There is nothing better than a good, old homemade burger grilled in your barbecue when summer is coming.
The recipe for the hamburger made in the USA is carved in the DNA of every American and, naturally, the variations are endless.
Today I will reveal all my secrets to preparing the perfect hamburger at home, starting from the basics. Seasonings and ingredients, the cooking temperature of the patty, how to make the “patty dough” so that it does not break down during cooking. And then, of course, we will talk about meat and which is the most suitable cut of meat to make a legendary hamburger.
There are some options on which meat to choose to make the hamburger, but a basic rule is never to buy the most expensive cuts. You don’t need sirloins, Kobe meat massaged with sake by naked geishas and other fine cuts. Quite the opposite, but now let’s start cooking!
Ingredients and doses to make the perfect hamburger
For making 4 big, fat hamburgers
- 2 kg of beef to be ground
- 4 slices of bacon
- 1 red pepper, optional
- 1 tbsp tarragon
- salt and pepper
- 8 slices of Cheddar cheese
- 4 buns
- 1 large tomato
- 1 red onion
- pickled cucumbers, optional but they are great
- 2 spring onions, optional
How to prepare the perfect hamburger
Let’s start with the right meat. I mean foot! In this recipe, we will use only beef, no pork, because the presence of the melted cheese is sufficient to make the preparation fatty enough. Better not to overdo it with cholesterol … By the way, the best cut of meat for making hamburgers is chuck meat, the shoulder of the beef.
The beef shoulder has an honest cost, flavor, and a sublime mix of fat and firm meat, perfect for preparing burgers. If you want to spend something more, tri-tip or sirloin are other excellent cuts of meat, but the shoulder has unbeatable value for money.
Just one piece of advice: don’t buy ground beef! Buy the whole piece and ask your butcher to grind it for you or grind it yourself. It’s more work to do, but you will know what you will eat.
Another fundamental step for making the perfect hamburger: choose a nice fatty piece of meat to maintain an excellent fat-meat ratio. Otherwise, the hamburgers will turn out to be dry and if you are afraid of fats, you have got the wrong recipe…
Ok, let’s get started! Grind the meat and season it with tarragon, 10 grams of salt, and 7 grams of pepper. I like to add 2 chopped spring onions to the dough, it’s optional for you, but they add tons of flavor!
Form four patty of equal size with the mince. With your thumb, create a slight concavity on one side of the steaks. The patties will not explode with this trick and maintain a perfect shape during grilling.
Ok, let’s go ahead, grill the pepper until the skin is charred. As usual, put it in a bowl covered with plastic wrap, wait 10 minutes, peel, remove the seeds and chop large strips.
Cooking the patty
Grill the burgers over medium heat, direct heat. Grilling time: 10 minutes in total. Flip them after the first 5 minutes. As soon as you remove the hamburgers from the grill, put the cheese on them and wait for it to melt. If you don’t want to use the grill, you can safely use a pan, but if you can cook them on the grill, the meat will be even better, slightly smoked.
Put the bacon slices over the grill or in a pan and fry for 4 minutes, flip and cook for 5 minutes more. If you want to make super crunchy bacon strips, put them on the oven grill and bake at 150 ° for 20 minutes. Just remember to put an aluminum tray under the bacon to collect the melted fat.
Meanwhile, toast the bread until slightly “marked” by the grill. Cut the onion and tomato into 1 cm thick slices and season with EVOO.
Try to cook everything simultaneously to avoid having to keep anything warm, especially the meat. If it goes beyond 10 minutes, it is ruined…
Some people love to grill both tomatoes and onion, I like them fresh and firm, but you can try. It’s up to you.
Arrange the hamburger starting from the bread. Spread mustard or ketchup over it. Put some lettuce leaves, one tomato slice, the patty with melted cheese on top, a slice of bacon, a few fillets of bell pepper, or slices of pickled cucumbers.
Repeat the layers of tomato and lettuce. As a variant, you can replace the pepper with a poblano pepper cooked on the grill to add a delightful smoky touch.
What wine to pair with a classic American burger?
You could pair a red, smoked beer. Still, we would also like to recommend a great Sagrantino di Montefalco like the one from the Perticaia winery, explosive fruit, and enveloping tannins that will make sparks with these delicious burgers. Champagne and Franciacorta are two splendid solutions for cutting all these fats and proteins with acidity and bubbles.
If you want to combine a cocktail, choose the discreet elegance of the Caipirinha.