Last week I watched Heston Blumenthal’s TV show In Search of Perfection in eager anticipation, as I saw a review that he was on a mission to find and cook the perfect burger.
His journey for burger perfection first took him to the USA, to a small cafe that claims to be the birth place of the burger. Their burgers were simple meat patties served in a white toast sandwich, with runny cheese sauce. Strictly no ketchup allowed.
Blumenthal then went to New York to sample a McDonalds hamburger, which obviously disappointed. He also stopped in on an old friend who served Lady Burgers, or something similar, which were mini bite sized burgers neatly presented, albeit with a bit too much greenery falling out, and not an onion in site.
As we know, the core ingredient in a good burger is the meat. And this is where things started to get interesting for the Burgermeister. Firstly, the steak used is minced, wrapped, and stored for a month. Then when ready, the burgers are sliced directly, rather than moulded by hand.
The reason being that the line of the fibres and tissues in the meat is essential to the flavour and texture of the burger. Also, rather than using just one cut of meat, Blumenthal uses three different cuts, to provide the perfect flavour, texture and consistency for the burger.
Naturally binding burgers are essential to a good burger, remember the Burger mantra NEVER ADD EGG! For this, he used a combination of beef chuck, short-rib meat and minimum 30-day dry-aged beef brisket. Now, this really is going into new realms of burger-discover, as I always use minced meat as it comes from the butchers. I always use the best minced meat available, but have never minced it myself.
For the rest of the burger, Heston Blumenthal prefers a plain white bun with sesame seeds (the seeds are added using an egg wash). The buns are then covered in cheese slices (made with sodium citrate!) and put under a grill.
I am glad to say that this has been my preferred method for sometime now, as it ensures that the bun remains in tact throughout the whole burger eating experience.
His burger sauce obviously has the standard foundation of tomato sauce, mayonnaise and mustard, with the usual extras including onion (sliced thinly and the rings blanched for 20 seconds in boiling water), crisp lettuce and gherkins and other pickles.
The BBC Cooking web page has the full method for making the dough for the buns, the burgers, the cheese slices, the tomato concentrate for the sauce plus a description on how to construct the burger the Blumenthal way.
Take a look, try it out and enjoy. Burger perfection is finally here. We bow to Heston Blumenthal, and thank him for dedicating his time and efforts to improving the knowledge and furthering our cause, of making the perfect burger!