Sunday, March 27, 2011

Homemade Hamburgers + Homemade Buns

As most of you (maybe?) know, I'm not a big hamburger eater. Give me a steak any day and I'll tear it up, but hamburger? Eh. But.......we have over 30 lbs. of the stuff, so I try to make it work for me in a variety of ways. This past week, I decided to make hamburgers that we could grill instead of using it in tacos (like I do 94.68% of the time). Oh yeah, I also felt ambitious enough to make homemade buns, too.

About the buns. I used a recipe from that had stellar reviews and (I think) 4.5 stars. Lets just say mine didn't come out looking or feeling anything like the reviews or pictures led me to believe they would. They didn't really rise much, which surprised me because the yeast bloomed like crazy. I noticed, though, that when I was rolling them out, they didn't get the "shiny" outside like the recipe said they would. They weren't bad, they were just kind of flat and dense. Not my favorite recipe (and I most likely won't use it again), but they worked for the burgers that night.

The burgers were pretty simple to make. I took 1 lb. of ground beef and added ground black pepper (to taste), 1/2 Tbsp. crushed garlic and peppercorn seasoning, 1/2 Tbsp. garlic salt, several shakes of Worcestershire sauce and 1 large slice of raw onion, very finely minced. I formed this into 3 quarter-pound burgers (for Buppy), then the last 1/4 lb. into 2 eighth-pound burgers for me. Again, it all goes back to me not being big into burgers; I like a thinner patty.
I also sauteed some fresh mushrooms and raw onion in some butter, then added in a splash of beef stock and dry sherry for flavor. Excellent combo for a burger. Oh yeah, and a splash of Worcestershire sauce, too.

At the end of the grilling process, Buppy topped our burgers with Swiss cheese so it'd melt and get all ooey-gooey. I love ooey-gooey cheese, but really, who doesn't? We finished our burgers with green leaf lettuce, and I think Buppy added mayo to his. To round out the meal, we had homemade potato chips. I actually made sure to bike extra long that day so I could splurge. Way to think ahead, right?? We found that the chips are best cut 1/24" thick (with the NEW MANDOLINE Buppy got me for my birthday!), then fried at 375F for 7+/- minutes depending on how full the fryer is (don't overcrowd). We seasoned some with Old Bay, some with Cajun seasoning, some with seasoned salt and fresh cracked black pepper.......they were all pretty good. Homemade potato chips just rock my socks. Well, most chips do, but I like that I can season homemade ones with whatever I want.

One last note: I found that forming the hamburger patties is easy if you take the lid to something like a sour cream container, spray with cooking spray and pat the meat into it. It makes them very uniform and the perfect shape. I used the same size lid when doing both my and Buppy's burgers, so they each fit on the bun pefectly, but his was thicker. Give it a try sometime. Enjoy!

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