We always know that Burger Lab serves gourmet burger and fries. What we discovered at their kitchen is something more than that; it’s actually bordering molecular gastronomy. Despite the casual work culture, they take their burger very seriously. The physical and chemical transformation of ingredients that happens during cooking are taken into consideration. They use specialised tools such as a customised burger smasher and employ precise timing in cooking.
Burger Lab kindly showed us how you can make a good burger at home. Warning: do not expect it to be like other JewelPie’s recipes. There’s a lot of details involved in creating this burger and would take much more time than usual. If done properly, the incredible taste is beyond words.
YOU WILL NEED:
> Good cuts of lean beef made into a patty. Chuck or brisket is good. Ask the butcher to grind it for you (twice if possible). Ask for some beef fat from the butcher too (no grinding needed).
> Cherry tomatoes (slow-roasted bit with salt, sugar, thyme, and garlic)
> Leafy vegetable (e.g butterhead)
> ‘Secret sauce’ Ketchup:Mustard:Mayo, 1:1:1 ratio mixed.
> Aged/sharp cheddar or swiss)
Making the patty
- Keep the meat constantly chilled in the chiller. Do not freeze the meat
- Take the beef fat and start chopping them till they are diced (not minced). Put in freezer to chill for 30 minutes.
- Do a 80:20 ratio patty. Take the chilled minced beef and measure out 80g of meat. Then measure out another 20g of chopped beef fat. Mixed them together quickly and evenly in a bowl (bowl should be cold, put in freezer for 15 minutes before using)
- Pack the patty tightly into a large meatball without smearing it too much. Just use your hand and compact towards the centre of the meatball. Do it quickly, as the warmth of your hand can affect the meat texture. Once you’re done, place meatball(s) in freezer for 10 minutes to let it set.
- Get ready a pan for frying your patty. You can use a non-stick pan or just a regular stainless steel pan (as long as it’s a flat surface). No need for oil as your patty is fatty enough. Heat your pan till it’s too hot to put your hand 1 inch over it.. Place meatball on the hot pan, listen to that thing sizzle. Within 15 seconds, use a flat spatula and press on the meatball evenly and vertically till it’s about 1 cm thick. It should look like a patty now. Coat the top layer generously with salt. (Another option: Squirt some mustard over the top of the patty and lay some thin sliced onion on it too. This is called the mustard onion grill)
- Cover with an inverted bowl just big enough to enclose the patty, and squirt some water into that bowl to create steam in that enclosure. This will help moisten the patty and cook it faster too. After about a minute and 15 seconds, remove bowl carefully, and flip the burger. Do not press on the patty. All you will be doing is pressing out all that juice you have worked so hard to preserve!
- Layer on a slice of cheese, cover and steam again for another 1 minute and 15 secs. Once the time is up, remove bowl and scrape up the patty and its very melty cheese. Rest on a plate for about 2 to 3 minutes.
Assembling the burger:
- Toast your bun in the same pan. You can add butter to the bun but we prefer the beef oil that was leftover from the patty. Let it soak up all that goodness.
- Once bun is slightly toasted, spread some secret sauce over the top and bottom bun.
- Place your lettuce and oven roasted cherry tomatoes over the bottom bun.
- Next is the patty that is smothered in gooey cheese. Once that’s done, cover it up with your top bun and you’re ready to go.
- At the butcher, ask for double ground meat as you will get rid of the harder to chew bits.
- Uncooked meat temperature is very important, the ‘warmer’ the meat is kept, the more moisture and juice it’ll lose (the bloody juices you see)
- The less time the meat is touched by your hands the better. Always keep the meat chilled. Chiller not cold enough? One way is to keep it in the freezer at no more than half an hour at a time.
- When cooking patty using the smash method, a high heat on the pan is required in order to quickly sear the meat and form a salt crust which would hold in all the flavours.
- Never serve cold cheese. Put it on the burger the moment you flip it to cook on the second side.
- Beware of hot steam when opening up the bowl cover.
According to the people at Burger Lab, if done correctly, you will be very popular among friends and you’d end up being the burger guy at parties.
What do you think?
Address : No. 14, Jalan 21/22, Seapark, 46300 Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
Opening Hours : Monday till Sunday, 5 pm – 10.15 pm
Website : http://myburgerlab.com/
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/myBurgerLab