October 29, 2013
Fifty Fifty Burger
My family are definite Carnivores
Most main meals include a certain amount of meat. It doesn't have to figure prominently, but it must at least give the illusion of inclusion for BigJ to be happy
A few months ago we were watching a cooking program when a certain item was mentioned that made BigJ's eyes widen... a Burger! But not just any burger- the Ultimate Burger! This one was made up of half Beef and half Bacon, thus promising double the dining pleasure and double the meat- his idea of Joy.
I figured if I had to go ahead and make this Perfect Burger, then I might as well do it properly. I read up on some of Heston's hints for burger greatness, and pulled out my trusty mincer- would you like to join me in my journey?....
The Star Ingredients
Fifty Fifty Burgers
for 6 decent sized patties
500gm diced Beef
500gm Streaky Bacon
Roughly chop the bacon and add it to the beef. Add a decent pinch or two of salt, scrunch it together and pop in the fridge for an hour or so. This lets the salt work on the meat proteins and helps it bind together and draw out some of the moisture from the meat
After an hour or so I popped the meat into the freezer for a while to firm up. This will help make mincing easier and also stop the bacon fat from going pasty and mushy as it grinds
Just for the sake of experimenting, I decided to try two methods of mincing my burger meat.
For some, I just chucked it all in and ground it up to a nice coarse mince
Beef and bacon all snuggled up together cosily
For the rest though, I wanted to try Heston's method of keeping the mince strands long and straight. You catch the strands as they come out the mouth of the grinder and then wrap them firmly in cling wrap and chill to let them set. You then slice the mince into rounds across the strands, so as you bite through them they break away naturally, resulting in a much more tender burger. OK.... it was a bit fiddly, but not to hard to accomplish if you're not in a rush for dinner
Form your meat into nice round patties, and let them set in the fridge for a while to firm up
While your meat is chilling it's time to get to the other Fancy Fillings!
I chose Butter Lettuce leaves, ripe juicy Tomatoes, sliced Dill Pickles, and good old tinned Beetroot rounds and slices of Pineapple
Fry the meat off in a hot pan until just cooked through. The patties will be a bit pink in colour due to the bacon in the mix, but don't worry about it
The smaller patty is Heston style and the larger one is plain
Toast your gluten free bun and load it up with goodies while the meat is cooking
Pop on the patty and pineapple and dig right in!
I served my burgers with some baked Sweet Potato Fries and a variety of sauces and mustard for slathering- Yummo!
Ok, what did I think of the different patty styles?
In the front is the plain burger. The pink bits are just the bacon, it's definitely cooked through don't worry. The taste was great, with the coarse mince allowing you to get a definite mix of both beef and bacon without the two blending totally together. It wasn't tough, but nice and toothsome with just a bit of resistance. If they were overcooked I think they would go quite sawdusty though.
The back patty is Heston's. It was most definitely a gorgeously soft texture to eat. Your teeth just slipped through the strands and the meat seemed to require hardly any chewing at all. If you want to impress, or if you have the time to go to the effort I would certainly recommend trying this technique. The whole family voted it to be the winner hands down! I guess maybe he really does know what he's talking about :)
What did I think of the burger as a whole though? Was it worth the Big Build Up? Well.... it was OK. There was a nice bacony overtone to the whole thing and the fat kept the lean beef nice and juicy- but you missed the crispy, browned, rim of fat, wholeness that a rasher of bacon gives. I think having that slice on top of your burger patty makes it seem a bit more luxurious as a topping, rather than just being an extra ingredient.
That's just my opinion- BigJ loved it and said we could fix that by just adding lots of extra bacon on top of our Fifty Fifty Burger next time!
So Dear Reader, are you a fan of bacon and what do you like to put on a burger?
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I SO want to try this one day! Alas I don't have a mincer but I can see the logic behind the strands. When you buy packaged mince it comes like that and it's very easy to pull apart :DReplyDelete
That's right and it really does make such a difference indeed Lorraine. A nice smokey bacon is perfect and so tasty too :) xoxDelete
I love the Heston styled burger but I'm not a fan of overlybaconed anything. (and I call myself an American) :)ReplyDelete
Don't you guys put bacon on everything Maureen? :) You must have been over here too long!Delete
I rarely buy minced meat and do it myself now. When I make sausage, I add pancetta but bacon for burgers? I was all in favor until I ready your comment about missing the crispy bacon factors. Yes, there is a lot to be said for seeing that bacon on top of a burger and, with that in mind, BigJ's solution was perfect! I like the way he thinks. :)ReplyDelete
You men are all the same! I really like controlling the amount of fats and the type of flavours in my sausages and burgers too John- I just need to get an electric grinder!Delete
That's a great tip re lining up the strands of mince - I'm going to try that next time. Thanks Becca!ReplyDelete
Let me know if you think it's worth the trouble Celia, I think you'll be surprised. Mind you, the boys will probably eat it so fast they won't stop to think about it too much :) I had to act pretty swift to get my family's attention before everything was devoured! xoxDelete
And now I want a mincer! I think both burgers look fantastic. Where do you get your GF buns? I think I would agree though that crispy bacon on a burger is definitely the way to go xxReplyDelete
I like the Purebred bread and buns the most Charlie, but you can get this style of bun from Coles as well. Just make sure you toast it well so it's not too 'stale' tasting. Crispy bacon is definitley a must on any burger indeed! xoxDelete
I can't eat red meat either, so for me the patty is either turkey or pork - & I can't imagine pork & bacon. Hmm maybe turkey & bacon would be tasty. But as I don't have a mincer, it's never going to happen ;)ReplyDelete
Also I like BigJ's thinking (as I'm a mad carnivore from way back).
I also think that bacon makes everything better ... just like chocolate does.
Turkey and bacon would be delicious I'm betting Ista! I don't think I would be bothered chopping the meat fine enough for a burger either if I didn't have a mincer :)Delete
Wow! I am now wishing I kept my mother's old mincer. I think my dad took it to Budapest when he moved after her death. Great recipes, Bec!ReplyDelete
What a shame Lizzy, maybe you could pick one up somewhere but I'm going to get the attatchment for my Kenwood mixer. I really hate shop bought sausages so plan on making all my own from now on :)Delete
Well as a vegetarian I can't say I like bacon on anything, haha! But I TOTALLY respect that you made your own burger patty. It must have felt so good knowing exactly what you were eating. Well done!ReplyDelete
Thanks Anna! I do love a good eggplant and mushroom burger too- I'll try and get that recipe up this Summer as well for a bit of balance :)Delete
I hope your family appreciated the detail you put into their fabulous burgers - they look wonderful. And how nice to see the old-style mincer being put to work again. Oh, and I'm a fan of a bit of crisp bacon fat, so I'd still like the rasher on the top.ReplyDelete
Well I had to act pretty fast to distract them from eating everything before I got their opinion on the meal Amanda. My littlej is going through a growth spurt and hungry constantly! I do love my mincer, but I especially find it comes in handy for making my curry pastes :)Delete
wow I've never seen this technique before! You have me intrigued! Thanks for sharing :)ReplyDelete
Thanks Lisa, but I have to give Heston at least some of the credit! :)Delete
O em g. I'm a huge burger lover. I think id like the 50 50. I do love bacon. I adore a good slice of beetroot on my burger, no pineapple. & some aioli is gold too. I'm new to the cheese addition but have been loving it of late. Ok, major major craving now!!!!!!!ReplyDelete
I hope you give it a try Heidi! Beetroot is definitley non-negotiable, and I like a soft fried egg on top too. Aioli is great on everything indeed :)Delete
Definitely a fan of bacon! Though I suspect, like you, I would prefer it as a separate piece in the burger, maybe.ReplyDelete
I'll save some for the top next time for sure, that way we can have the very best of both worlds! :)Delete
You really went tp some trouble but sounds like they loved it. A good burger is hard to find and a really nice change for dinner. Hope you are feeling well and not doing too muchReplyDelete
Thanks so much sweetie, I'm feeling much better now X The good thing about not working at the moment is that Ive got lots of time to experiment an play around with food- dinner has never been this good! xoxDelete
LOL! The boy is obsessed with bacon :)ReplyDelete
What a good mum you are making his ultimate burger. I love the Heston mincing technique... but I am with you, a bacon burger needs a crispy rasher of bacon... with the fat in place YUM!
Definitely! Id rather make a bit of healthier style Junk Food at home from time to time to keep their tastebuds from straying :)Delete
Home made patties are the best!ReplyDelete
For sure indeed MsIHua! But then, ANYTHING is better than the golden arches :)Delete
Gosh, bacon and minced beef paties...ReplyDelete
i guess i can't control my self to not no eat those lip smacking delicious patties!
i can imagine how fragrance is the patties dripping
I wish I could send one to you- but I don't think it would post well :)Delete
Looks delicious Rebecca - nothing better than a great burger!ReplyDelete
Thanks Ina! Especially one that I can pick up and eat- usually I have to order one that soesn't have breadcrumbs in the patty, one that doesn't have any dressing in case of wheat or dairy products, one with no cheese, and one with no bun. I just get a mess on a plate :( One time I was handed a patty on a paper napkin. I'd much rather make my own for sure!Delete