As I have expressed in the past, one of my idols of the kitchen is Heston Blumenthal being both a scientist and a chef. Ever since Jasmyne bought me his book 'In Search of Total Perfection' for our anniversary back in October last year I have been wanting to give his Hamburger a shot.
Although I'm almost bed-bound due to a bad strain of the flu (thank you Jasmyne), I pushed myself to put it on the plate for Jas and I last night after planning it for weeks. I had amended a few things due to the unavailability of some ingredients, but it still produced one of the best burgers I have ever had, and most definitely the best I have had at home.
My parents recently went on a day trip to Berrima and took Jas along with them, returning with, amongst other things, Truffle-infused Evo Oil (a post that should be up soon). I've been wanting to try cooking Heston's potato chips that are cooked with a three step process. Jas and I have also been wanting to try parmesan and truffle-oil chips for some time too, so I decided to fuse these two desires into a side dish that perfectly complements the hamburger. They are nice and soft and fluffy on the inside and crisp and crunchy on the outside. The coating of truffle oil and parmesan cheese balances just perfectly.
The burger itself is a brioche roll enclosing a nice balance of different beef cuts with some sauces, poached onion, lettuce, tomato and the Australian touch, beetroot. The roll is just excellent and why all burgers are not served like this astounds me. The beef, which we cooked medium to well, was succulent and juicy and tastes so good that it could have been eaten alone.
The prep for this dish is about 2 days but is mainly just incubation steps and only requires about an hour cooking once prepared, so here we go:
The Perfect Burger (serves 4)
- 200g High Quality '00' Flour
- 1/4 tsp dried yeast
- 200mL cold water
- 350g Pre-fermented batter
- 5 Egg yolks
- 30mL luke-warm water
- 200g High Quality '00' Flour
- 50g Caster sugar
- 2 tsp Bread Improver
- 3g Ground sea salt
- 7g Dried yeast
- 30g Browned butter
- 15mL Nut oil
- 15g Vegetable shortening (at room temperature)
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- Sesame seeds (as required)
- 300g Chuck
- 10g Ground sea salt
- 400g Spare-rib meat
- 300g Brisket
- 80g Unsalted butter
- 4 Sliced brioche rolls
- 8 Cheese slices
- 4 Meat Patties
- Tomato sauce (as required)
- American mustard (as required)
- Whole-egg mayonnaise (as required)
- Dill-pickled gherkins, sliced (as required)
- Vine-Ripened tomato, seeds and pulp removed, sliced
- Brown onion, thinly sliced and blanched in boiling water for 30 seconds
- 6 Leaves of Iceberg lettuce, sliced
- Can of sliced Beetroots
- Put the flour and yeast in a large mixing bowl.
- Gradually pour the water into the bowl, while mixing a beater with dough hooks on low speed, until all the water is added and a very liquid batter has formed.
- Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula and cover the bowl with cling film, then a clean tea towel, and leave to ferment in a cool place for 24 hours.
- Combine the pre-fermented dough with the egg yolks and water with a beater with dough hooks at low speed. Mix until the dough is homogeneous and liquid again.
- Sift the flour, sugar, bread improver, salt and yeast into a separate bowl.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet gradually while mixing with the dough hooks at a low speed until combine. Then increase the speed to medium and mix for 2-3 minutes, until the dough looks very sticky and wet.
- Brown the butter in a pan over medium heat until it develops a nutty aroma. Strain and discard the solids, then add to the batter mixture once cooled, followed by the oil and vegetable shortening.
- Mix at medium speed for 4 minutes until combined, let the dough sit for 10 minutes and then mix for a further 4 minutes.
- Cover the dough and place it in the fridge to set for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, line a baking tray with baking paper and create 4 rings out of aluminium foil, 1 cm wide and 12 cm in diameter.
- When the dough is chilled place the rings onto the baking tray and transfer 1/4 of the dough into each ring (about 150g per portion). Using wet hands, shape the dough to fit the rings.
- Cover the tray with cling film and leave to prove for 2 to 2.5 hours.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 225°C and if required reshape the dough with wet hands.
- Place a ramekin of water in the bottom of the oven (the steam with prevent the buns from cracking and developing a thick crust).
- Bake the buns for 7 minutes.
- Meanwhile, create a egg wash by combining the beaten egg with a pinch of salt.
- Remove the buns from the oven and one at a time, brush the tops with egg wash and cover with sesame seeds.
- Return the buns to the oven for a further 7 minutes, then remove and cool on a wire rack.
- Cut all the meats into 3 cm cubes. Combine the chuck with the salt and toss to coat the meat in the salt. In a separate bowl combine the spare rib and brisket meats. Refrigerate the meats for 6 hours.
- Grind the spare rib and brisket with a 3 mm plate, then combine with the chuck meat and mix well.
- Double-line a long tray or plate with cling film and position under the mouth of the grinder.
- Pass the meat mixture through the grinder with a 8 mm plate. As the meat comes out of the grinder lay out the strain of meat onto the cling film from one end of the tray to the other. Try to keep the strains parallel.
- Wrap the meat up tightly in the cling film to create a log, twisting the ends. If air bubbles are present, use a pin to release as much air as possible. Continue to twist the log until it is about 12 cm in diameter.
- Wrap the log in another layer of cling film to hold the log together and refrigerate until needed.
- When ready to be cooked, cut the log into quaters using a sharp knife. Place the patties onto baking paper and press down into the required shape and size. Cover with a second sheet of baking paper and refrigerate until needed or freeze if you have any excess.
Assembling the Burgers
- Brown the butter in a pan over medium heat until it develops a nutty aroma, then strain and discard the solids.
- Slice the buns in half and brush the cut surfaces with the browned butter. Place under a hot grill to lightly toast them. Remove the buns from the grill (but leave on) and top each side with a cheese slice. Put to the side for the time being.
- Place a heavy based pan over high heat and leave for a few minutes until very hot.
- Dizzle some oil into the pan and add the patties, ensuring that they are not overcrowded.
- Flip the patties every 30 seconds for 4 minutes, for a medium-well cooked patty, adjust the timing on your preference.
- Finish the meat by brushing the patties with the browned butter then searing each side for 15 seconds.
- Place the buns back until the grill for a few seconds to melt the cheese.
- Assemble the burger by placing the bottom half of each bun onto plates, top with the tomato sauce, mustard, mayonnaise, gherkins, blanched onions, meat patty, tomato, lettuce and finally the top half of the bun.
- Serve immediately with the parmesan and truffle oil chips (see below).
Triple-Cooked Parmesan and Truffle Oil Chips (serves 4)
- 1.2kg Potatoes
- 4 tbs Tuffle induced Evo Oil
- Parmesan Cheese (as required)
- Salt and Pepper, to season
- Peel and wash the potatoes. Cut the potatoes into 1.5 wide chips.
- Place the chips into a bowl or sink of running cold water for 5 minutes to wash off excess starch.
- Transfer the chips into a large saucepan with salted cold water. Gradually bring to the boil and then reduce the heat to bring to a simmer until the chips have been cooked through and almost falling apart.
- Remove the chips from the saucepan with a slotted spoon and place onto a cake rack over some paper towel. Allow to cool and then put into the fridge until cold.
- Preheat vegetable oil in a deep fryer to 130°C and fry the chips until they have take on a dry appearance and have become slightly coloured.
- Cool the chips onto the cake rack again and then transfer to the fridge to cool again.
- When ready to serve, heat the oil to 200°C and then cook the chips until golden brown.
- Drain the chips on some paper towel and then transfer to a bowl.
- Add the truffle oil and toose to coat.
- Portion the chips onto plates and top with freshly grated parmesan cheese and serve immediately.