Thursday, August 27, 2009

Perfection vs. Hockey Pucks

I think many of us have different 'gauges' on the grill for when things are done. I know I tend to take things of the grill earlier to check it and I know about the 'carry over cooking' thing. Not many men can cook things to perfection on the grill everytime. Sometimes K-man hands me the grilled stuff thinking it's perfect but after it sits in the kitchen when I am prepping the plates....the carry over cooking killed the pink that WAS in the steak/burger earlier. It happens every so often. I was reminded of my Cooks Illustrated Foolproof Burger recipe when we caught a America's Test Kitchen TV episode on it. I had totally forgotten about this recipe!

The concept here is to add moisture/flavor to the burger so IF you happened to ACCIDENTLY over cook your burger to well done, it will still be flavorful and JUICY.

So I dug it out and made some.

Here's how you do it:

Make a slurry of bread and milk.

Add your seasonings and steak sauce. Mix well.

Add your ground beef to your seasoned slurry. (I try to use a fork instead of my hands. The heat of your hands can melt the fat in the burger that can make a burger tough.) Mix well.

Form into patties. If I am going to the effort of making this, I like to buy a couple of pounds and make several burgers to keep in the freezer for a quick meal.

Put your individually wrapped burgers in a ziploc bag for the freezer. Put aside your fresh ones for dinner tonight!

Here's the recipe:

Foolproof Burgers
from Cook's Illustrated Magazine also known as America's Test Kitchen from TV

1 large slice white bread, crusts cut off, broken into pieces
2 Tbsp. whole milk
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. black pepper
1 medium garlic clove, pressed through garlic press
2 tsp. A-1 sauce
1-1/2 pounds of 80% ground beef

In a large bowl, mix your bread pieces with milk. Mix with fork until it's a pasty slurry. Add your seasonings and A-1. Mix. Add your ground beef and mix with a fork to keep your warms hands from melting the fat. If you are a 'hands-on' kinda person...go ahead. Form into patties.
Keeping in mind that pound of beef will give you 4- 1/2# burgers. I can't see forming patties with anything less. They'd either be too thin or too small for the bun.

Don't forget one important point....when you are ready to put the burgers on the grill make sure you put a 'dent' in the center of each patty. If you noticed how the burgers swell in the middle as they shrink in the cooking process....this 'dent' will make your burgers form a flat surface rather a humped middle.

Suggested Extras as seen above/below:
Crusty kaiser rolls
Queso Blanco
Sliced Onion
Tomato Slices

Sorry, the pix bites here, but it was one of those last minute. Let's eat, oh god I need to take a blog pic...cut burger in one hand (mouth drooling) and snapping with other hand, turn off camera quickly and CHOMP! I squeezed a bit here so you could see that it was still juicy despite the pink pretty much gone. Great flavor too!

Cook's notes: I had some of these great big crusty kaiser rolls for these....when the burgers cooked they were so small compared to the bun, about an inch short all around. I should have snapped THAT pic. LOL If I had used the regular hamburger buns from the grocery the burgers would have fit fine....but these were super kaiser bakery ones....and they dwarfed the poor was so funny. Oh well, it tasted great and once you close those buns together with all those toppings who could tell my burger was a bit on the small side?

Don't forget to enter my FIRST giveaway, just a quick comment gets you in the running! Last day to enter Sunday August 30...


1 comment:

Leslie said...

Great looking burgers!