Let’s face facts, many of the burgers one encounters in the big, bad world, are pretty bloody awful. Most of you see the sun come out, rush to the convenience store and buy a box of frozen patties (Who is Pattie and what did she do to deserve this treatment?). Then it’s home to the garden, to wipe the cobwebs off the barbecue. Then you take the wire brush to the grill. Next you fire it up and burn off last season’s leftovers. You throw the frozen patties on the grill along with some jumbo sausages, ribs, bacon, cofti, chicken wings and pork chops. You take pictures of the whole lot burning on the too-hot grill and share it to your social media. You swill a few cans of beer, over-eat, get the “meat sweats” and retire to snore through the worst excesses of your piggery. But….., there is a better way. Better for you and better for small producers creating great product sold through independent butchers who know their trade. The way forward is the Way of the Wagyu.
If you want a really great outcome when grilling, start with great ingredients. For me, it is very hard to beat great beef, sourced from a great butcher who break their own carcasses and grind their own mince. When you add Irish Wagyu beef into that mix, you end up with a truly delightful experience. I like to make my own burgers. Here’s what I did for these truly epic burgers.
I put it to you that pretty well everything in the above photo is optional and subject to preference. Everything except the Wagyu beef mince, the smoked sea salt crystals and the black pepper. However, follow my lead and you will not regret it.
- 1 kilo of Wagyu beef mince
- 1 heaped teaspoon of smoked sea salt crystals
- 1 heaped teaspoon of ground black pepper
- Mature cheddar cheese
- Mustard (In Ireland, the Birds and the Teas brand is delightful)
- Tomato sauce
- Large mild onion sliced thin and broken into ‘hoops’
- Lettuce of your choice
- Tomato sliced thinly
Throw the mince into a bowl and mix in the salt and pepper by hand. If you use a mixer, you will bash the meat and break down the fibres ahead of the cooking. Don’t do it.
I like to use crystal salt for these burgers as they give a little burst of smoky saltiness when eating. Delicious.
The next step is entirely up to you. Burger sizing. If you are a committed ‘meat sweats’ person, make the burgers very big. If you are a normal person, like me, make six patties out of the kilo of mince. That is plenty big enough.
Fire up the grill and get it nice and hot. Grill the burgers to your preferred degree of ‘doneness’. don’t be an ass and overcook them. You are using great ingredients that deserve the right amount of cooking, no more.
When they are nearly done, sit the mature cheddar on top of the meat. Grill the buns to toast them.
Construct your burger. I like to build as follows: Base of bun, add tomato sauce, sit the pattie on, add the mustard, add the onions, tomato and lettuce, rub the top bun with the mayo and sit on top.
Serve this delightful burger with a good robust red wine. Anybody who eats it will be convinced of the approach. You will be a leader. You can make pronouncements about “The Way of the Wagyu”. You will be a grilling god. The alternative is to drive to the convenience store….