5 meat recipes with ingredients and procedure
Okay, letu2019s break it down.
,Your burger is a product of its ingredients, the equipment youu2019re using and your cooking ability.
Somewhere in there lies the difference between yours and a diner burger.
,80/20 ground chuck is the standard burger meat in most restaurants.
Itu2019s an ideal choice because it has the right amount of fat and flavor.
So for meat, start and stop right there.
,I recommend buying a bakery bun, not something youu2019ll find next to the Wonder Bread in a pack of eight.
Save the cheap buns for the kidu2019s birthday party, you want real bread between your fingers, not some gummy Sunbeam bun.
,From here, things get personal, when it comes to burgers.
I canu2019t tell you what to put on your burger, thatu2019s your call.
I believe you are trying to imitate a specific burger, so follow its lead.
Myself, I go for shredded iceberg lettuce, thinly sliced red onion, a slice of tomato (seasoned with a pinch of salt and pepper), some dill pickle slices, American or cheddar, 1000 Island and/or Heinz ketchup.
Thatu2019s my basic diner burger, as far as ingredients are concerned.
You get to pick whatever toppings make your heart sing, just get good stuff, thatu2019s my only demand.
Cooking is a garbage in, garbage out equation.
Pinching pennies on ingredients just cheapens the flavor of your food.
,Diners usually run a flat top grill, rather than a char-broiler.
Reason being, flat tops are more versatile.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner can be cooked on one piece of equipment, which makes things easier for the cook.
You wonu2019t have a flat top grill at home, so I recommend getting either a cast iron skillet or a cast iron griddle.
Lodge is the best bang for the buck when it comes to cast iron.
You can find their products at places like Target, theyu2019re affordable and battle tested, battle proven.
Of course, you can cook a burger in any heavy bottomed pan, but nothing beats cast iron, especially when you are trying to compete with a commercial flat top grill.
Cast iron holds heat like no other, so when you drop cold burger patties onto it, the panu2019s temperature doesnu2019t drop appreciably and the meat begins to sear immediately.
Cast iron is my choice when it comes to cooking steaks and burger, it should be yours too.
,Okay, we should be set with ingredients and equipment, letu2019s talk about technique.
Technique is the proper procedure for cooking food.
Sure, there are lots of ways you can make a burger, but if you want the best possible results, follow my technique.
,First, you need a burger ring.
You can buy ring molds at kitchen supply places, or go to Home Depot and have them cut a piece PVC pipe that has an interior diameter that is burger sized.
You want the interior diameter of the ring to be slightly larger than your bun, because the burger will shrink as it cooks.
No one like a bread bite (a bite of bun with no burger in between), so find a ring that is about 1/4u2033 larger than your bun of choice.
Take your ground beef, divide it evenly and roll each portion into balls.
You can make your burgers any size you like but 7oz is what I go for.
I believe a 7oz burger gives you the best ratio of meat to bun to topping for a diner style burger.
Depending on the size of your bun, anything from 6oz to 8oz will be fine.
If youu2019ve got a scale, awesome, otherwise, eyeball it or ask your butcher to portion the meat for you.
,Now place a piece of waxed paper on a cutting board and press the meat into the ring evenly.
Pull off the ring and youu2019ve got a burger thatu2019s ready to go to the pan.
Get the pan hot, like wisps of smoke coming off the surface hot, place the burger paper side up in the palm of your hand, peel off the paper and place that perfectly flat side onto the pan.
You want to put the perfectly flat side down so you get a perfect sear.
The meat should sizzle loudly when it hits the pan.
Now sprinkle 1/4 tsp of salt and 1/8 tsp pepper all over the top side of the burger and donu2019t touch it.
I repeat, do not touch the burger.
This initial sear is the most important step in cooking that patty.
Right now you are developing the majority of the texture and flavor of your burger.
If you muck around with it, youu2019re going to upset that process, which is called Maillard Browning, and your burger wont reach its full flavor potential.
Just let it sizzle for about 4 to 5 minutes, until droplets of moisture begin to appear on the top.
When you see a few drops of moisture appear on the top, get a spatula under it and give it a flip.
Make sure you scrape deeply under the burger, so it doesnu2019t stick.
It shouldnu2019t stick, but if it does, that delicious brown crust will stay stuck to the pan and youu2019ll lose all of its color and flavor.
,You should be rewarded with something like this:,Thatu2019s the diner burger patty of your dreams.
,Once youu2019ve flipped, let the burger cook for a few more minutes, to your desired doneness, season it again with salt and pepper, drop on a slice of cheese and let the cheese relax.
From there, itu2019s to the bun, top as you please and enjoy your tasty burger.
Easy meat dishes
Meat loaf,Broiled steak,Pork scallopini,Breaded & baked chicken,These are just some that came to mind.
If you need recipies, let me know.
You might also check our Jacque Pepinu2019s book, Fast Food My Way.
Some great non u201cfast foodu201d recipes in there.