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Like fine wine I don't think there is the 'perfect burger', there's too many variations of flavours, ingredients and technique. But, like fine wine, there are exceptional burgers. The ones you talk fondly, even brag about with colleagues. That give you a certain satisfaction that you can't get from any other dining experience.
That is the purpose of this blog. My quest to create an exceptional restaurant quality home made burger. Along the way I get to eat them all, bonus!
The Burger: 170gm beef mince pattie, white bun, mayo, butter lettuce, smoked cheddar, B@B cucumbers, tomato and relish.
Verdict: Had a couple of the lads from The Burger Adventure over so this was a real test of quality. We ended up drunk so the result was a great burger that couldn’t really be rated subjectively. Mayo was given some balls with addition of lemon zest, crushed garlic and mustard. Pattie was a 70/30 mix of chuck and brisket, well seasoned. We ate and carried on playing FIFA. Win.
The Burger: 170gm beef mince pattie, white bun, mayo, cos lettuce, fresh onion, smoked cheddar, bacon, egg, tomato and relish.
Verdict: The type of burger you want the day following a night on the booze (not the Maccas run at 2am). This burger was packed with stuff and it all worked together nicely. It lacked sophistication but delivered satisfaction and tasted damn good.
The Burger: 150gm beef mince pattie, homemade brioche bun, mayo, cos lettuce, fresh onion, smoked cheddar, tomato and tomato sauce.
Verdict: First attempt at a brioche bun recipe I found at Smitten Kitchen and they turned out damn good. My results were a little dense but they added a nice sweetness to the burger. Tried blade steak in the mince, will get some brisket and wagyu in the mix to try some combos. Fresh onion was good for some bite and everything else was well balanced. Mayo could have had more to it though.
The Burger: 150gm beef/lamb mince pattie, ciabatta bun, caramelised onions, cos lettuce, smoked cheddar, tomato, tomato sauce and caramelised onion hummus.
Verdict: Freshly ground mince rules! After purchasing a hand grinder and some grass fed chuck steak and lamb the resulting mince was superb. No slimey texture that can sometimes result from store bought mince. Beautiful flavour with only seasoning added to the pattie. The rest of the burger balanced out well. Ciabatta bun still a little too dense though. Caramelised onions added a great tang and sweetness. Looking forward to trying more meat combinations.
The Burger: 150gm beef mince pattie, ciabatta bun, caramelised onions, butter lettuce, bread and butter cucumbers, tomato, tomato sauce and mustard.
Verdict: Nice mix. After recently trying a few burgers with caramelised onions I thought I’d give them a go. I didn’t want them too overpowering so didn’t put in a heap. No additions in the caramelisation process, just pan frying until they got caramelised and a little bit charred. They gave a definite signature to the burger but didn’t dominate it. The ciabatta bun was nice but a little too dense. A hint of mustard was a nice accent. Not the most indulgent burger but a very nice combination.
Double pattie madness. Cabbage in the mix. Spreadable cheese?!
The Burger: 2 x 100gm beef mince patties, white bun, spreadable cheese, cabbage, tomato, tomato sauce and mayo.
Verdict: What is this monstrosity? Tried going double pattie to reduce the juiceness but they ended up shrinking more than I had planned. Spreadable cheese was a bit of an experiment gone wrong, bad choice in cheese on my part. Cabbage crunch was good. I need to find a good bun to work from. I enjoyed eating it but it really was amateur hour at the burger barn.
Tried going back to tasty cheese and used aioli instead of mayo.
The Burger: 200gm beef mince pattie, white bun, tasty cheese, cos lettuce, bread and butter cucumbers, tomato sauce and aioli.
Verdict: Meh. Flavours were good and it was satisfying but there wasn’t magic. Store bought aioli was okay but when it comes to a great aioli I’ve tasted much better. Pattie was too juicy again. Consistency has taken another hit. Stink.
The Burger: 200gm beef mince pattie, white bun, english smoked cheddar, cos lettuce, tomato sauce and mayo.
Verdict: As basic cheeseburgers go this one was great. The pattie flavour was excellent, seasoning spot on. Made thinner than normal with lean mince there was no excess juices. The bun was good, would have preferred something fluffier. A bit more punch in the mayo would have really set this off.
A loose attempt to repeat 009 with some different ingredients.
The Burger: 200gm beef/pork mince pattie, light white bun, english smoked cheddar, butter lettuce, tomato, tomato sauce, mayo and bread and butter cucumbers.
Verdict: Disappointing result after the success of 009. The pork mince used was a bit old so that may have hindered the flavours because the pattie ended up being pretty average. It had a greasy texture that wasn’t conducive to good taste. The bun was too light and didn’t hold together well. Everything else was fine, it just didn’t all work together.
A burger slapped together after deciding not to eat out.
The Burger: 200gm beef mince pattie, white bun, english smoked cheddar, butter lettuce, tomato, tomato sauce, mayo and bread and butter cucumbers.
Verdict: Beautifully balanced flavour. While I’m still looking a signature flavour, what stood out with this effort is everything worked together wonderfully. The seasoning in the simple pattie was much better and a tweak in the thickness and cooking method meant it wasn’t overly juicy. Reduced the amount of mayo in this one and it really showed in the balance of flavours. Nothing dominated and textures were nice. The simple fresh white bun was great. Best burger yet.