Friday, 10 July 2015

Cabernet Saugvignon Burgers

Shawnda over at The Brewer and the Baker has done some UH-MAZING burgers.  Like, totally amazing.  It's actually her fault that we're having (what I consider) gourmet burgers every single week.
And "fault" is a fairly strongish word.  It's more like inspiration.  More like - imitation.  I'm okay with not having an original thought of my own.  Why would I need it?  When incredible women like Shawnda exist!  lol
But seriously.  She has made burgers an absolute art on her blog.
This is the first burger from Shawnda's  blog that I ever had the pleasure of stuffing into my pie-hole.
In a medium sized pot, combine the wine and brown sugar and stir until the sugar is dissolved, then bring to a boil.  Reduce to 6 tablespoons.  Let cool to room temperature.

Although we've previously discussed the perfect hamburger patty, this burger is a little different, so we're going to be following exactly along with Shawnda's recipe.  In a mixing bowl combine the beef, salt,


A few dashes Worcestershire sauce,

And 1/4 cup of the red wine reduction.

Go ahead and form the beef mixture into patties.  This recipe makes 3 burgers.  Make the patties a little larger than your bun, put a thumbprint into the center of the patty.  The burgers will be a little delicate - just keep that in mind.
Cook on medium-high heat on the grill for 4 - 5 minutes on each side.  If you cut open the patty to check for doneness (please don't do this!), the meat will look pink/red because of the wine reduction.
Top with whatever toppings blow your skirt up, but I HIGHLY recommend caramelized onions, bacon, and parmesan cheese.
And when I say "HIGHLY recommend", I mean absolutely use those toppings.

You also don't really need to worry about a sauce, as the remaining 2 tablespoons of reduction are going to get drizzled all over this pile of foodie happiness.. Which I clearly forgot about when taking these pictures.
Whew.  Hey.  Hey you beautiful burger.  Rawr.

Isn't that gorgeous?  I'm happy just thinking about them! 
Super fancy-schmancy, I would totally serve them when I'm trying to impress.  Perfect for a date.  Or any time you wanna get fancy.  Fancy-schmancy.
Oh!  And feel free to use whatever kind of red wine you'd like.  But don't cheap out.  If you won't drink it, don't cook with it.  That's the rule.
And if you're wondering how to caramelize onions, it's pretty easy - it just takes a little patience.  Truthfully, it takes forever, but it's seriously worth it.  I'll include some instructions below.  And please.  PLEASE!  Don't turn up the heat to make them cook faster.  They'll burn and then you'll be all "what's the BD about caramelized onions?".  (I put them on everything.  No really.) 
Enjoy these amazing burgers - I know I did for sure!
xoxo - Heather

Thursday, 2 July 2015

The Perfect Hamburger Patties - According to Heather

So this is the second thing that I need to talk to you about before we do more "Knock Your Socks off Burgers".

I started doing hamburger patties this way this year - and every, single time I make burgers, I'm blown away by how juicy and amazing they are.

I'm afraid there's not much of a recipe here.  Which I personally hate.  But sometimes that's just what happens.

You'll need - lean ground beef, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, an egg, and breadcrumbs.

Dump the ground beef in a large bowl (ick - raw meat picture).  This is 600 grams

And the egg.  But make sure you crack the egg in a seperate dish just in case you break the shell and then you'll have to dig OUT the shell and it's totally a mess.

Then add in about a teaspoon of salt.  It will be more or less depending on how much meat you'll be using.  This much will make 4 honkin' patties.

Then 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.

And a couple shakes of Worcestershire sauce.

And a couple of handfuls of breadcrumbs.

You want to mixture to be moist, but not soppy.  (GOOD GRIEF I hate those words! lol).  But you don't want the mixture to be dry.

Dry beef mixture = dry hamburger patty = sad face.

Then mix everything together until JUST combined.  Don't overwork the meat.  It will seriously (probably) get tough even at this point.

Tough meat = tough hamburger patty = sad face.

I hope you're not getting sick of that.

Then, evenly divide the mixture into 4 portions.  I use a scale (because I'm slightly neurotic) and do 6 ounce patties.  On 4 ounce buns. 

There's a method to my madness.  I also like everyone to get the same.  No fighting over the biggest hamburger or all that.

Then, shape the portions into patties about 1/4 - 1/2 inch large than the diameter of the bun you're using. 

And put a thumbprint in the center of the patty.  About halfway through or so is fine.

Now.  The barbecue .  Heat the barbecue to medium high heat.  Like - 400 - 450 degrees F.  Or "1 Steamboat, 2 steamboats".

Put the patties on the heated barbecue and close the lid.

Walk away.

Don't press on the patties. 

Don't move 'em around.

Just let them cook for about 4 minutes and 30 seconds.  Or so.  (there are 5 patties in the next few pics - don't worry, you didn't miss anything, I just got distracted the first time around and stopped taking pictures so had to catch up)

Then go back to the barbecue and open the lid. 

Flip the patties.  Close the lid.

Walk away.

Don't press on the patties.

Don't move 'em around.

Cook for another 4 minutes and 30 seconds.  Or so.

Then go back and open the lid.  Put on the cheese if you're having some.  (And why wouldn't you!)

Close the lid and let cook for 30 - 45 seconds.

Then take the patties off the barbecue and let sit for a few minutes before devouring. 

Here are the answers to the questions you must be asking.

1.  Why shape the patties bigger than the buns?
The burgers will shrink up when they're cooking.  Shaping them bigger than the buns will help ensure even bun to patty distribution at eating time.

2.  Why put a thumb print in the center of each patty?
It helps the burgers cook through a little faster, reducing the amount of time required to be on the barbecue, thereby resulting in a juicier, deliciouser burger.

3.  Why not press on the patties or fiddle with them after they've been placed on the barbecue?
When you press on the patties (or fiddle with them), you press out all that lovely moisture that makes the burgers juicy.  Also - this causes flare-ups which can scorch the outside of the patty, making it burned-like.

4.  What makes you an expert?
Nothing.  But this has been working for me and I've been getting rave reviews!  So why not share that!

Hamburger Patties

600 grams lean ground beef
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
  1. Preheat grill to medium high heat.
  2. In a large mixing bowl add all the ingredients and mix until just combined.  Don't overwork the meat.
  3. Divide into 4-ounce portions (600 grams should be 4 patties) and form into patties about 1/2 - 1/2 inch bigger than the diameter of the buns you'll be using.  Press a thumbprint into the center of the patty, about halfway through.
  4. Please the formed patties onto the preheated grill and cook for about 4 minutes and 30 seconds.
  5. Flip the patties and cook for another 4 minutes and 30 seconds.
  6. Add cheese (if desired) and cook for about 40 seconds.
  7. Let stand for a few minutes before serving.