Hamburgers and sliders
====================== 2021-08-29


Comment: Everyone has their recipe which is of course the best. When I made hamburgers for the first time, I did not have too many preconceived ideas on the subject and so I experimented. I tried different categories of beef, fat or lean, I mixed other kinds of meat (sausage meat), I added breadcrumbs, milk, eggs, raw or cooked onions, garlic, spices, herbs. The conclusion is that the best burgers are only beef. Then I continued my experiments with pre-packaged ground beef or ready made frozen burgers (to be avoided), beef freshly chopped (better), corn fed beef or grass fed, to reach the conclusion that can be obvious, but now proven, that the best burgers are made with the finest beef only, preferably freshly minced by your butcher. The fat content
is less important with good meat that, juicier, has less need of this binder. Fat is taste, and here 5 to 10% are amply enough.

The sauce(s): There is choice, however avoid too powerful sauces, like BBQ sauce.
For my part, I make one or two based on mayonnaise, I suggest some below.

Cheese: In slices. The choice is vast and depends on your taste. My preference is Cheddar (tasty) or creamier cheeses (American cheese in the USA, various sliced cheeses in Europe).

Bacon: almost essential, preferably take a smoked bacon cut thick (2.5 to 3 mm).

Garnish: Choice of 1 or 2 letuce leaves, slices of onion (preferably red, it is less powerful than white onion), tomato slices, slices of jalapeños, ketchup (why not), mustard (perhaps), fried mushrooms, etc.

Sliders: Sliders are small burgers, from 1/2 to 1/3 of a standard hamburger. The goal is to have 2 or 3 different tastes in the same meal. Make chopped steaks and rolls accordingly.
 
Assembling the burger:
according to this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJskYagyhjE
the best assembly order is (from bottom to top): letuce, meat, cheese, tomato, ketchup, pickle, oignon, mayo.
the second best is: meat, cheese, pickle, ketchup, oignon, tomato, letuce, mayo.


Ingredients (per person):
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200 g of good ground beef 5 to 10% fat.
1 hamburger bun (see this site Burger buns cut in half
2 to 3 slices of bacon (opt)
sauce (see suggestions below)
Toppings (according to taste).


Preparation:
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Shape the hamburgers, either with a disk or in the palm of your hand, do not forget to make them thinner in the middle (otherwise when cooking, they become too thick in the middle). Handle the meat as little as possible, do not over-compress it. Burgers should be the size of the roll (they will shrink slightly when cooked). Let them stand under cover to get to room temperature before cooking them.

Prepare your sauce(s) at least 1 hour in advance to let the flavors diffuse.

Prepare the toppings as late as possible or film them so they do not dry.

Prepare slices of cheese and bacon if used.

Preheat the BBQ on medium/high.

Generously salt one side of the steaks and place them on the bbq salted side down. Salt also generously the other side. Do not pepper at this point.
Note: depending on your BBQ grid, if the meat sticks, it is possible to slightly oil the steaks.
Close the BBQ as much as possible to keep it warm.
Cook for 2 minutes, then turn the steaks 1/4 of a turn. Cook another 2 minutes then flip the steaks.
Add pepper now. Place the bacon on the BBQ, After 2 minutes, turn the steaks 1/4 turn and place 1 or 2 slices of cheese on the meat. Cook another 2 minutes, closed cover for the cheese to melt, but watch for and flip the bacon when it begins to brown.

The meat should be cooked well done. If you like your meat a little less cooked, cook 4 times 1.5 minutes.

Do not press on the steaks while cooking, you want the juice to stay inside.

Take the bacon out, it should be nicely browned and slightly crispy, take out the steaks and let them sit under cover while you toast your buns.

Place the half buns on the bbq 1 or 2 minutes, then flip to toast the other side.

Everything is ready to serve.


Variations:
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For a more Italian version, why not use prosciutto instead of bacon, and gorgonzola for cheese.

For a Mexican version, use Monterey jack or pepper-jack (easy to find in the USA, maybe more difficult in Europe) with some slices of jalapeños (opt) and avocado slices to replace the  sauce.

Sauces:
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Simple: The simplest sauce is simply mayonnaise, but one can easily do better.
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Standard: The one I do most often, base for more sophisticated versions.
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- 1 heap tablespoon of mayonnaise
- onion powder (enough)
- garlic powder
- a dash of ketchup
- a dash of vinegar (white or white wine)
- pepper

Mexican: add to the recipe above chipotle powder or from a jar.
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You can also add to the standard recipe a drop of white port wine or a drop of cognac.

For those who want a hotter sauce, add chilli powder or a drop of spicy sauce.

Hot whiskey (thanks Pierrick):
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- 1 heap tablesoon of mayonnaise
- a dash of BBQ sauce
- a dash of whiskey
- chilli powder
- pepper

Roquefort: for ~4 burgers
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- Mayonnaise 100 g
- Roquefort 50g
- Yellow mustard 1 teaspoon
- A few sprinkles of cayenne pepper
- pepper
-> Put all the ingredients in a bowl, except the mayonnaise, mix well then add the mayonnaise.

Avocado sauce:
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- 1 heap tablespoon of mayonnaise
- Yellow mustard 1/2 teaspoon
- 1/2 ripe avocado crushed
- Pepper