- By Shawn, Director of Operations, Eli’s On The Hill
Seeing that it is National Burger Month I thought I would write about the perfect burger. Unfortunately it seems like I am not the only one that has an idea about creating the perfect burger. I googled “perfect burger” and there were about five pages worth of “perfect burger” articles. There were also images, pictures and even a schematic of a perfect burger. Most of the articles were fairly similar; “to make the perfect burger you have to grind your own meat and use 80/20 chuck…” And there was no shortage of perfect burger theory coming from the best chefs from coast to coast about how to make the perfect burger. So I decided to spin it the opposite way and write about what the perfect burger isn’t. I don’t want to come across as a half empty glass guy, but after surfing the web I couldn’t read another perfect burger article, forget about writing one.
Let’s start with the patty itself. It is not frozen, it must be fresh. It is not one of those comically small four ounce burgers; those are now considered a big slider. It also isn’t one of those eighteen ounce “see if you can eat this burger”, that’s just plain offensive. And when it comes to cooking them you just can’t go past medium. I personally prefer medium rare but I will give in a little here. I am told there are burger joints now that will only let you order them pink to well done, that’s not just not right. I can’t get it medium rare? What is this – the Soviet Union? Medium well or well done? They should just ask “do you want it dry or really dry?” I don’t care what the fat content is or what you put on it, well done is dry. I am told it is a health issue. Ground beef doesn’t make people sick, people make people sick!
I digress, sorry… on to the roll. Not bread, sorry Lou’s, and not a bun either, a roll. Sesame seeds, ok. Poppy seeds, ok. You could toast or not toast it but it has to be a roll, and not one of those supermarket bought-highly processed-suffocated in plastic bag rolls either. Some of those rolls have a shelf life of six months and they taste like, like, like nothing actually. That flour has been so stripped down that I don’t think some of those rolls are legally considered food any more.
Now it gets a little tricky, what can’t you put on a burger? Hmm, I guess you could put almost anything on a burger. I saw one in a Manhattan eatery that had foie gras and truffles, sounded pretty good, actually sounds really good, although after eating that you might have to skip dinner. In the end I guess it is ok to put whatever you want on it, just make sure you use fresh quality ingredients and condiments. You probably shouldn’t make burgers a staple of your diet so when you do decide to indulge make it perfect.