October 31, 2012 in Food

Transform beef into burgers at home

Cook’s Illustrated shares science behind Juicy Pub-Style Burgers

Juicy Pub-Style Burgers start with fresh-ground steak tips.
(Full-size photo)

The editors at Cook’s Illustrated magazine are getting geeky.

After more than 20 years of experiments to find the best recipes for home cooks, they’re sharing all of the science behind the dishes they make. Organized into 50 basic cooking concepts, “The Science of Good Cooking” is filled with pictures, diagrams and details that will warm the hearts of kitchen scientists everywhere.

There are more than 400 recipes in the new book. Each recipe comes with an introductory explanation of how and why the recipe works.

Here’s the recipe for Juicy Pub-Style Burgers:

Juicy Pub-Style Burgers

Sirloin steak tips are also sold as flap meat. When stirring the butter and pepper into the ground meat and shaping the patties, take care not to overwork the meat or the burgers will become dense. For the best flavor, season the burgers aggressively just before cooking. The burgers can be topped as desired.

For Pub-Style Burgers:

2 pounds sirloin steak tips, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch chunks

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

Salt and pepper

1 teaspoon vegetable oil

4 large hamburger buns, toasted and buttered

For Pub-Style Burger Sauce:

3/4 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar

1 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon minced chives

1 garlic cloves, minced

3/4 teaspoon pepper

Place beef chunks on baking sheet in single layer. Freeze meat until very firm and starting to harden around edges but still pliable, 15 to 25 minutes.

Place one-quarter of meat in food processor and pulse until finely ground into 1/16-inch pieces, about 35 pulses, stopping and redistributing meat around bowl as necessary to ensure beef is evenly ground. Transfer meat to baking sheet, overturning processor bowl and without directly touching meat. Repeat grinding with remaining 3 batches of meat. Spread meat over baking sheet and inspect carefully, discarding any long strands of gristle or large chunks of hard meat or fat.

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees. Drizzle melted butter over ground meat and add 1 teaspoon pepper. Gently toss with fork to combine. Divide meat into 4 lightly packed balls. Gently flatten into patties 3/4 inch thick and about 4 1/2 inches in diameter. Refrigerate patties until ready to cook. (Patties can be refrigerated for up to 1 day.)

Season 1 side of patties with salt and pepper. Using spatula, flip patties and season other side. Heat oil in 12-inch skillet over high heat until just smoking. Using spatula, transfer burgers to skillet and cook without moving for 2 minutes. Using spatula, flip burgers over and cook for 2 minutes longer. Transfer patties to rimmed baking sheet and bake until burgers register 125 degrees (for medium-rare) or 130 degrees (for medium), 3 to 6 minutes.

Transfer burgers to plate and let rest for 5 minutes. Transfer to buns, add desired toppings and serve.

To make the Pub-Style Burger Sauce: Whisk all ingredients together in bowl.

Yield: 4 servings

Get stories like this in a free daily email

Please keep it civil. Don't post comments that are obscene, defamatory, threatening, off-topic, an infringement of copyright or an invasion of privacy. Read our forum standards and community guidelines.

You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in here or click the comment box below for options.

comments powered by Disqus