At first everything was fine. Taking a cue from Adam Kuban, we decided to make our own onion rings instead of the normal burger pairing of fries. The recipe was taken from Simply Recipes, which soaked the onions in buttermilk and coated them in flour and cornmeal.
We fried them in canola oil set to 350 degrees for a few minutes, until nice and golden brown. We stashed them in preheated oven and got to the beef.
The demise of our burger started with the meat, and more specifically the combination we choose.
We decided to use an equal amount of short rib and chuck, a combo that we hoped would produce a patty of unparalleled beefiness.
We coarsely ground the meat, alternating chunks of short rib and chuck, to create a uniform grind.
It was only then that we noticed the unbelievable amount of fat mixed with the red meat. The burger just didn't look good, it looked a little too chunky. We decided to regrind half of the meat, to see if the meat and fat just needed to be incorporated.
The burger on the left is the one that is only ground once, while the one on the right is the reground patty.
To cook them, we set two pans over high heat, and let them warm up for 10 minutes or so. Then we added a swirl of canola oil, and stood by with spatulas in hand waiting to flip with abandon. We cooked them for about 3 to 4 minutes, flipping every 30 seconds.
Everything was going well until we noticed the incredible amount of fat that was accumulating in the pan. It covered the bottom in nearly 1/2 inch of liquid fat.
But the sear was incredible. They sure didn't look like most burgers we had cooked. We toasted some potato buns briefly in the broiler, and sat a piece of American cheese on the top to melt it slightly.
As for toppings, Blake slow cooked some onions in butter to create some crispy onions and whipped up a fresh batch of mayonnaise. I added some mustard to mine.
The onion rings were a unanimous success, with even Abby, a renowned onion ring hater, admitting they were delicious.
Both of the burgers were flavorful. But the once-ground patty was the clear winner. It just had a far more beefy taste and texture. The little bits of beef taste nearly steak-like in richness. If this showed me anything, it's that grinding my own meat is the only way to go.
But like mentioned above, the fat was overwhelming. And after wards we all felt a completely nauseous and had to take an hour long walk to feel right again. Both the chuck and the short ribs were too fatty, and I'll probably try to trim a lot more of the fat off next time I make them. I've also had a lot of luck with sirloin, which is leaner than either chuck or short rib.
It's good to know, but there is a limit to how fatty a burger should be.