised short ribs and foie gras and black truffle on a house baked brioche bun.

But, when I set about designing the burger for Andre's I wanted to keep it pretty straight forward but still show that I wasn't being lazy. Just a little tweak to amp up the flavor.

It starts with dry aged Angus beef from the back end of the strip loin. To this I add hickory smoked bacon for a 25-30% total fat content. Keep everything nice and cold and grind away. We use the Kitchen aid mixer with a grinder attachment. Season with salt and pepper just before grilling, top with aged Gouda and serve on our house made English Muffin with our own pickles and freshly made mayo.

English muffin

2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
2 3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons salt
4 tablespoons melted butter
1 tablespoon honey
corn meal

combine the yeast and water, put flour in mixing bowl with salt, with machine running add yeast mixture, honey, and melted butter. knead about 5 min. for a smooth elastic dough. roll to 1/2inch rectangle and place on a floured tray in the fridge for 15-20 min. Re roll to 1/4 inch and cut desired shapes. dust with cornmeal, cover and let rise until double the volume. Cook on a preheated iron griddle for about 8 min. per side. cool on a rack. cut with a fork. toast and go.


check back to the crab post for this recipe


Typically we use an English cucumber. But, this time of year you can get great local organic cukes. Make a brine of 1 cup Sugar, 1 cup Water, and 1 cup Champagne Vinegar, 1/3 cup salt season as you like. heat the brine and pour over the sliced cucumber. Let stand in the fridge overnight or up to 2 weeks.

Oh, and would you be kind enough to pass me that beer?

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