I’m not much of a burger guy. Wait, yes I am. It’s just hard to find a good burger these days. Restaurant burgers are always bland, and fast food burgers just aren’t burgers. The only legit ones these days come from hole in the wall joints who boast a grill that’s been seasoned for years. I’ve never gotten homemade burgers to taste the way I want, mainly because I haven’t tried very hard. My homemade burger experience mainly consists of buying a package of ground chuck from the grocery store, seasoning the shit out of it, and throwing it in a pan. The results haven’t been too great.
This past week I set out to change my homemade burger woes. I was going to do everything in my power to make the closest thing to a perfect burger I could without a seasoned grill. This wasn’t going to be an easy task. The logical first step was to figure out the meats I would use. I knew that chuck was the best type of beef to use, due to it’s fat content, but while it will make a juicy burger it definitely lacks in flavor. I decided that adding sirloin was the only option. The chuck would bring the fat to the party, and the sirloin would show up fashionably late and bring the flavor. Together, they would make one incredible burger.
Bringing chuck and sirloin to the party wasn’t the only thing I had to do. Oh no. These were perfect burgers I was making. As you can see from the picture above, I purchased a cut of each and decided that I was going to grind my own meat. I didn’t want some store bought beef bag that could possibly come from 100 different cows. This way, I know where my meat is coming from. Well, kind of.
I don’t own a meat grinder, but I do own the next best thing which is a food processor. I had heard for some time that a food processor will give you a different consistency than a grinder but generally it works just as well. I decided this was good enough for me since I don’t have $150 to drop on a meat grinder.
With a food processor all all you need to do is some really simple preparation, then let it do the work. I started by trimming some of the fat off of the cuts. Fat not only means flavor, but a juicy burger as well, so I left a good amount on. I then cut the meat into cubes and left them in the freezer for an hour or so. Unless you want ground beef that resembles what your cat eats, this is an important step. After the freezing process, 6 or 7 cubes went into the food processor per “grind”, and pulsed 15-20 times. Do I have to explain why you don’t want to puree your beef? I don’t believe so.
After you pulse/chop up all of the beef cubes, you should have a bowl of goodness that looks something like the following picture. Beautiful. I added a little salt, pepper, minced garlic, and seasoning salt, but I figured the beef would do most of the talking.
At this point, it wasn’t enough that I had freshly ground beef. For some reason I went a little nuts. This is a reoccurring issue with me. I decided the only way to prepare these burgers was to stuff them with random things I had in my refrigerator and freezer. I hadn’t gone shopping in some time, so this ended up being one of those “Hey, I wonder what this will taste like” kind of moments.
The first burger was pretty simple and only stuffed with a bit of Gorgonzola cheese.
This is when things started to get a little crazy. In my kitchen, there are always have plenty of pierogies. I can’t get enough of them. For some reason, I thought pierogies would be a perfect thing to put inside a burger. Observe, a pierogi burger.
If a pierogie burger wasn’t weird enough already, I remembered that I had a bag of pizza rolls in the freezer. Yes, the pizza roll burger was born.
After I completely ruined my idea to make burgers out of flavorful beef by stuffing them with the most random products I could get my hands on, I had to somehow make these monsters into actual burgers. It took a long time, but I finally got the patties to actually resemble a burger. They may look like brontosaurus burgers, but these babies are legit.
From there the burgers went onto a HOT cast iron skillet for about 3 minutes on each side and then into the oven on 350 for about 5-7 minutes. I had never made burgers of this kind before, so I figured some time in the oven would do them well.
After the time on the skillet, these things were starting to look beautiful. The Cheddar and bacon burger was starting to come apart a little bit, but no big deal. Nothing was oozing out of the sides. I couldn’t exactly get the grill marks I was looking for, but things were looking good.
Now that the burgers were cooked, the logical next step was to cut them in half so there would be room in our stomachs to sample all four burgers. It’s not every night that I attempt to eat as much as humanly possible. Sometimes I like to enjoy the flavor! Everything looked good, except the fillings got a little smushed down by the massive amount of meat used for each burger. There was only a thin layer of stuffing with the rest just being beef. Next time I’ll have to go a little heavier on the stuffings and a little lighter on the beef. Rookie mistake. Not exactly bush league though. These things were deeeeelicious.
The Gorgonzola Burger is pretty overpowering. If you’re not a serious Gorgonzola fan, I would stay away from putting it in your burger. I thought it was very good, but others who tried it found it to be rather disgusting.
The Cheddar Bacon Burger was delicious, but I’ll probably leave the bacon out of the inside of the burger next time. It lost its crispiness in the cooking process, but still gave the burger great flavor. The Cheddar didn’t ooze out the way I would have liked it, probably because I didn’t use enough.
The Pierogi Burger was the shocker of them all. It was incredible. The potato flavor went right with the burger and the perogi filling actually oozed out of the burger as you pushed down on it. I’m for sure making another perogi burger.
I had high hopes for the Pizza Roll Burger and it fell flat. I only put three inside of the burger and they were completely smushed down by the beef. The only taste of a pizza roll I got was a little bit in the aftertaste.
Give a little effort on the preperation and you can have yourself a plate of delicious leftovers stuffed brontosaurus burgers at home.