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Saturday, August 8, 2009

Sirloin bugers with caramelized onions, shitake mushrooms and oven fries

I love hamburgers. A well made burger is a thing of beauty. Although I could always trot over to the nearest fast food place to buy one I prefer making them at home.

I used to just buy ground beef and make my burgers with that but recently I started buying steaks and making them with that and it makes all the difference in the world. I take the steaks and try to cut off as much fat as possible and then cut them into small chunks. I take a handful of chunks, enough to make one patty and then mince the meat. It's important not to be tempted to mince everything together in the food processor all at once because the texture won't be as good. Chances are the meat at the bottom will be mush and the meat on top won't be minced enough.

Here is the equivalent of one patty after mincing with some salt and pepper added in. Now, usually I love spices and herbs but with hamburgers I think simple is best. I won't lie though, making the patties this way is a lot more time consuming than just buying a package of ground meat but you can totally taste the difference.

Usually I just add tomato and the requisite run of the mill toppings, i.e. chili sauce, mustard, cheese etc.. to my burger but I wanted make something special and decided to top them with caramelized onions and shitake mushrooms. I love shitakes, pricey but totally worth it. So here are my onions and mushrooms before cooking:

And after cooking for half an hour or so with butter and oil over low heat:

Yeah, I know. Not the prettiest looking mixture but oh so tasty. Now for the fries. While I have always wanted a deep fryer but since I know I'll be making doughnuts and other assorted artery clogging delights every weekend should I ever venture to buy one, I have been forced to find a method of replicating deep fried fries with an oven.

I cut potatoes, toss them with olive oil, salt and pepper and then put them in the oven at 400 degrees. The trick is to put the rack of the oven as high as it will go and leave them there. I don't touch them until they've started to turn golden brown otherwise the fries will start to fall apart. I also crank up the heat up to 500 at the end of the cooking time which is roughly 30-45 minutes.

Ta dah! Lovely, golden oven fries. I always manage to burn a few since it's tricky to get all of them to cook 100% evenly but I consider them sacrificed for the greater culinary good.

I don't do anything too complicated to cook the patties, they're just browned on the stove and then put in the oven to finish cooking.

Behold, the finished product. My sirloin burgers are topped with my caramelized onions and shitakes, underneath the patty is some aged Candian cheddar and on top is some honey mustard. I have to confess, after I finished making lunch and taking this picture I had to try to not inhale everything since I was so hungry and it smelled so good.
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