If you haven’t noticed, ‘dude food’ is all the rage at the moment. I’m talking burgers, ribs, pizzas, burritos, buffalo wings, churasco – basically anything meaty and manly at the same time. Sorry quiche, you’re definitely not a ‘dude food’.
I can’t think of a better cuisine to celebrate Father’s Day this weekend and why not attempt your own dude food feast instead of going out?
I say this for two reasons – it’s bloody expensive to take the whole family out for something you can easily make at home and I’m certain you can make it better yourself.
Recently a few new ‘fancy’ burger joints have opened up near me and I’ve kind of been on a bit of a personal mission to sample them all and I’ve been terribly disappointed. I just don’t understand why you’d open up a restaurant where pretty much all you make is burgers, yet you just can’t get it right. I’ve had overcooked, poorly flavoured burgers at $14-$16 a pop. Also if you’re going to charge $8 for a portion of chips they’d better be amazing, crisp, made in-house and generously portioned (I’ll give you a hint, the ones I’ve encountered pretty much do not meet any of these criteria).
For me the perfect burger is simple: good meat that is well seasoned cooked crisp on the outside but juicy in the middle, a bit of cheese, some lettuce, tomato, raw onion and a damn good sauce. You can’t go past ketchup and mustard for that classic combo, but something that I’m really into is aioli. If you’re going to commit to using a store bought condiment, I think it should be of the highest quality and packed with flavour.
I was recently sent a couple of jars of Paul Newman’s Own Whole Egg Aioli to try as they’ve brought out two new flavours and I thought the smoked paprika flavour would be just what these burgers needed. It’s got a good garlic flavour but it’s smoky and lemony at the same time. The other jar I was sent to try was the Basil and Cracked pepper and to me they are the perfect partner for thrice cooked chips with parmesan as it’s quite herby and fresh (pay attention, I’ve got a fantastic giveaway at the end of the post!)
Take a dip – YES PLEASE!
As for the meat itself, one of the places I tried recently committed burger blasphemy, one of my pet peeves, mixing in flavourings into the patty. I’m telling you now, if you’ve been putting ANYTHING into your meat patty, including salt and pepper, you’ve been doing it wrong. Stop doing this immediately! A burger patty with stuff in it is not a burger patty, it’s a rissole. We’re not making rissoles, we’re making burgers. You should treat the burger patty exactly as you would treat a steak. You should shape the patty and set aside until you need them. Then only just before the meat is about to hit the pan or grill you should season it with lots of salt and pepper.
This is not about me being a pedant, there is actual science behind this. If you put anything into the mince it will drastically alter its texture, making it grainy and bouncy, definitely not juicy which is what we all want.
A burger is just
A burger is not
sauce of any description
Any accoutrements should be added on the side. A burger is a celebration of great BEEF.
Now that I’ve got that off my chest, how about the recipe huh?
Just before I do, the lovely people behind Paul Newman’s Own want to give you my dear readers the chance to win one of 5 Aioli Packs so that you too can give these a go. With 5 chances to win, I dare say this competition as the best odds of any on the internet. To enter simply complete the options below. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
800g fresh, coarsely ground beef. (I like to use one with a bit of fat in it for extra juiciness)
shredded cos lettuce
thinly sliced red onion
Paul Newman’s Own Whole Egg Aioli – Smoked Paprika Flavour
salt and pepper
1 kg potato (use a floury one, the supermarket usually has a good guide as to which ones are good for chipping)
oil for frying (canola, rice bran, vegetable or beef drippings if you dare!)
grated parmesan cheese
Divide your mince into 6 equal balls. Flatten each ball and form into a patty. Place on a plate, cover and refrigerate until needed.
Slice your potatoes into chips. I don’t even peel my potatoes and I kind of think that home made chips should look home made, so I don’t worry about them being perfect. Place into a large pot and cover with cold water. Place the pot onto high heat and bring to the boil. Once boing, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 10-12 minutes until tender. Drain then spread out onto a tray lined with paper towel. Let it cool for 10 minutes, then pop into the freezer to completely freeze (about 1 hour).
Heat the oil up to 160°C in a deep fryer or a large pot. Gently lower the chips into the oil, cooking in batches. Cook for about 6-8 minutes, without any colour. Remove and drain then lay out onto another tray and place back into the freezer. Freeze for another hour.
To cook your burger patties, heat up a pan with a little oil over high heat. Season the outside of your patties with plenty of salt and pepper. Cook on one side for 1 minute then flip. Cook on the other side for another minute and flip again. Keep cooking for 1 minute per side, flipping two more times. This ensures even cooking and a lovely crusty exterior. At the last flip, place the cheese on top of each patty to melt. In the meantime you would have all your buns toasted and toppings ready to go.
To fry your chips, heat your oil to 190°C and fry in batches. This last fry should take about 4-5 minutes, or until the chips are golden and crunchy.
Toss the cooked chips in salt, parmesan cheese and a little truffle oil (don’t worry if you don’t have truffle oil, just skip it. Admittedly it’s a bit indulgent!)
To assemble the burgers, smear a generous amount of aioli on the bottom of the bun, top with the meat patty then add the tomato, onion and lettuce before capping off with the bun lid.
Do you have any favourite burger toppings? What’s your favourite combo? Also, do you agree with my staunch stance on plain meat patties?