Time for some Angus management - May 28 is National Hamburger Day!
Making the ultimate burger is, ultimately, up to you. Ask your local butcher for freshly ground meat, and consider trying a meat blend with a cut like brisket for added flavor and texture. Ideally, you want a patty that will crust up well on the grill, stay juicy and won’t fall apart on you.
Then, there’s technique. Whether you’re flipping burgers on a pan or out on the grill, make sure your cooking surface is nice and hot. Flip your burgers once and for the love of hamburgers, don’t squish them with your spatula. Pressing down only forces out all the flavorful juices.
The patties aren't the only part of this meaty equation. Bread usually acts as a carrying vessel, and shouldn’t be neglected. Butter each side of the bun and toast alongside the patties to prevent a soggy mess. Go wild and experiment with different types of breads and rolls. You could also whip up your own condiments; homemade mayo is sure to win over even the most ardent sandwich spread lover.
Burgers also aren’t limited to the bovine variety. Turkey, chicken, shrimp, crab and veggies all make great burgers. Or you could try my personal favorite, the lamb burger:
1 pound ground lamb (or buy boneless lamb stew meat and grind it yourself)
4 ounces feta, cut into small cubes
Cumin, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
Tzatziki sauce (Greek yogurt, finely diced cucumber, cumin, grated garlic, lemon zest and juice. It’s not traditional, but I love it this way.)
4 pita pockets
2 sprigs rosemary
4 Yukon gold potatoes
Combine the lamb, feta, cumin, salt and pepper. Be careful not to over work the meat. Divide into four patties and refrigerate.
Cut the potatoes into wedges. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and place on a baking sheet. Add the sprigs of rosemary. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes or until crispy. Toss once or twice to prevent burning.
Fifteen minutes before grilling, take patties out of the fridge. Sear each side for 2-3 minutes on a preheated cooking surface that’s been rubbed with canola or vegetable oil. Remove the burgers, cover with tinfoil and let rest.
Cut a slit into each of the pita pockets and place them on a ungreased baking tray and heat them up with the potatoes. You don’t want them to get crispy, just warmed through so they’re pliable.
Place each patty in a pita pocket. Slather on tzatziki sauce and stuff in some arugula. Serve with the potatoes and extra tzatziki sauce for dipping.
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