You got beef with America?

If you do, now's the time to toss it on the fire,

By BETH SHAPIRO
June 25, 2009 15:44
4 minute read.
You got beef with America?

burger 88. (photo credit: )

Next weekend marks one of America's most fun holidays: the Fourth of July. Traditionally, the day is celebrated with fireworks, parades and barbecues. Though it's not our Independence Day, any excuse for a cookout is a good one. Chef Tzahi Bukshashtar of Black Bar 'n' Burger has a few suggestions for the season's best burgers. A recipe for a hamburger, you ask? There's really no such thing. You need to know the basic rules for a big, tasty burger and to buy good, fresh meat. The preparation isn't complicated, but if you want great results, you have to take it seriously. First things first: Choose the meat. Not the frozen kind, but the fresh kind. The trick is to mix two kinds of beef - the lean and aromatic meat (like rump steak or sirloin) with the fatty kind that will give the patty its moisture. The fat melts during cooking and gives the meat its juiciness. Entrecote and chuck are the favorite fatty parts of the cow, and you can use both. The idea is to use about half lean beef and half fatty beef in order to come out with a relatively lean patty. But mix according to your own taste and conscience. CLASSIC BURGER Makes 6 servings

  • 1.2 kg. fresh beef
  • Coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2-3 large onions
  • 1⁄2 cup oil for frying
  • 1⁄2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup soda water
  • 2 Tbsp. cognac (optional)
  • 3 Tbsp. barbecue sauce (optional)
  • Crushed garlic (optional) Chop onion and fry in the oil, in a pot. Drain the fried onions and cool. Cut the beef into large pieces and process once through a meat grinder, using the large holes, along with the onion and pepper. Add the salt and soda, mix, kneading like you would dough. Place in the refrigerator to cool, covered, for at least two hours. If you want to add other ingredients, like the barbecue sauce, put it with the soda before chilling. Shape patties into equal-sized rounds and flatten by hand. Chefs use a metal ring to form theirs - the same kind you would use to make pancakes or sunny-side-up eggs. Try not to squeeze the meat too much. Place the patties on baking paper and let them rest in the fridge. Grill the hamburgers on a barbecue or in a grill pan until they reach the desired doneness. Serve on a bun with a green salad. Grill up some slices of onion and tomato too, if desired, and serve them as side dishes. GREENBURGER Black Bar 'n' Burger makes a lighter burger that includes spinach and nuts. It is served on a bed of lettuce. Makes 6 servings
  • 1.2 kg. fresh beef
  • Coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2-3 large onions
  • 1⁄2 cup oil for frying
  • 150 gr. walnuts
  • 1 Tbsp. cold-pressed walnut oil
  • 1.2 kg. washed spinach
  • Salt
  • 2 Tbsp. cognac
  • 1⁄2 tsp. crushed garlic
  • 1 cup soda water Blanch the spinach for a minute in a large pot with plenty of boiling water and salt. Drain and cool immediately in cold water. Drain again. Squeeze the spinach until you end up with firm medallions. Using a knife, roughly chop the onions and fry them in a pot in the oil. Drain the fried onions and cool. Cut the meat into large chunks and grind them once in a meat grinder, along with the onions and pepper, using the large holes. Add the chopped spinach, 1 tsp. salt, cognac, walnut oil, crushed garlic and soda. Knead, as you would dough, but don't overdo it. Toast the walnuts in a dry frying pan, chop and add to the meat mixture. Mix a bit, then place in the fridge to cool for a least two hours, covered. Shape patties into equal-sized rounds and flatten by hand. Place the patties on baking paper and let them rest again in the fridge. Grill the hamburgers on a barbecue or in a grill pan until they reach the desired doneness. Serve on a bun with a green salad. FISHBURGER This is a juicy burger made from salmon. It is best to use fresh fish, and not frozen. The burger is great with mushrooms sauteed in white wine and olive oil. Makes 6 large servings
  • 1 kg. salmon fillet
  • 50 gr. smoked salmon
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • Grated ginger
  • 4 Tbsp. teriyaki sauce
  • 1 tsp. Thai sweet chili sauce
  • Canola oil for frying
  • Buns and toppings Clean the fillet, removing skin and bones but leaving the fat (it's healthy!). Chop the green onion. Fry the white part in a bit of oil until golden. Cut 1⁄3 of the fish into small cubes - about the size of backgammon dice. Grind the remainder of the salmon in a food processor with the fried onion, ginger and teriyaki. Transfer to large bowl. Add the green onion and the fish cubes, mixing by hand. Wet your hands and make large patties. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, well-covered with plastic wrap. Fry the fishburgers in a large non-stick skillet - a grill pan if you have one. Don't move the patties too much at the start. Turn them over and fry on the other side over a low flame. They're tastiest when cooked a drop more than medium. In the meantime, prepare the plates: Toast the buns, taste the white wine. If you're using mushrooms, slice them and fry with a few drops of olive oil in a hot pan. Season with salt and pepper. At the last minute, add a bit of white wine that will evaporate quickly. Top the burger with the mushrooms.


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