Burgers. You can’t help but smile when you say the word. It’s definitely one of our favorite comfort foods that we love to indulge on especially during these gorgeous summer days. The ultimate California burger destination is In-N-Out – where you can devour juicy animal-style burgers with gooey melted cheese, buttery caramelized onions, and the sweet love child “secret sauce.” It’s wonderful as a summer day, and leaves you smiling from ear to ear. I won’t dare duplicate an In-N-Out burger at home, but I will definitely try the next best thing…pub-style burgers.
There is a local gourmet burger joint that has been receiving top reviews that we love as well, Slater's 50/50. They are home of the 50/50 burger – 50% ground beef and 50% ground bacon. Believe me, it’s one of the best gourmet burger experiences that I have ever had. Peanut Butter and Jellousy – a top notch 50/50 burger with thick cut bacon, creamy peanut butter and strawberry jelly – it’s a unique flavor combo for those that like sweet and savory. Or the Island inspired Hawaiian with grilled pineapple, medium fried egg, American cheese and baconnaise – it’s freaking “lick your fingers” fantastic. (DROOL). Plus, burgers made with bacon or have bacon in it…it’s always a winner in my book.
Pub-style burgers are like Cadillac's of burgers using high-quality and gourmet ingredients. This recipe truly embodies the fancy pub-style burgers, and it gave me the opportunity to ground my own beef. I have been wanting the additional Kitchen Aid attachment for the meat grinder, and my husband gave the thumbs up for this purchase. When you take the time to grind the meat, you truly appreciate the quality of your beef. Make sure to use marbled and lean meat, and handle the meat as little as possible giving that loose and tender patty. These freshly made sirloin patties were works of art in perfect medium doneness and complimented the crispy applewood smoked bacon and extra sharp cheddar cheese. Slather some tasty burger sauce on top and enjoy a plate of crispy French fries for a wonderful meal.
Definitely a burger worthy sinking your teeth into. Burg-asmic!
Adapted from Cooks Illustrated May/June 2011
Tools Needed: Food Processor or Food Grinder
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 pounds sirloin steak tips, fat removed and cut into ½ inch pieces
4 hamburger buns, toasted and buttered
¾ cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
1 medium garlic clove, minced
¾ teaspoon ground black pepper
8 slices of Applewood smoked bacon
1 cup Extra-Sharp Cheddar Cheese, sliced
Prepare the burger sauce. In a small bowl whisk all ingredients together until combined. Set aside until ready to use.
Place beef pieces on a large rimmed baking sheet and place in freezer until firm, about 30 minutes.
While waiting for meat to freeze, prepare the bacon. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place 6 pieces of bacon on rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons ground black pepper. Place another rimmed baking sheet on top of bacon and bake until crisp, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer bacon to a plate lined with a paper towel and let cool. Slice bacon in half crosswise.
Set up the food grinder attachment or food processor. Pass the pieces of beef through your food grinder or pulse one-quarter of meat until finely ground into 1/16 pieces and place onto a rimmed baking sheet. Repeat grinding and pulsing the rest of the meat until completed. Spread the meat over the baking sheet and remove any long strands of hard meat or fat.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Drizzle melted butter over ground meat and add 1 teaspoon pepper. Gently mix until combined, and shape the meat into 4 lightly packed balls. Gently flatten into patties about ¾ inch thick and 4 inches wide. Place in fridge until ready to cook. (Can be prepared a day in advance).
When ready to cook, heat a large skillet pan over high heat and warm the oil. Season the patties with salt and pepper on both sides. Transfer the burgers on the skillet and cook for 2 minutes, do not move them. Flip burgers, and cook for 2 minutes, too. Transfer the cooked patties to a rimmed baking sheet and return to oven and cook until an instant-read thermometer reads 125 degrees for medium-rare or 130 for medium.
Transfer burgers to plate and let it rest for 5 minutes. Place burgers on buns, and add toppings and serve immediately.
Review: Definitely a top notch gourmet burger, and enjoyed at the comfort of our home. I absolutely loved the burger sauce - forget having ketchup and mustard on a burger because this sauce is out of this world. The mixture of it all from the brown sugar, chives, garlic, mayonnaise, soy sauce and Worcestershire - it’s a must topping when making any future burgers. This ultimate pub-style burger is a flavor explosion in your mouth and before you know it – the burger has disappeared into your happy stomach.