How to Make Your Burger More Awesome
Step up your BBQ game with these expert-approved ingredients.
Photo by Sam Kaplan
1. Brisket Point Cut
2. Beef Foreshank
3. Chuck Arm: Michael Dulock of the forthcoming M. F. Dulock butcher shop in Somerville prefers a 65/35 meat-to-fat ratio. â€śThis is my go-to burger mix, and probably explains my high cholesterol,â€ť he says. To make it extra-rich and smoky, Dulock suggests throwing some bacon ends into the blend, as well.
4. Pork Shoulder/Pork Fat: â€śPork shoulder is what we love in burgers,â€ť says Matt Jennings, chef-owner of Farmstead and La Laiterie in Providence. â€śIt doesnâ€™t have a very strong flavor, so itâ€™s versatile and it tends to take on the flavor of the ingredients that you put with it.â€ť
5. Cold, Cubed Butter: Craigie on Mainâ€™s Tony Maws suggests adding this to your meat blend for a succulent patty.
6. Big Ed’s Cheese
7. Gore-Dawn-Zola: Rich, creamy, and mellow, Big Edâ€™s, a Gouda-style cheese from Wisconsin, is â€śan incredible melter,â€ť Jennings says. If youâ€™re looking for more-intense flavor, go for the Gore- Dawn-Zola, a raw cowsâ€™-milk blue from Highgate Center, Vermont.
8. Caramelized Onions: The intensely savory elements of a burger need balancing, so Dulock relies on caramelized onions â€śto add some sweetness, while at the same time having enough flavor to complement the meat.â€ť
9. Howard’s Green-Tomato Piccalilli: â€śIt gives you a little bit of sweet-sour, and a bit of spice,â€ť says Seth Morrison, chef at the Gallows. â€śMy dad introduced it to me when I was a kid.â€ť
10. Thomas’ English Muffins: This sturdy breakfast staple gets the vote of both Maws and the Russell House Tavernâ€™s Michael Scelfo. â€śThey are a tad crunchy on the edges, while providing the pockets to absorb juice and flavor,â€ť Scelfo says.
11. Grill Mates Montreal Steak Seasoning: For a great sear and a flavor-packed patty, sprinkle this blend of salt, garlic, red pepper, black pepper, and paprika onto the meat before grilling, says Jose Gamez, sous chef at the Four Seasonsâ€™ Bristol Lounge.
12. Salt and Pepper: â€śGenerously season, and use what most restaurants do for meats: kosher salt and butcherâ€™s-Âgrind black pepper,â€ť says Sam Monsour, chef at JM Curley in Downtown Crossing.
Next page: Burger Grilling Tips from the Pros >>
Burger Grilling Tips from the Pros
GO FOR A LOOSE GRIND
When ordering your beef, ask for lots of space (read: air pockets) between the grains of meat. â€śThen when the fat melts, it hangs out in there and stays nice and juicy,â€ť Morrison says. Grinding your own? Use a 3/8-inch blade.
LEAVE IT ALONE, ALREADY!
â€śA lot of people toss the raw meat back and forth until a non-crumbly, gluelike ball is formed. This is bad,â€ť Monsour says. â€śMinimal manipulation may [make it] seem like the burger will fall apart, but it wonâ€™t.â€ť
LET THE PATTY COME TO ROOM TEMPERATURE BEFORE COOKING
â€śIt will yield a more evenly cooked burger, and you will avoid the flare-ups that come with grilling while you wait for the center of the burger to be cooked,â€ť Maws says.
TRY AN INDOOR METHOD
Morrison prefers a Lodge-brand cast-iron skillet. â€śAll of those juices and fat remain in the pan, which keeps the burger nice and moist,â€ť he says.
KEEP YOUR COOKTOP HOT
â€śThis is the only way to get a great sear on your burger,â€ť Gamez says. â€śThe process ensures you get a nice charred outside and juicy middle.â€ť
STEP AWAY FROM THE SPATULA
“Iâ€™m always telling young cooks to leave it alone on the grill,â€ť Scelfo says, â€śand if I catch you pressing it or capping it, it wonâ€™t be pretty.â€ť
DONâ€™T SERVE IT RIGHT AWAY
â€śRemember to give your burger five minutes to rest after you have cooked it before garnishing with your toppings or even putting it on a bun,â€ť Gamez says. This allows the juices to stay where they belong â€” inside the patty.
Source URL: http://www.bostonmagazine.com/2012/06/boston-burger-more-awesome/