A Wicked Scoff...Recipes and Food with Newfoundland and New England Influences.

This blog is dedicated to bring recipes, photographs, anecdotes, reviews and other insights on everything food related. As the name suggests, "A Wicked Scoff" will have a regional flare, a fusion if you will, of both Newfoundland and New England perspectives of the culinary world around me. Thanks for visiting and please come back often as updates will be frequent. Oh yeah, I also like tasting and cooking with regional beers. Expect a beer of the month, often paired with recipes.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The All American Burger

Do you ever get a deep craving for red meat? I usually get one about once a week, especially if it's been 6 days since my last substantial meal of beef. It must be the carnivore in me. When I get these cravings, it sometimes leads to a nice thick steak, but most often it ends with a big juicy burger!

I've always been a burger fan, but I must admit that my infatuation with this all-American classic has reached new heights in recent years. While it might have something to do with the fact that I now live in the US, I think it has more to do with me watching TV shows like Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, Man vs Food , and The Best Thing I Ever Ate. From  my "research" I have come to the conclusion that there are only a few ways to make a really great burger, and many ways to screw it up. While I have my favorites, what I wanted to share today is my version of a simple classic, the All-American Burger. It has just a couple of rules. Quality, freshly ground 80/20 chuck,  fresh, crisp toppings, a good roll, and reputable condiments.The last secret to deliver ultimate flavor and texture is to cook the burger on a flat top, and cook it pink, not well done. I use my trusty cast iron griddle (flat on one side and grill slots on the reverse) but you could use a cast iron skillet just as well. The key is to get a great sear on the burger as this will seal in the juices and give outstanding flavor. What makes this an All-American is that this is the type of burger you'll find all over the place at Mom & Pop drive-ins that are local institutions. All you need to go with a burger like this are some good hand-cut french fries and a cool, creamy milkshake!

The All American Burger (makes 4 half pound burgers)

-2 lbs of fresh ground Angus chuck (80/20)
- 4 fresh, soft hamburger buns, toasted
- Fresh lettuce, tomato slices, and thinly sliced sweet onion
- pickle slices
- 4 slices of American cheese
- Heinz ketchup, good mustard, and other condiment of choice such as BBQ Sauce, steak sauce, etc.
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Over a medium-high flame, heat up you cast iron griddle or fry pan. Brush with a little vegetable oil.

Divide you ground beef into 4 equal portions and form into patties. Season each side liberally with salt and pepper. Lay the hamburger patties onto the hot griddle and let them get a good sear on for about 4-5 minutes. Gently turn the burgers and sear on the other side for about 4 minutes. Do not press on the burger with a spatula. This is a no-no. Once the burger is well seared on each side, top with a slice of cheese and place in a preheated oven until the cheese melts. Remove from heat and let rest for 3-4 minutes. This should give you a pink, but not bloody burger, which will give you the best beefy flavor. You may have to adjust the cooking time in the oven to suit your taste, or depending o how thick you form the burger. If you need to go longer, hold off on the cheese for a couple of minutes.

While the burgers are resting, toast your buns in the oven and arrange your toppings. The way I arrange mine are bun, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, burger, cheese and bun. Where are the condiments you may ask. Since I met my wife, I have copied her burger eating methods, and I think you should give it a try.

To eat your perfect burger, cut it in half and place your condiments of choice on your plate. With half a burger in one hand and a butter knife in the other. Before each bite, put a slather of condiment(s) in the area of the burger you are about to inhale. Eat some fries, take a slurp of milkshake, and repeat! There you have it, the ultimate burger!

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