After watching Bobby Flay’s Burger Throwdown (where his classic burger lost to the Greco-inspired Lamb burger with Tatziki Sauce and some eggplant), I got inspired to make my own super yummy burgers.
My first burger memory at home consisted of eating it with rice (Filipino household, it’s a given) with banana ketchup on the side, rather than the sandwich that we have come to grow up with in the fast food chains. Mom used to add tons of stuff in the meat, to make it tender, more flavorful, like some onions, garlic, etc. . But as I have discovered while eating out and through more experiments, sometimes, the simplest (or so it seems) taste the best. So that’s what started my foray into Burger Experiment #3085 (number is bogus).
Mom and I went to the market and the grocery to get some major ingredients (plus some tulya, a kind of clam, for mom). I decided to make the burger a mix of ground pork and beef to make it lighter than the usual, half a kilo of each. I also grabbed the requisite hamburger buns, some lettuce leaves, cheap sliced cheeses and some sour cream. I figured that everything else, we have already at home.
I tasted the meat mixture twice before being satisfied with it. The taste is really clean and simple, like how a burger is supposed to be. I kept mine simple with just cheese, onions and lettuce. I could have added tomatoes, pickles, olives, etc. But as of now, what I’m after is a great tasting burger. I was afraid that too many things in the mix will drown the taste.
After some 30 minutes of fast cooking and assembly, out came the burgers. Each one juicy and tasty. Tissues were required during lunch because of the dripping meat juices. Doing it at home was so worth it. I would say that the cost (again) compared to McDonald’s is disparagingly big. The ingredients totaled around P400 ($8, meat P200, cheese P50, whole container of sour cream P70, bread P35 times 2, veggies P10) plus let’s say another hundred for onions, the oil, salt, pepper, etc. which we already had home. That would be P62.50 per burger! The side of fries would add just a bit, totaling to P70 each! And if you could have seen the actual patty size! The patty IS SO MUCH THICKER than the one advertised in McDonald’s. Our burger (sorry, no close up) is three times thicker. It was the I-can’t-fit-it-in-my-mouth kind of big. Huh. Big difference. The flavors were all there, but for sure, there would be a big difference if we used all beef.
Quarter Pounder Burgers
½ kilo ground pork, ½ kilo ground beef, 1 of the buns, ¼ cup milk, 1 egg, a handful salt, a handful of pepper, a bit of onion powder, a sachet of a ginisa mix
Shred the bread into tiny pieces, almost like fresh bread crumbs and add the milk (this keeps the meat moist and tender). Mix everything in. Grill or fry a tablespoon for tasting. Taste and adjust seasoning. Divide into 8 and set let rest. On a hot griller/pan, wipe down the area with some oil and ensure that it is hot enough, and ready for some cooking. Flatten the meat into regular sized patties, big enough to cover the whole bun (it will shrink once cooked). As soon as the sides of the thick patty (halfway up) become cooked, flip over and top with cheese. Cook thoroughly as this is ground meat. Immediately transfer to the bun.
Slice one big onion and grill over a hot griller which has been wiped down with oil. Grill until cooked and tender. Set aside. Wash lettuce (allot one giant leaf for each burger, excluding picky children’s meals) and drain. Set aside. Grill buns on both sides, inside part first, then flip up. Add one sliced cheese on the bottom bun and slowly melt. Set aside. Mince around 2 cloves of garlic and add to about half a cup of sour cream. This will serve as the sauce.
Stack the bun accordingly, from the bottom up. Bun, with the melted cheese. The meat patty, with the melted cheese, top with onions, and a lettuce leaf. Drizzle with the garlic sauce. Cover with top part of the bun. Serve with fries.