The Ghost of Burgers Past
Andy Anderson !
All I am going to say about this burger is it's about the meat. Full Stop.
So, you ready... Let's get into the kitchen.
1 1/2 lbbeef bottom round, or skirt steak
1/2 lbbeef short ribs
2 tspsalt, kosher variety
1 tspgrapeseed oil, per burger
·black pepper, freshly ground for seasoning before cooking
·hamburger buns, i like ciabatta
·condiments, your choice
·chips, fries, etc.
How to Make The Ghost of Burgers Past
- A trip down memory lane.
You’re back in a time when life seemed simpler to your youthful eyes. The sky was an intense blue, and every cloud that passed overhead morphed into fantastic shapes that only your imagination could create.
It’s the weekend, and everyone is gathered together for the big End-of-Summer BBQ. You’re running about the yard playing tag with your brothers, sisters, and various cousins, while the adults sit under the pavilion on multi-colored deck chairs, keeping cool, sipping on their favorite adult beverages, and having their adult conversations. Occasionally, one of them looks in your direction, smiles, and waves.
Dad is in charge of the grill, and he takes that duty very seriously. Earlier in the day, he went to the store and picked out some brats, and beef for the burgers. He would have the butcher grind two different types of beef together, and then wrap it all up in white butcher’s paper. Then, he would bring the beef home, shape it into patties (every one had to be the same weight and size), and place them into the refrigerator to cool. Everything from the brats, to the buns, to the condiments was lovingly planned. If anyone taught me about planning and organization, it wasn’t The Culinary Institute, or Cordon Bleu… it was my father.
Now, the grill is fired up, and the amazing smells coming from that blue/grey smoke are enough to drive you mad. We kids start lining up, and dad hands us a brat on a bun or a burger. These burgers were not loaded with additional “stuff.” Back then; it was all about the meat.
Do I like “loaded” burgers… of course I do. However, sometimes simpler is better. And when, in my busy life, I have a chance to relax with one of these burgers, I take a bite, and my mind travels back to a simpler time, where I played on the lawn, and created shapes out of clouds.
This one is for you dad… and for all the ghosts of my past. Enjoy.
- Chef’s Note: If you know anything about me, you know that I NEVER mix salt in with ground beef before cooking. You can add some to the surface during the cooking process; however, NEVER mix it in with the ground beef.
Why? The salt will break down the protein structure of the interior of the beef, and make it a bit mushy.
So, why am I salting the beef? Well, in this case the salt is on the outside, and will be used to flavor the meat and distribute moisture content. Once it’s finished its job, it will be rinsed off before grinding.