With my recent Kitchen Renovations completed, Saturday was time to get back to business. While my Kitchen was out of service I was gifted local Boston chefs Andy Husbands and Chris Hart's latest book Wicked Good Burgers and I have been drooling looking at the recipes for burgers, rolls and sides. One of the premises of the book is that a great burger is a combination of all of the components. A great grilled patty is no good if it is dragged down by a bad bun or mediocre condiments. So they have recipes including the grinding of your own burger meat, making your own rolls, condiments and sides. I have been dying to try out this book. Without knowing about this cookbook, my mother played right into my hands by requesting a burger for her Mother's Day meal. I made the recipe Our Perfect Burger, which included a recipe for a Umami powder call Fifth Dimension Powder, the bun recipe was called Flours Basic Burger Buns and I made Tomato-Ginger Ketchup and Jack D'or Mustard for condiments. This is a rather long post because I included pictures of making the condiments and buns. I wanted to show folks making your own condiments is not too difficult and the results are incredible. On to the pix...
The prep for the Jack D'or mustard was fairly easy but you do have to start 2 days in advance. On Thursday night I gathered the ingredients and began. The mustard used: Jack D'or (a local micro brewed farmhouse ale), cider vinegar, brown mustard seeds, kosher salt, mustard powder, garlic powder and sugar.
Pretty Things Beer and Ale Project is an interesting local micro-brewer. They do not make enough beer to run their own brewery with all of the equipment, They rent a local brewery for one day a week to brew small batches of their beer which is popular in some Boston and Cambridge restaurants, including the author's restaurant.
All of the ingredients but the brown mustard seeds & ale are placed in a sauce pan and brought to a boil.
The brown mustard seeds are poured into a bowl & the boiling liquid and the Jack D'or ale are poured over them. Then it is off the fridge for and overnight stay.
Umami is said to be a fifth taste sensation that makes you crave more of what you are eating. This burger had a sidebar recipe called Fifth Dimension Powder which was added to the meat when you grind it. The powder used Porcini & Portabela Mushroom Powder, Worcestershire Powder, Garlic Powder & Onion Powder. The first three spices were not easy to come by, but the cookbook gives sources for any of the hard to find ingredients.
It is Day 2 of the mustard prep. The mustard, which was refrigerated overnight, is placed in a food processor and pureed for 3 minutes, during which time it thickens considerably. Once again it is refrigerated overnight.
Time to make the Tomato-Ginger Ketchup which uses: Tamarind Paste, diced Whole Peeled Tomatoes, kosher salt, red wine vinegar, olive oil, black pepper, diced onion, minced ginger and garlic and brown sugar.
The olive oil was heated using medium high heat.
The onions are sauteed for 5 minutes.
The heat was then set to low and the ginger and garlic were added and cooked for 15 minutes.
Next the heat was retruned to medium and the vinegar and tamarind paste are added, followed by the sugar. The mixture is cooked for 5 minutes until it has thickened slightly.
Then the diced whole peeled tomatoes are added and the mixture simmers for 30 minutes. The mixture is seasoned with salt and pepper and at this point you are supposed to be done....
...but the mixture was way too chunky for any ketchup I've made before. This was resolved by pouring the mixture into the cup for my immersion blender and running the blender for about 20 seconds until the ketchup had a better consistency.
The last step for Evening 2 was to take the 3 pound chuck roast I bought and cut it into strips that would fit in the meat grinder attachment on my food processor. The meat was put into a ziplock bag and was refrigerated.
The rolls required nearly 6 hours of rises, so I had to start early. This was the first time I used the baking area in my newly renovated Kitchen. Unlike before where I needed to go to 2 closets and 2 wall cabinets to gather the ingredients, the new baking area has everything housed in either the base cabinet, the drawer or the wall cabinet right in front of me. Other than going to the sink to get some water I didn't have to move from the spot. The ingredients were: All-purpose flour, bread flour, instant yeast kosher salt, sugar, olive oil and water.
The water and instant yeast went in first and were mixed for 20 seconds on low. Then everything but the oil was added and was mixed on low until it had a shaggy texture at which point the oil was drizzled in down the side of the bowl while the dough continued to mix.
The dough was kneaded for 5 minutes after the oil was added.
The dough went into a dough doubling pail and was put into an unheated oven for 3 hours. The oven light was turned on to provide just a little warmth.
After 3 hours the dough was removed from the dough doubling pail, was punched down and was divided into 8 pieces.
The pieces were formed into balls, and were placed on a baking sheet and were dusted with flour. The rolls went back in the oven for 2-3 hours more rise time.
As you can see I did have a problem with the dough spreading, not rising. Next time I will add in more flour. The rolls went on the Egg which was stabilized at 400 degrees and was set up with the plate setter installed legs down. I used 1/2" copper plumbing T's for shims.
The meat was placed in the freezer an hour before I intended to grind it. Per the suggestion of the cookbook I know keep my grinding blades in the freezer all of the time. This just helps keep the meat cold as you grind it. The meat was mixed with the Fifth Dimension (Umami) Powder.
The grinding attachment for my KA stand mixer made quick work of grinding the 3 pounds of chuck
The buns came off the Egg a minute after I was done grinding the meat. The cooking time was 20 minutes. They didn't get much of an oven rise either, confirming my hypotheses that the mixture was too wet.
With the buns inside cooling I went back out and set the Egg up for 500 degree direct grilling. I came back in and formed the ground chuck into 8 patties 6 oz. patties about 1/2" thick. I used kitchen scale to get uniform sized patties. I placed a 1" depression in the middle to help keep the burgers from puffing up on the grill.
The burgers are on the 500 degree Egg. I threw on some Jack Daniels Oak chips just before putting the patties on. I was terribly worried about flare-up and the soft burgers sticking to the cast iron grill grate, but neither happened. I cooked the burgers for 3 minutes on the first side and flipped them and cooked for another 2 minutes. I didn't get any pictures of the second side due to the smoke from the wood chips. I had all I could do to flip them.
This recipe used a different approach at the end. You put the cheese on the burgers (if using) after they came off the grill, and then the burgers were covered. I inverted a second 1/2 sheet pan to use as the cover rather than foil. I was worried the foil might accidentally touch the cheese. No such worries with the inverted sheet pan.
Time to eat!! You can see the burgers on the right, the Jack D'or Mustard and Tomato-Ginger Ketchup in the middle, and the buns on the the top left.
In honor of the new Kitchen I also bought some new dinnerware whose deep red color matched the trim in the Kitchen which can be easily seen when you are sitting in the Dining Room.
Though the buns didn't rise the way I'd like, they had great flavor and texture. They had a slightly crispy outer crust.
The homemade condiments were EXCELLENT!! The mustard was very spicy but to my great surprise everyone used it in preference to jarred mustard which I offered as a backup. The Tomato-Ginger Ketchup was amazing! I am not a ketchup fan at all, but I tried it and used it on my burger as well. Everyone else was raving about the ketchup too. A few folks were having just the ketchup on the side after they finished their burgers.
These were excellent burgers. The recipe name "Our Perfect Burger" wasn't really an exaggeration. Where it strayed from perfection was my fault-as mentioned the dough for the buns was too wet. They were;t perfect, but were still very, very good. My FIL, who rarely has seconds, quickly grabbed a second burger. My mother declared them to be the best burger she'd ever had, which made me happy since it was her Mother's Day meal.
For those of you who like burgers, Wicked Good Burgers is a wicked good cookbook for burgers, rolls, sides, condiments and even some desserts. Man it is great to be using my Egg again and I had a ball using the new Kitchen. I like the colors of the new granite countertop and tile backsplash far better than the old formica countertop and thin brick backsplash.