The Burger..


I can think of no other food that is as versatile and around in such abundance and on almost every menu as the humble hamburger.
As a young culinarian you scoff at cooking a burger since you are way over qualified to cook one…but you don’t think twice about ordering one when hunger strikes.
I like a good burger..always have and yes I was one of the young ones who proclaimed to be better than having to cook a burger…jeez don’t they know who I am.I am the best cook ever ,says all cooks fresh out of culinary school with a diploma until the first orders on the first shift on their first job starts rolling in and usually among those orders are burgers.It can take just one burger to get rid of that notion …when a guest is not happy and the complaints start rolling in Chef finds out pretty quick that the best cook in the world failed..that hurts the ego more than anything because now you are stuck on burger duty until you have it down pat!.
I have learned thru the years to embrace the burger and enhance it. I am also lucky enough to work with savvy cooks who gets it and want to create a burger worth remembering. So we started with some awesome angus beef patties shaped in a proper size and weight. Lightly seasoned with just salt and pepper. Sure you can add a special spice blend that some celebrity chef endorses and swears will enhance your burger but I think otherwise since salt and pepper used correctly will suffice and you can truly taste the quality of the meat. Cook them on medium heat and once turned add your cheese. I like redneck cheddar from the brazos valley here in Texas but using a sharp cheddar will do the trick as well.We continued by adding some fresh crunchy slaw made with white cabbage ,yellow bell pepper and some parsley chopped up in folded in then lightly seasoned with salt and pepper with a little bit of vinegar drizzled on top and let it sit for a few minutes to absorb all flavors.
Bacon , of course, any burger worthy of its name needs bacon, so we added some apple wood smoked bacon in two ways one you only see on this picture and one that is in between the two 4 oz patties. Straight up cooked bacon strips and a mustard bacon relish. The relish has crunchy bacon bits ,yellow mustard and some brown sugar. just don’t add to much brown sugar as it will choke your taste buds and all other ingredients.
Now there are some hard core burger fans that proclaim the virtues of never cooking a burger any more than medium rare but I prefer it medium to medium well. Personal preference nothing more, this I have learned from eating at some places that make their own burgers by grinding everything that resembles beef and palm it off as 100% beef . Who knows how much temperature control went in to that burger……on second thought don’t tell me just make it medium well.
Now that your burgers have been flipped over and cheese melted add your bacon mustard relish and bacon and stack them so bacon ends up in the middle. Toast a brioche burger bun and place some lettuce of your choice on the bottom such as bibb lettuce but ice berg will work just as well add a ripe juicy tomato and a slice of sweet raw red onion and top of with the hat of the bun. Add some fries as a side or why not some salad and pretend to be eating healthy!.
There is nothing healthy about eating a burger unless you take everything out of but then you have only the meat and that is not a burger to me!.


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