Monday, March 22, 2010

Adventures in Abdominal Distress

About a week and a half ago, I gave made my second foray into burger town.

The first time around wasn't what I'd call an unreserved success. There were cooking issues and texture issues. I gave it a "B-". I'll be honest and say that I was a little discouraged. I know that's utterly ridiculous. You can't create a masterpiece the first time out. But I was discouraged nonetheless.

So anyway, I did what I could to shake it off and planned another burger experiment, and got started with the planning...

I really like the idea of a spicy burger. Something that has a good amount of heat to it, but is still really flavorful. Not just hot. My solution on how to accomplish that was to cut the usual ground beef with a spicy ground italian sausage. Keeping in mind that the last burger was waaaaay too greasy, and knowing that sausage wouldn't exactly help the situation, I went with some good ol' Laura's Lean Beef. It's a 93/7 ratio. To that mixture I also added cayenne pepper and diced onion.

To top the sausage burger, I went with a hot pepper cheese and some more of that hot banana pepper and tomato relish I made the last time, only adding a couple of features. More on that in a moment.

Once again... the burger came out real, real pretty.

Oh, and it tasted pretty good. I am almost 100% certain that the Tofu Muchacha liked it better than Burger # 1.

Ugh... I'm totally bored with talking about this thing... It was alright. It wasn't great. The sausage flavor was good, but not spicy enough. For me it was a bit too much like a breakfast burger... not that that wouldn't be a valid thing to eat for breakfast, but while the pork sausage provided a nice richness, it wasn't exactly the right kind of spiciness. Next time, I think I'm going to try to mix in some sort of spice mix as opposed to multiple kinds of meats. I think the mixed mediums once again made regulating the cooking of patty too difficult to gauge, much with the cheese the last time. No more of that for a while.

Also, I liked the flavor of the hot pepper cheese, but it didn't melt very well. The Tofu Muchacha suggested creating a "steam hood" around the burger to help the melting along. I actually, think the burger would have cooked through as well.

All in all, once again the highlight of the burger was the relish. I tossed finely diced 2 roma tomatoes and a handful of hot banana peppers. To that mixture I added some spicy mustard, honey, Franks Redhot, and fresh grated ginger.

I think I've hit on something with the relish. It's effing delicious.

Now... All of that said, this burger was pretty okay. It wasn't spectacular, but I liked it. I liked it well enough to bring one to work the next day. That turned out to be a mistake. It's possible the second burger didn't cook enough, and the pork was a little raw. It's possible that it made me a little sick. All I know is that I felt completely insane the rest of the day at work. I felt like I was slurring words, and I know for a fact that I was having a difficult time focusing on tasks.

Then I barfed.

If not for the barfing, I'd give it a "B-". I think barfing automatically lowers the grade. "C"


Cousin Meghan said...

Anything that received a C post barf, must have tasted pretty good to start off with.

fraley said...

Try caramelizing the onions with a few pepper flakes and pressed garlic, then adding it to the meat. Real parmsion(sp) cheese adds an intense flavor also( think Italion meat balls) When you are forming the burger, indent the top a bit; it will come out flatter if you do and will cook more evenly.

Beefy Muchacho said...

Megs- It definitely was pretty tasty, but the texture still wasn't exactly right.

Fraley- (not sure which Fraley this is.... ) The parmesan cheese idea sounds really interesting. I was trying to shoot for a more southwestern spice on this one, but sort of undercut that by using hot italian sausage. Maybe I should make them 2 separate burgers.

I saw the indentation thing on Rachel Ray about 2 days after I made these. Would definitely have been helpful.

Anonymous said...

South western? Try adding cumin
and fresh cilantro.

Anonymous said...

There is an interesting take on burgers in this Sundays NYTimes Mag. It has made me very hungery!! You must read it!

Anonymous said...

There was an interesting take on burgers in this weeks NYTimes Mag. ( hamburgers made like a toasted Chees Sandwhich) It sounds delisH. maybe it is all the butter.

Anonymous said...

Sorry! I didn't think my earlier post made it.