Please, if it’s not too late, make it a cheeseburger

Posted by johngl

It’s been hot.  I mean really, really hot, at least for Austin. I dare say, it’s just been too hot to cook, be it indoors or out. Consequently, I’ve been drinking a lot and, hence, the number of classic cocktail posts emanating from the Alcoholian as of late.

However, this weekend, most glorious mother-in-law is in town and I just couldn’t get away with not cooking anything. I opted for something relatively simple.

Make it a cheeseburger

As is my wont, I couldn’t just go to the grocer and pick up any old ground meat. Nope, not me. I had to start with a nice piece of well-marbled chuck.

A nice piece of chuck

I took this nice piece of choice and cut it into long strands of cow flesh.

Sliced chuck

The second slice near the upper right exemplifies what I mean by “well marbled”.  This intramuscular fat is where the flavor lives. If you take that away, you might as well eat a hockey puck.

I took the slices above and, laying them flat, I halved them again (lengthwise) then began feeding them into my KitchenAid’s meat grinding attachment.

Grinding the meat

It only takes a couple of minutes to grind up a couple of pounds of meat.

For seasonings, I used the typical kosher salt and pepper, roughly a teaspoonful of each, but added about a half teaspoon of granulated garlic, a half teaspoon of onion powder, a quarter teaspoon of mustard powder, and a couple of pinches of cumin.

I mixed the spices in thoroughly using a wooden spoon as not to heat up the meat then formed the grind into five ounce loosely-packed balls.

To form the patties, I pressed those loosely-packed balls flat using my left hand, pushing the splayed outer edge back into the patty with my right-hand finger tips.  To finish off the patties, and to keep them flat whilst cooking, I pushed a dimple into the meat with the thumb of my right hand.  If you are left handed, feel free to use your lead hand as you wish. The rules aren’t hard and fast.

Just prior to hitting the grill, I oiled up the dimpled side with some safflower oil.

Side one

With the grill at about 450°F, it only takes about three minutes per side.  Flip the meat when the juices migrate toward the top of the burger.

Der Burger Flippen

Make sure you don’t flip to early as the meat will be more grey-colored rather than being wonderfully caramelized as these are.

Now is the time to add that cheese (if you want it).

It's Bacon!

Here’s a nice toasty bun, some pan-seared potatoes, and yes, bacon sitting atop the cheeseburger.

Pickles and jalapeno

I added some whole-grain mustard to the top bun along with some sliced kosher dill pickles and pickled jalapeños to the burger side.

Now that's a burger!

Too hot or not, I understand too little too late. I realize there are things you say and do you can never take back. But what would you be if you didn’t even try. You have to try.

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About johngl

A bit of a wildman, John hails from the Midwest: A land of corn, cows, pigs, and a host of other healthfully meaty pursuits. Born on a dark and stormy night in late Fall, John grew up as the son of a meat cutter. There was always plenty of meat at hand. While not wealthy by any stretch of the imagination, his family certainly ate well. According to his father, that was the whole point.

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