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It’s almost grill season! I have this idea (a food fantasy, really) that I’m going to make 100% of America’s favorite grill item: the hamburger. I can’t decide how “Gordon Ramsay” I’m going to get, but I think I’ll grow my own vegetables and learn to bake my own bread. That’s another step of progress for this dude!
Burgers are all about the ingredients you use with the meat. These are some of my favorite combinations:
- Oats (about 1/4 cup per pound of meat)
- Minced fresh rosemary
- Minced jalepeno or other hot pepper you’ve grown. Seed it to reduce the heat.
- Diced Red onion. Definitely the preferred onion for burgers.
- Minced garlic clove. I use 1 clove per pound of meat.
- Minced kalamata olives. I use 3 per pound of meat.
- 1/8 cup of dijon mustard per pound of meat. Gives the meat more seasoning and keeps it moist instead of using egg.
- Salt to taste.
- Pepper to taste.
- Lug of olive oil.
Pop everything into a bowl as you mince or dice it. Then add your meat, seasoning, olive oil. Mash together. Let this sit together for about an hour (if you can). Letting it sit will soften the oats and allow the jalepenos and other seasoning to set into the meat. This can sit in the fridge overnight, but cook everything within a day. Freeze it for up to a month.
Once ready, preheat your grill on medium-high heat. If cooking inside, turn on your overhead hood unit or fan, oil your grill pan. Place the meat on the hot cook surface for about 3 minutes then flip. Once flipped, put a grill press on the meat and let sit for another 3-5 minutes. The sides of the burger patty should look cooked completely and clear juices should come out the meat when you push it. Cooked meat has a slight bounce to it when you push on it; raw meat will not rebound quickly.
I was so stoked when Mrs.DudesWithFood went to our local secret farmer supply place here in the Lehigh Valley to get pounds of King Arthur Flour. No GMOs! She did most of the bun making, so I can’t get 100% credit. Besides, we’re a team!
She found this hamburger bun recipe from The Kitchn (it’s so hard to find complete URLs anymore, so good job on that appropriation, guys!). She followed their directions to the T (what a baker she is!), but to keep your bookmarks in tact, here is the recipe:
Makes 8 buns
- 1 tablespoon active-dry yeast
- 1/2 cup (4 oz) warm water
- 1/2 cup (4 oz) milk (whole, 2%, or skim)
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups (15 oz) all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon butter
In the bowl of a standing mixer (or a large bowl, if mixing by hand), stir the yeast into the warm water and let it sit until dissolved.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, oil, sugar, and salt. Add this to the yeast mixture and stir until combined. Add all the flour and stir until it forms a shaggy dough. Knead at low speed, or by hand against the counter, for 10 minutes. The finished dough should be smooth, feel slightly tacky, and spring back when poked.
Return the dough to the mixing bowl and cover. Let the dough rise in a warm spot until doubled in bulk, about an hour.
Dust your work surface with a little flour and turn out the risen dough on top. Divide the dough into 8 pieces and shape each into a tight ball. Transfer the balls to a baking sheet and let rise until they look puffy and hamburger-sized, roughly 30-40 minutes.
Pre-heat the oven to 375°F.
Melt the butter and brush it over the risen hamburger buns. This helps the tops to brown and keeps the crust soft. Bake the buns until golden, 15-18 minutes.
Let the buns cool to room temperature before slicing and using. They are best if eaten within the next day or two, but will keep in an airtight container on the counter for up to a week.
I have to say, they are amazing. Just so much better than store bought.
Next UP – condiments! I want to make my own ketchup, mustard and mayo. I’ll probably reference my roasted tomato recipes, but if you have any tips, please post them in the comments below.
This is how Gordon learns about where our food comes from. Really, you should watch it.