Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Welcome to Good Burger!

Home of the Good Burger, May I take your order please?
I don't remember anything about that movie except that line. They say the memory is the first to go.

Atlanta goes through food cycles. What's hot? What's done?  There were Pizza Wars and with some time overlap, Burger Wars and many more I'm sure. I think there was a doughnut war or maybe donut/cupcake war until Sublime Doughnuts blew them all away.  Anyway, I digress. I can think of (seriously within 5 seconds) 7 new contenders in the Burger Wars, mostly having opened in the past 14 months. It's ridiculous! Of course I say that, never having eaten a Holeman and Finch burger because there are a limited number made and only sold after 10pm on weeknights. Recently (with new contenders opening monthly) they changed that so that HandF serves burgers during brunch...or something like that. I don't know if this Burger War is a global thing or even a national thing, I don't get out much... but it's been interesting to read about and see exactly at what point does the market become saturated? Pun intended.

But I say, forget the wars! no more spending a ton for burgers out! I am before you today folks to proclaim the truth to you. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. YOU CAN MAKE A BETTER BURGER AT HOME!  It's true, and you know I wouldn't lie to you.  There is only one small, teeny tiny provision. It's really nothing in the large scheme of Burgers, or health for that matter.

Listen closely you have to grind your meat yourself!.  See? how bad was that? By grinding the meat yourself you can control the content of cuts, the fat vs. lean, eliminate altogether that nasty E. Coli worry and have your burger really and truly your way. You can read a detailed, well photographed post on this at Eat It Atlanta. He tried several methods and combinations, and is a far better blogger than I, but if you go as far as to click the link, you should seriously consider doing this. I promise you it is worth every second, every dime, every smidgen of extra effort. You've never tasted a burger like these.

First, choose your hardware, I recommend the meat grinding/pastamaking attachment on a Kitchen Aid stand mixer. No, I don't sell them and Kitchen Aid has no idea who I am. They used to make hand cranked meat grinders that would attach to a counter top - today you can probably look for them in the "Green" section of your favorite kitchen wares store. Old fashioned (no electricity) is now Green...isn't humanity fun?
You CAN do this is a food processor but the results will be inferior... so DON'T. Another very reasonable alternative would be to ask your market meat manager or butcher to grind it for you. Not all supermarkets grind their own meat (red flag to me) You lose a little control that way, but the ease might be worth it. Second choose your meat. Some people blend. The famous Blue Ribbon blend is oxtail, brisket and sirloin (see again Eat It Atlanta). I'm simple. I like Chuck: it's easy to find and reasonably priced. Without further ado, here is our chuck:

Chuck was cut into manageable pieces and put through grinder one time only. I do 2 grinds on meatballs and meatloaf, usually when combining meats.

And here's how it looked. Pretty, yes?

Formed into fairly loose patties, you don't want them falling apart but you dont want to overwork Chuck either, he's about to get fried....err, seared.  A little salt and pepper and you're good to go.

Heat a cast iron or other heavy skillet over medium high heat. When the pan is hot add your patties, no more than 2 at once I'd say. Cook until 2/3 done on one side then flip for the final cooking.  Serve immediately.
I like mine a little more done than the burgermeister does, so mine cooked about 2.5 min per side, maybe a little more. His double stack was medium rare.  You can tell the doneness just by pressing on the patty, if it's squishy, it's on the rare side.

These burgers need only a nice bun. Add any condiments you like, but take a bite without, just to taste the juicy beefy goodness. They are so flavorful and complete unto themselves .. I was cursing. More than once. On a Sunday even. Damn! Good Burgers!

See you soon

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