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The Perfect Burger? Mega Picture Post

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Post Wed May 15, 2013 9:56 am
jfm0830 well done
well done

Posts: 2638
Location: Northeastern MA

OK before I get going on my post let me just say I was very critical of the state of the board recently. I stand by everything I said, but there have been significant changes made and I feel I can't be critical, move on and then ignore it when many of the issues I was critical of were addressed. So I am dipping my toe in the water again posting here. It has been many months since I have done a picture post, so I hope you'll for give me for a big one.

The elusive perfect burger. This version is from a recent cookbook called Wicked Good Burgers by New England chefs Andy Husbands, Chris Hart and food Writer Andrea Pyenson. SR knows these folks and wrote some of the intro material to their first book Wicked Good Barbecue.. Anyway this is there take on the perfect burger. One of their principles is to do it right you should do as much of it yourself as you can, from grinding your own meat, to making your own condiments, to baking your own buns. They say if any aspect of a burger is not up to par it renders the entire burger below par. So I did everything from scratch here so there are a lot of pix.

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The mustard recipe I made was called Jack D'Or mustard, which used a local microbrewed ale of the same name. The other ingredients were: Sugar, garlic powder, kosher salt, mustard powder, the ale and brown mustard seeds.


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The Pretty Things Beer and Ale Project is a group of microbrew fanatics who rent out space in a local brewery once a week to make various beers that are popular in some Boston and Cambridge area restaurants.


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Everything but the mustard seeds and the ale were put in a saucepan and brought to a boil.


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The brown mustard seeds were placed in a non-reactive bowl and were covered with the boiling liquid. Then the ale was added and the mustard went into the fridge for the first of two overnight rests.


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The next day the mustard came out of the fridge and was pureed in a food processor for 3 minutes and ended up thickening up considerably


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The ground beef called for a powder they called Fifth Dimension Powder which is a Umami powder. Umami is supposedly a fifth taste sensation. It makes us crave more of what we are eating. The powder use: Porcini Mushroom powder, garlic powder, portabela mushroom powder, onion powder and Worcestershire powder.


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Next up was the tomato-ginger ketchup which used: Tamarind paste, peeled tomatoes, kosher salt, red wine vinegar, olive oil, black pepper, diced onion and minced ginger and garlic.


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The olive oil was heated using medium high heat and the onions were sauteed.


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The heat was turned to low and the minced garlic and ginger were cooked for 15 minutes.


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The heat was turned back to medium and the tamarind paste, vinegar and sugar were added and cooked for 5 minutes at which time the mixture had thickened.


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The tomato was added next and the mixture was simmered for 30 minutes.


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The resulting mixture had way to coarse a texture for ketchup, so I improvised and used my immersion blender to get the right texture. I am not a store bought ketchup fan, so I really didn't expect much from this ketchup. When I tasted it for seasoning I was blown away. I knew my burgers would now use mustard AND ketchup when I added condiments.


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My newly remodeled Kitchen has 50 percent more cabinets and features a 3' dedicated baking area. I used to have to go to two closets in other rooms, 2 base cabinets and one wall cabinet to collect the ingredients. Now everything is right in the base or wall cabinets in front of me. I only need to move to use the sink to draw some water from the tap. The recipe for Flour's Bakery's Burger Buns used: All-purpose flour, bread flour, kosher salt, instant yeast, sugar, olive oil and water.


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Everything but the olive oil were added to the bowl and mixed gently.


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The dough was micxed until it was starting to come together and the olive oil was drizzled down the side of the bowl with the mixer on low. The dough was mixed for 5 minutes.


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The dough went into a dough doubling pail for 3 hours.


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The dough was divided into 8 pieces and placed on sheet pans. The dough went into the oven for another 2-3 hours until doubled in size.


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The dough is on the Egg using the ceramic platesetter that turnis it into a convection oven and raises the sheet pan so it is in the dome area. I used some copper plumbing T's to raise the sheet pan and let air circulate underneath. I was baking at 400 degrees.


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The buns were done after 22 minutes. I didn't get as much rise as hoped for, next time I will use more flour as the mix was a bit wet


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The meat was ground chuck, which I made starting with a 3 pound chuck roast. The roast was cut into strips the size of the feed chute on the grinder and were frozen for an hour before grinding.




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The strips were mixed together with the Fifth Dimension (Umami) Powder before grinding.


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The meat was ground using the coarse blade for the grinding attachment for my KA stand mixer.


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The meat was formed into 8 6 oz. patties. A one inch depression was placed in the middle to keep the patties from rising to look like a meatball

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After baking the buns I removed the Plate Setter and placed a cast iron grill grate on the Egg. The triangular bars were facing so the wide side was up for the best grill marks. I raised the temperature to 500 degrees. Here the buns are cooking for 2 minutes on the first side. I didn't get pictures after I flipped them because the oak chips I added made it too smoky to shoot.


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The burgers cooked for a minute on the second side. Grinding your own meat makes it safe to go to lower temps than 160 degrees. I wanted my burgers medium rare. When the burgers came off the grill they were topped with cheese and covered for a 5 minute rest. I used a second inverted sheet pan as a cover.


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Time to eat!! Three days in the making (for the mustard at least) but worth the time.


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The toppings were some sliced white onion and the Jack D'Or Mustard and Tomato-Ginger Ketchup.


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The buns had an excellent flavor and a nice bit of a crunch, so despite them not rising as much as hoped for they were well received.


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The Jack D'Or Mustard was really good and really hot. I warned everyone they might want to use some regular yellow jar mustard everyone tried, and to my great surprises liked this mustard despite it's hotness. The tomato-ginger ketchup was amazing too. It had bursts of many different flavors and was sweet and a little spicy. People were actually eating it on it's own after they were done eating, dipping chips in it too.


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This meal was for Mother's Day. My mother didn't know I had this cookbook. She likes burgers so much she requested I make hamburgers when I asked her what she'd like me to make. She declared it the best burger she'd ever had (as did my other guests).

So was this the perfect burger? Well I can't say that cause I need to work on the bun recipe. What I can say is my mother on Mother's Day declaring this to be the best burger she's ever had makes it the perfect burger in my eyes too.

Jim
2 Large BGEs
Kenmore Elite 6 Burner Gas Grill
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BBQ Site: http://grillinsmokin.net

CharredGriller User avatar
BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 5820
Location: Central Alberta, Canada
So basically this was a burger, bun, ketchup and mustard all made right from scratch? :shock:
(And if you were a cheesemaker too, the whole burger would've been from scratch).

Yeah - I'd say that's perfect too! Nice work and thanks for all the step-by-step pics! :cheers:
Unlike propane, you'll never wake up scorched and naked in another county because you mishandled a bag of briquettes.

ScreamingChicken BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 7408
Location: Stoughton, WI
Jim, I think the only thing left for you to do is to start raising your own beef. How many head are you zoned for? :wink:

Those are some most impressive burgers, especially the marbling! I've occasionally thought about trying my hand and mustard and while it took you 3 days from start to finish it doesn't seem like any one individual step was all that time-consuming.

QJuju well done
well done

Posts: 1916
Location: Louisville, Kentucky

I'm speechless... and that is quite a feat!! I agree with SC... bring on the cattle or maybe the wheat. :lol: I would really like to try one of those, but there are two things that are inescapably true for me... I don't have the time and I don't have the will. Having said that... I am truly impressed! That is a beautiful cook from start to finish. <bows head> <I'm not worthy>

:cheers:
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sroach well done
well done

Posts: 1160
Location: Warrington, PA
Ummm Jim,

I would like to make a reservation at your house for this friday night, Party of two.. and yes we will both be ordering burgers..


WOW.
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XL BGE
18.5 Kettle Gold
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smokin'gal well done
well done

Posts: 1541
Location: Seattle, WA
First things first, welcome back Jim. :) Secondly, this is a superb post. Excellent job from start to finish, with top notch pictures to top everything off.

beercuer User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 2284
Location: Southern Californy
WOW!-- You really went the whole nine yards, didn't ya, Jim?! Way to go!

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Got beer???

wiseguy User avatar
medium-well
medium-well

Posts: 226
Location: New Jersey
That looks amazing. Great job

:cheers:
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Post Thu May 16, 2013 10:59 am
jfm0830 well done
well done

Posts: 2638
Location: Northeastern MA

Thanks to everyone for their kind words. Actually they raise beef cattle near me. I have about a 5 mile drive when I get off the highway to reach my house. On the way I pass two places where they're raising cattle. As for the time three days does make it sound worse than it was. You just have to start the mustard two days early because it rests in the fridge twice overnight between certain steps. The first night was about a half hour of prep for the mustard.. The second night I made the ketchup, cut the beef into strips, puréed the mustard in the food processor and made The Fifth Dimension Powder. This took about four hours with the catch up being the most time-consuming portion of that. On the day off it was about Four hours worth of actual work. More time was taken up with the rise for the bonds, but I could do other things and actually left the house to run errands during both rises.

QJuju: I don't want to hear that crap about your not up to it. Anyone can cook recipes from APL's cookbooks could do this with one hand tied behind their back.

s'g: Thanks, good to be back. I think what you may be reacting to with the pictures is my newly renovated kitchen. I use the same camera, same settings, same flash, same bounce flash, same me... The only thing that's different is the new Kitchen. I hated my old greenish yellow countertop and that god-awful thin brick on the back wall. Anything would be an improvement. I noticed the first couple pictures I took I really liked the new darker countertop and how it helps bring the food out instead of making me nauseous like the old one did.

Jim
2 Large BGEs
Kenmore Elite 6 Burner Gas Grill
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BBQ Site: http://grillinsmokin.net

Post Thu May 16, 2013 12:37 pm
QJuju well done
well done

Posts: 1916
Location: Louisville, Kentucky

jfm0830 wrote:
QJuju: I don't want to hear that crap about your not up to it. Anyone can cook recipes from APL's cookbooks could do this with one hand tied behind their back.


LOL... :lol: I didn't meant to imply I didn't have the skill... I used to cook Bon Appetit recipes after work for our dinner. :shock: I just meant I no longer have time or the desire to put that much effort into it. That isn't to say one shouldn't. The mustard thing has me intrigued though... I have turned into a mustard fiend. I did APL's shrimp for mothers day and wait for the salad pics to go up this weekend-- those both took time and work.

Whatever my mindset... you threw down one mighty fine cook. :thumbup:
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CharredGriller User avatar
BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 5820
Location: Central Alberta, Canada
The guy beside me at work just checked out this post, looked at me with eyes the size of dinner plates, and said the following:

"Dude - this guy makes his own mustard and ketchup! How cool is that?!?!"

I pointed out that the bun and patties were made from scratch too. He's now taking notes so he can impress his folks this weekend. :twisted:
Unlike propane, you'll never wake up scorched and naked in another county because you mishandled a bag of briquettes.

Steven Grilling Guru
Grilling Guru

Posts: 273

Now THAT'S what I call a burger. Great to have you back on the board. I particularly like the technique of rubbing the strips of meat BEFORE you grind them. Please keep posts and photos coming. I like being made hungry!

jfm0830 well done
well done

Posts: 2638
Location: Northeastern MA

Canada: Thanks for sharing that story. I actually learned to bake by taking a Bread 101 class 5 years ago at King Arthur Flour just so I could bake my own hamburger and hot dog rolls. I've since moved on to baking other things, but you can't have a perfect burger without a perfect bun. Same goes for a hot dog.

Steven: It is great to be back. I owe you a huge debt of gratitude that I can never repay. When I got my 1st "serious" grill (a 6 burner gas grill in 2003) I wanted to get serious about grilling. I went to the store and came home with HTG and haven't looked back. I own and love all of your cookbooks and have learned more than I can ever repay from this website and also your TV shows. Thanks doesn't seem to say enough, but it will have to do.

Jim
2 Large BGEs
Kenmore Elite 6 Burner Gas Grill
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BBQ Site: http://grillinsmokin.net

Post Fri May 17, 2013 10:20 am
CharredGriller User avatar
BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 5820
Location: Central Alberta, Canada
Steven wrote:
Now THAT'S what I call a burger. Great to have you back on the board. I particularly like the technique of rubbing the strips of meat BEFORE you grind them.


I noticed that as well - great idea and I bet it mixes the seasonings perfectly.
Unlike propane, you'll never wake up scorched and naked in another county because you mishandled a bag of briquettes.


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