This weekend I took Kenji Lopez-Alt on and hand-ground some oxtail, brisket and sirloin. Kenji is a mad cook scientist with super-hero caliber creative powers . . . the stuff he comes up with is magnificent and over the top . . . just my style! Who could think to freeze burger “juice”/drippings and then insert/stuff said frozen disk between two fresh burger patties in order to effectuate the sublime combination of a crispy burger and a flat burger and a juicy burger? (the “Flood Burger”) His Blue Label Burger Blend is easily one of the tamer projects on his site The Burger Lab so I set out this weekend. The results were flavorful, although what did not work so spectacularly was using my hand grinder. The oxtail begs to be ground by a machine because the fat just destroyed my little grates not literally, but I do not know how I am going to clean them. Fire hose? I also lamented that my wonderful guests preferred their burgers medium to medium well, so there were no juiciness fireworks or applause.
In typical overachieving fashion I decided to make my own burger buns, even though I always say I am not a baker and every trial proves me right . . . . I have such a hard time measuring and following recipes! Sometimes I don’t even want to employ the correct equipment. Thus…
The buns were based on a pizza dough recipe and again, the flavor was good, even if the size, whether too small or too large, made the burgers rather cumbersome to eat!
Accompaniments? Once again I turn to Kenji. Crispy smashed potatoes. Fabulous. Potatoes cooked, smushed, fried in duck fat.