Monday, August 20, 2007

Burger Reconstructed

I woke up Saturday with a spring in my step and a song in my heart; it was going to be a lazy Saturday. We had no plans; I could sit around in my shorts, drinking beer and slowly feel my brains ooze out of my ears while watching bad television all day.

Unfortunately, I failed to consult all the stakeholders in this particular plan, so an hour later, I was busy vacuuming the house after putting clothes away.

In any case, I wasn’t complaining; I still had a plan. I still had outs. I was going to wait until later in the day and fire up the grill.

As I sit and enjoy an early-evening summer breeze, burgers would be cooking not three feet from me, and nothing goes better with grilling than an ice-cold beer.

However, fate decided to go ahead and kick me in the shins once again.

I pulled the meat out of the freezer only to discover that the bag had split open, leaving a chunk of meat freezer burned. No problem; I could just toss that small piece after it thaws. After wrapping the meat in plastic, I dropped it in cold water to speed the thawing process . . .

. . . only to discover, 30 or so minutes later, that water had seeped into the plastic and waterlogged the ground beef.

Now I had soaked ground beef, and worse, the water washed away a lot of the juice from the beef. So we had cold, flavor-free beef soup. Not appetizing.

I considered going out, but I wanted to grill, dammit! I needed a plan . . .

Basically, the hamburger meat needed something to help it bind together, and some fat to replace the washed-away fat. I decided on a mixture of breadcrumbs and butter. The butter would replace some of the lost fat and the breadcrumbs would bind the meat together. And if it didn’t work, then what the hell? McDonald’s wasn’t that far off. After adding my patented mixture of garlic powder, kosher salt, pepper, onions and cayenne, I was ready for the experiment to continue.

Surprisingly, the grilling went fairly well. There was some flaring due to the butter content, but the burgers held together very well. However, due to crumbling fears, I decided to cook them up to medium-well to well done instead of my usual medium-rare.

The results?

Not bad. Not good, but not bad. The breadcrumbs gave the burgers an almost meatloaf-like consistency, which we didn’t really enjoy much, but the flavor was fine. Next time, I might use fewer breadcrumbs.

Or not dowse the beef in water without making sure it’s better sealed first. Or just not get out of bed in the first place.


Farrell said...

why didn't you just um, like, go to the store and buy fresh meat?
and: good for her for making you help out around the house!! did she clean up the dishes?

Brian said...

I hate wasting perfectly good meat, and I'm lazy. Therefore, it's a perfect setup for me to try a little cooking experiment. At least it didn't tear my stomach up like this weekend did.