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Most Americans love hamburgers, However, it is winter time now and BBQ season is months away, but burgers can be enjoyed year round. They cook up quickly making them weather friendly and their smoky goodness satisfy our BBQ cravings. Go to the store and buy ground beef, shape it and season it you’re your favorite seasoning. Or you can create a meat mix combo that not only taste good but has the texture and complexity that we want in a gourmet burger.
Most food enthusiast will tell you that a burger needs to be of the right meat to fat ratio, especially when grilling them. Ideally, a 85/15 (beef to fat) mix is good but many grocery stores offer 93/7 (not enough fat), 80/20, better but not optimal, and worst still 73/27 (lots of grizzle and fat, not much beef). So with this said, why not make your own combination.
Start with sirloin, (tender texture but lack the fat needed for flavor). Next choose a chuck steak (tougher but has plenty of fat). Then finish with some short rib meat (if available) which has the best beef flavor of all three meats. The ideal mix ratio, 80% sirloin, 10% chuck (trimmed of hard fat and grizzle), and 5% short rib meat. Cut into ½ inch pieces, and pulse in a food processor to the right burger consistency, better yet if you have a meat grinder use it but be sure to partially freeze the meat before grinding.
Lightly dust the outside of the burger patties with salt and pepper or use your favorite seasoning (This author prefers Badia Complete Seasoning). Heat up your grill (charcoal preferred) to high heat and grill your burger to your liking. Top with your favorite topping and condiments unless you’re a purist.
Here is a great condiment to make and store in your refrigerator for your next burger moment.
Maple Bourbon Bacon Jam
Recipe source: Closet Cooking
“A sweet, salty, smoky, spicy and down right tasty bacon jam that is the definition of umami! This bacon jam goes well on toast for breakfast and makes for a great condiment in sandwiches and burgers of all sorts!
1 pound thick smoked bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 large onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup cider vinegar
3/4 cup coffee (brewed)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup bourbon
1-2 chipotle chilis in adobo, chopped
1/2 teaspoon cumin
pepper to taste
1. Cook the bacon in a large sauce pan an over medium heat until the fat has rendered and the bacon starts to get crispy and set aside, reserving 1 tablespoon of the grease in the pan.
2. Add the onions and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
3. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
4. Add the vinegar and deglaze the pan.
5. Add the coffee, brown sugar, maple syrup, bourbon, bacon, chipotle chilies, cumin and pepper, reduce the heat and simmer until reduced to a syrupy consistency, about 1-2 hours.
6. Process the jam in a food processor to smooth it out a bit but not too much as you want to have the texture of the bacon.
7. If you do not finish it all in one sitting, store it in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 weeks” (Lynch, n.d.). Servings: makes 1-2 cups
Lynch, K. (n.d.) Maple Bourbon Bacon Jam. Closet Cooking. Retrieved January 12, 2013. From: http://www.closetcooking.com/2012/08/maple-bourbon-bacon-jam.html