In a world of consumption it is easy to forget that in almost all cases Quality trumps Quantity, and when it comes to making your own burgers nothing could be more true!
Before you start your burger, imagine you are an architect and the burger you are about to create is to be the best house in the city. Everything from the foundations (the bun) to the furniture (the meat) and everything in between (the fillings) must be the best of the best.
In an exquisite house you may find;
Hand-polished Mahogany wooden flooring.
Marble counter-tops in the kitchen
Master bedroom with walk in and ocean view
Lounge with Bose surround system and cinema projector
Marble bathroom with double head shower and jet-spa bath
I’m drooling and we aren’t even talking about burgers yet.
A burger is the same. Source quality ingredients and you will stand in good stead when making your masterpiece!
In the perfect burger every ingredient is well thought out and purchased with quality in mind. However sometimes money and time can be issues and something has to give. Give too much though and suddenly your burger just won’t hit the mark.
If you can, ensure at least these 3 ingredients are top notch;
1. The Bun
This is your foundation. The bun is important for two reasons.
Visually – In the very first few seconds of being seen, a burger is judged simply by it’s appearance. The bun enjoys the most visual space on the plate, and nothing screams “don’t eat me” like a stale, dry or overly greasy looking bun. Choose and serve a bun that looks fresh, crisp and warm.
First touch, first taste – A burger is only eaten one way… with both hands. That means the first contact made with a burger is when it is picked up, and just like grabbing the first beer out of the fridge after a hot day of work, that first contact should give a good indication of what is ahead. Same goes for when eating the burger. The teeth make first contact with the bun, so it should be soft, warm and inviting.
2. The Meat
Go to the guys who do it best – Ask around all of your friends, especially those who have lived in your area the longest and love to eat well. Ask them where to get the best meat. My workmate gets his chicken breast from one shop, his beef mince from another and his lamb steaks from yet another. That’s because each of them have their specialties. Find the best supplier for each meat type.
Ask for fresh – Get to know your butcher, become a regular. Butchers work on a FIFO system, First In First Out. This means that there is usually fresher cuts of meat hiding out the back than what is on display. If you are brazen, ask straight up on your first visit. If not, wait until your third or fourth visit and say;
“Hey, I really love your meat, and have been using it to make some amazing burgers at home. I am hosting burger night with the boys this weekend and really want to treat them… Have you got anything that is really fresh that will blow their minds?”
More often than not, the butcher will oblige. Next time you are in, mention how blown away your friends were with the burgers. Also mention that as long as the butcher keeps supplying you the freshest meat, he has a customer for life! Loyalty breeds loyalty!
3. The Cheese
Often overlooked, and so vital to a good burger, is cheese. Every meat burger can have cheese, but very few cheeses work well with all meats. This is where you need to experiment. Do your research. To get you on the right track play around with the following matches;
Goats Cheese and Feta work very well with fish burgers.
American or Pepperjack cheese melted onto your beef burger while on the grill is tops. Grilled Haloumi is exquisite on a grilled chicken burger
Make sure your cheese is fresh, melted well if in a beef or lamb burger and not overpowering. Go a little easier on the cheese if your patties have parmesan or another cheese as an ingredient.
Remember, the perfect burger is a methodical masterpiece. If you at least put some thought and time into these 3 main ingredients, you should be well set for your next burger party.