When I first saw this recipe, I was skeptical. I wasn’t sure a really great burger could be made on my stovetop. Usually our best burgers get the most flavor from being grilled. But I was curious and I wanted to stretch my cooking legs a bit and try my hand at something I had never attempted before: grinding meat. When you grind your own beef, it really enhances the flavor of your burger. And it is not hard to do at all. You don’t need even need to own a meat grinder. All you need is a couple of different types of meat (easily found at your local supermarket) and a food processor. It’s that easy – and you won’t believe the flavor. It is out of this world. And it all cooks right on top of your stove. Trust me – folks will be impressed at your mad skills!
8 ounces, weight sirloin steak
8 ounces, weight boneless short ribs
4 whole hamburger buns
2 tablespoons butter (for toasting buns)
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
4 slices American cheese
Cut meat into one inch cubes. Layer the chunks on a sheet pan and put them in the freezer to chill for about 15-20 minutes (this will make the meat easier to grind in your processor.) The meat should be firm but not completely frozen. Grind your meat in your food processor in two batches. Just pulse the meat about 10 times for about one second for each pulse. Meat should look ground but not pulverized. Take any little stringy bits of fat out at this time also.
Shape patties on the same sheet pan. Don’t handle the meat too much. This will make it tough. You don’t want the patties to be too tightly packed (this is what gives it all those delicious nooks and crannies those diner burgers have for the cheese to melt into). Once shaped, stick them in the fridge while you prep your buns and frying pan.
Toast your buns by spreading on a little butter and putting them under the broiler or toasting them in a pan on stove top. Now start heating about a teaspoon or two of vegetable oil in your frying pan. You want to get it good and hot (until it just starts to smoke). Get your burgers out of the fridge and liberally salt and pepper both sides. Using your spatula, transfer hamburgers to hot skillet (don’t overload the pan, just 2-3 burgers at a time depending on the size of your pan). Be careful of popping oil! Cook them for 3 minutes (do not move them – just let them cook!). After 3 minutes, flip them over and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes (depending on thickness). Add cheese and let it melt and then transfer the burgers to your hamburger buns.
HOMEMADE FRENCH FRIES
4 large russet potatoes, peeled
4 large russet potatoes, peeled
2 quarts peanut oil
salt and pepper
Cut potatoes with a 1/4 inch cut french fry cutter or mandolin or do it by hand. Rinse cut potatoes in a large bowl with lots of cold running water until water becomes clear. Cover with water by 1-inch and cover with ice. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
In a 5-quart pot (using a deep-frying thermometer) or in an electric deep fryer, heat oil over medium-low heat until the thermometer reads 325 degrees F. Make sure that you have at least 3 inches of space between the top of the oil and the top of the pan, as fries will bubble up when they are added.
Drain ice water from cut fries and wrap potato pieces in a clean dishcloth and thoroughly pat dry. Increase the heat to medium-high and add fries, a handful at a time, to the hot oil. Fry, stirring occasionally, until fries are soft and limp and begin to turn a blond color, about 6 to 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, carefully remove fries from the oil and set aside to drain on paper towels. Let rest for at least 10 minutes.
Now, bring the oil temperature up to 350 degrees F. Transfer the blanched potatoes to the hot oil and fry again, stirring frequently, until golden brown and puffed, about 1 minute. Transfer to paper lined platter and sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve immediately.