Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Burger Nirvana - Smells Like Summer Spirit!

Okay, so my title might have been influenced by the fact that I live in Seattle. (That's a nod to all you reformed grunge listeners.) Or! It could be because I have ascended to a transcendental state of burger bliss. (Let's go with that one!)

Burgers are classic American BBQ fare. I'm sure that there have been many heated discussions about what constitutes the best burger. Ultimately, I think most will agree that the burger has got to be juicy and flavorful.

So, you're looking for the secret? What constitutes the Best Burger Ever? I've got a few tips that will change the way you eat burgers forever. You know you want it...juicy, flavorful, burger nirvana! Get out some extra napkins because this tiny pat of heaven is gonna rock your burger world.

The Best Burger Ever!

1 1/2 to 2 pounds 85% lean/15% fat grass-feed beef
Burger Nirvana Butter, recipe below
Chef Erin's Steak Shaker, recipe below (I can't believe I'm giving out my secret recipe!)
4 hamburger buns, your favorite
Burger condiments, your choice

Fire up the grill or preheat your grill pan. Medium heat is best. You don't want to char the outside before the inside is properly cooked. 

Divide the ground beef into four equal portions. Slice four pats of Burger Nirvana Butter, about 1/8 to 1/4 thick each. Make an indentation in the center of each burger portion, and stuff a pat of Burger Nirvana Butter into the indentation and shape meat into a patty. (Be sure that the butter isn't sticking out anywhere.) Season each patty generously with Chef Erin's Steak Shaker.

Grill burgers to the desired doneness - about 7 minutes per side for medium, or 10 minute per side for medium well.* Remove from grill and allow to rest for 5 minutes. In the meantime, spread a little of the Burger Nirvana Butter on the inside of the hamburger buns and toast lightly on the grill or grill pan. Top with the burger and your favorite condiments, serve and wait for the "oohhs" and "aahhs!"

*Note: I wouldn't recommend cooking a burger less than medium temperature.  Grinding beef takes all the bacteria from the outside and mixes it into the meat.  If you cook your ground beef to less than 160F (medium), you won't kill all the potential bacteria that causes food borne illness. Don't worry though, the Burger Nirvana Butter will ensure that the burger stays juicy even when the meat is medium well or well done.

Makes 4 6 to 8-ounce burgers.

Burger Nirvana Butter

2 sticks butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp minced shallots
3 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

Chop the butter into chunks. Using a mixer with a whisk attachment, whip the butter at medium speed until it softens and lightens in color, about 5 minutes.

Add garlic, shallots, parsley, and mustard to the whipped butter and beat for another 1 to 2 minutes until blended. Scrape the butter from the mixing bowl onto wax paper or plastic wrap. Use the edge of a baking sheet to form the butter into a tight log. Chill for 2 hours before serving or freeze for up to a month.

Chef Erin's Steak Shaker
(By the way, this makes everything taste better...really.)

1/2 c kosher salt
2 tbsp black pepper
2 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp onion powder

Combine all ingredients and place in a shaker with a lid. If left uncovered the garlic powder will decrease in pungency over time.

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