When I first moved to Berlin I was eating a lot more meat than I now do and asked around for who did a great burger. A friend from Bulgaria took me to The Bird, a supposedly US style burger joint.
It was dreadful. A big puck of flabby tasteless meat plopped on an English muffin, slightly burnt on the outside and raw in the center. It was served with tomato frosting and Orange plastic, two ingredients I had specifically asked them to leave off.
Two other times I had the misfortune of being taken to this restaurant and I realized that I had to adapt my restaurant burger recipe to home use, and make my own, or forever live without a decent burger. This is what I will share in the post and the video.
When Ahmed came over with the beef I realized it had been years since I had made a burger but as you will see, it came out beautifully. I grind my own meat but you can purchase ground beef. Try for a minimum of 20% fat and grass fed, grass finished is best for your health.
Beef 5 to 6 ounces per person (about 150 grams)
1 bun per person (Sesame Seed is ideal, Kaiser rolls in a pinch, English muffins NEVER)
Salt and pepper
Form patties loosely and taking a knife or spatula cut ridges in the top (like a ruffles chip) in a cross pattern several times on both sides. The patty at this point should be wider than the bun. Doing this prevents the patty from shrinking up and being a big blob in the middle. Then salt and pepper.
One small onion per burger
6 large mushrooms per burger
Saute in mix of olive oil and butter until fully broken down and browned.
Roughly equal parts Mayonnaise and mustard with Soy Sauce for that ultimate umami, a good swig of it. Stir and mix completely.
Shred a little lettuce, iceberg is fine here.
Get a cast iron or stainless skillet screaming hot with a touch of olive or peanut oil and sear for about two minutes on each side for Rare, add a minute for Medium Rare, and about a minute for each temp up from that.
Dress bun with sauce liberally on both sides, put patty on lettuce and top with the onion and mushroom mixture, bun on top. I find it easier to eat when cut in half.
If you cannot eat a burger without American plastic or tomato frosting don’t bother making this one, proceed to McDonald’s and imbibe with impunity.