Tasting the Hunter's Point Burger
On a beautiful day: I travelled to Long Island City, Hunters Point to be exact, to Chef Ian Kapitan’s new spot Alobar. I was reluctant that such grande cuisine would exist in Long Island City — I was wrong!
Alobar, a beautiful restaurant, with large open seating windows, stressed wood ceilings, a long marble bar that evokes a bright airy dining room space. In the kitchen, Chef Ian Kapitan’s menu boasts the gammit of all elevated comfort meat and seafood dishes, especially PORK! You’ll find a decadent charcuterie plate with piles of sweet norcino salami, Virginia prosciutto, boar & hazelnut patè, theres a duck confit “sloppy joe” with smoked ricotta, truffle, red wine onions, topped with sunny side up duck egg and mixed greens.You may want to try the mac & cheese “carbonara” with four cheese blend, pancetta, truffle braised egg? All these items are reason to go to Alobar — but my quest here was the burger!
Coined the Hunters Point Burger, Chef Ian concocts a behemoth like stack-of typical burger toppings- except done exceptionally! there’s a moist patty, blanketed with warm creamy melted cheddar, smoked balsamic onions, spicy pickles and beer battered bacon — Yes! beer battered bacon. It that wasn’t enough to satisfy your flavor addiction, it comes with a heaping bowl of-skin on- truffle fries. The burger arrived and already I was excited over the crispy slabs of beer battered fried bacon that my mouth wasn’t going to wait long to dig in.The crunch of that beer battered porky goodness resting upon a juicy plump patty was need I say — the sexiest thing I’ve tasted in a long while. The robust sweetness of the onions and the creamy silkiness of a high quality cheddar was welcoming and extremely good.
Alobar is a snout to tail, meaty poolooza of a restaurant with a comfort sensibility to the palate . Everything here is good, it’s so good-it’s almost bad! You’ll enjoy every guilt ridden bite into flavor town. Well done Alobar!
SIA Acc. 16-126, Box 01 - National Museum of Natural History (U.S.), Photographic Collection, 1959-1971, Smithsonian Institution Archives
Mansfield Library, University of Montana
Denis Diderot and Jean Le Rond d'Alembert. L'Encyclopédie: Recueil de planches, sur les sciences, les arts libéraux, et les arts méchaniques: avec leur explication. 40 Vols. (Paris, 1762), Plate XXI, Vol. 20.
The wooden cage grain has been strewn to attract the birds into the trap. When the hunter hidden behind the brush at right pulls the string, the sticks holding up the side of the cage are jerked away and it falls, capturing the baited birds. Diderot didn't explain in his "explication" how the hunter could retrieve even one bird from beneath the cage without the rest escaping. Might this have been the kind of "great Trap" Robert Beverly's friend "invented"?
W ithin the first year of their residence at Plymouth Plantation the Pilgrims learned to appreciate what a hunter's paradise they had found. Seasonally, it provided them with an abundance of waterfowl, as well as a "great store of wild turkeys, of which they took many, besides venison." That supply of meat combined with their first year's harvest of Indian corn enabled them to celebrate their famous first Thanksgiving with several days worth of feasting. Some later arrivals to Massachusetts country regarded the wild richness of the new land differently. Thomas Morton (1590?-1647), for example, was the adventurous entrepreneur whom the Pilgrims' stern leader, Governor William Bradford of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, excoriated for his un-Puritanical "worldliness," and even more for his practice of providing guns to their Indian neighbors and then hiring them to hunt fowl and deer for his own settlement. The Indians, Bradford scolded&ndashscarcely suppressing a hint of admiration&ndash"became far more active in that employment than any of the English by reason of their swiftness of foot and nimbleness of body, being also quick sighted and by continual exercise well knowing the haunts of all sorts of game." 1 Later settlers, especially those without the resources to hire Indians to do their hunting, studied Indian practices and embellished them with their own expedients.
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 3 cups red wine
- 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 4 tablespoons tomato paste
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- salt to taste
- 4 tablespoons canola oil
- 10 slices cooked bacon, diced
- 2 pounds venison stew meat, trimmed and finely diced
- 2 cups black beans, cooked and drained
Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic, and saute for 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the brown sugar and saute for 2 to 3 more minutes. Then stir in the red wine, vinegar, tomato paste, chicken stock, cumin, cayenne pepper, chili powder, cilantro and salt. Simmer for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the mixture is reduced by about half.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the bacon and fry for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the bacon is browned. Move the bacon to one side of the skillet and add the venison to the empty side of the skillet. Season the meat with salt to taste and saute the meat for 15 minutes, or until well browned. Stir in the beans and toss all together. Transfer this mixture to the simmering pot.
Mix everything together thoroughly and let simmer for about 20 more minutes.
A Day Well Spent: Eating and drinking my way through the Hunter Valley (NSW, Australia)
On my last trip to the Hunter to cover the famous Hunter Valley food fight, I was lucky enough to sample more Hunter fare. I say Hunter fare here because even though it isn’t too far from Sydney (slightly more than a two hour drive), a lot of the food I tried tasted like an entirely different cuisine.
First up on our food road trip was Newy Burger Co. It’s actually not in the Hunter Valley but en route to it in Newcastle. I’ll spare you the cliffhanger, Newy Burger turned out to be a detour well worth stopping by.
There are seven different burger options like the Dudley Burger and the Merewether Burger, but if you’re feeling extra hungry, try the Pasha Bulker ($20) which boasts a triple beef patty and triple cheese. The burgers’ homegrown names are a bit of an inside joke just for the locals as they stem from places in Newcastle. The Bar Beef Burger ($11) sits in the foreground of this photo. It consists of a grilled premium beef patty, bacon, cheddar cheese, tomato, house made BBQ sauce and jalapeño white sauce. It’s a strong contender against Sydney’s long list of beef burgers, although the BBQ is just a tad bit overpowering.
Behind it is the Stocko Burger ($11) that’s made up of Southern fried chicken, cheddar cheese, slaw, rocket and Sriracha aioli. I am a huge fan of chicken burgers and the Stocko is quite possibly my favourite one yet. The chicken was deliciously crunchy on the outside and exceedingly tender on the inside. Cheese, slaw and Sriracha aioli were great complements as they each brought a different flavour profile which resulted in a very well-balanced burger. That week’s Dirty Fries ($8) special creation featured more of my favourite sauce Sriracha. I loved how it was overlaid with deep fried shallots which added an extra crunch factor to it.
Beautiful innards shot of the Stocko burger.
The skies were a little dreary and overcast that Hunter weekend but it managed to clear up in the later part of the weekend.
First Creek Wines was our first tasting, a wine making company that’s been crafting wines since 1996. CEO Greg Silkman and General Manager Gus Maher personally showed us around the barrel storage area where wine was extracted directly from the barrels for us to try. Prior to this trip, I didn’t know much about wine and even less about the kind that I like. First Creek Wines gave me a real appreciation for whites especially their semillon and chardonnay. You get a really great vibe from the place and the people who work there as it’s very family-run and welcoming. Despite only having a relatively small shop front, they produce wine for many other labels, it’s this business model that allows them to sell such excellent vintages under their own brand.
Something I also had to get familiar with that weekend were spittoons. You’d get yourself very drunk, very quickly if you downed every single glass at a tasting.
My second tasting the next day was at Scarborough wines. It’s another family business that’s also one of the most recognised Hunter Valley wineries. I for one, really enjoyed Scarborough because they treated us to a cheese and nibbles platter that’s usually reserved for their VIP customers.
The business has started expanding into new varieties of wine such as Rosé, Verdelho, newer types of Chardonnay as well as a Pinot. The Verdelho was far and away my favourite variety that day due to its beautiful aroma and how light it was on the palette.
It’s gorgeous on the outside also!
One of the most anticipated meals for me that weekend was Margan and just by this photo I think you can understand why. Walking through its entrance made me feel like I stepped back to a time of old world luxury.
Margan Restaurant is based in the Broke Fordwich wine sub-region of the Hunter Valley. Part and parcel of it is also Margan Wines which includes 100 hectares of vineyards, a state of the art winery and an earth cellar door. The restaurant’s menu is planned around the seasons and availability of produce from their famed one acre Kitchen Garden and orchard which supplies up to 90% of the vegetables and fruit that gets on to their diners’ plates. As if this wasn’t already produce paradise , there are also free range chickens, beehives, Black Suffolk lambs and olive groves. You name it, Margan has it, and if they don’t, they make it a point to source as much from local producers as possible.
We opted for the wine pairing (extra $45) as part of our lunch time 5 course degustation ($100). The sommelier was incredibly helpful and accommodating, allowing me to have an all white pairing while my dining partner went for an all red. This was despite some of the courses being red meat while others came with fish. Despite the obvious ‘clashes’, I feel like her expertise meant we could still have a great wine and dine experience even if it meant having a white with beef or a red with fish.
Every plating, and even the plate itself, is a work of art.
It’s beautiful and unpretentious food with wholesome flavours that are balanced to a ‘t’. These are just preview shots but it has to be said, Margan is one of the best degustation experiences I’ve ever had in Australia.
I had a truly wonderful time at the Hunter Valley, made more special because it was actually my first time ever in wine country. Hunter hospitality is a thing, every winemaker, restaurateur and kind host of a venue treated me like I was family. Hunter cuisine is a thing, I cannot help but reiterate this again as tasted food like I never have in Sydney. And I think Hunter colours should be as well based on the beautiful warm tones of Autumn that I saw at every turn. I can only imagine how full of colour the area would be in Spring and Summer.
The writer visited Hunter Valley as a guest of House of Airlie/Hunter Culinary. All photos by Samantha Low.
Pasta is a base that works with just about anything, even squirrel. Though I haven’t made any squirrel pasta recipes yet, I’m particularly excited about making squirrel ravioli.
The meat, finely diced, will add flavor and protein to the ravioli while other fillings like ricotta will help add richness to help balance out lean squirrel meat.
Our Happy Customers
Smart man! I bought A Slice of the Wild last year and have really enjoyed many of her recipes. I just got my copy of Sausage Season last week Eileen answered several nagging questions with good clear explanations in the intro section of the book, answers I couldn’t find anywhere else (and I’ve bought several sausage books over the past 2 years!). This is an outstanding book.
I’m buying a couple more copies of A Slice of the Wild for Christmas gifts this year.
Campfire Bob (on 24hourcampfire.com)
Just received my copy of Slice of the Wild and it is excellent! Game handling is discussed with great detail and obvious actual knowledge. I need one for both of my sons who hunt, take good care of their game, and cook better than I do.
Please sign one to Jon and one to Troy. Thank you, Bob D.
Patricia V bought 3 copies of Slice of the WIld and added this request:
Would you please sign my copies? Thank you so much. I love this book. Started at the beginning and couldn’t put it down. Great Job!
I received mine in the mail yesterday and read it last night. Super book, reinforced some of what I had learned the hard way, but added quite a few things I didn’t know. I have been very successful with bulk sausage, but the stuffing has always been less than impressive. But with my new knowledge I think they will be fantastic. I am excited for some cold winter days to sample all the recipes. Please tell Eileen fantastic! CRS on 24hourcampfire.com
Got my two books yesterday(one is a gift). The recipe descriptions Eileen provides in her book came damn close to my eating some of the pages of the book. It’s all pretty embarrassing and I should know better, but the truth will out. Glad I got the book and I’m starting tomorrow to make some terrific food. By far the easiest approach is to making sausage without a casing. Great food and easy to make. I’m all in, and delighted.
“This cookbook has the best treatment for handling wild meat I have ever read. Recommended!…”
I recently subscribed to the news. I had run into John and your writings and recipes a long time ago, probably in Gray’s Sporting Journal. In my mind there is a memory of an article on the 7吵 with a photo of a Ruger No. 1 leaning against a fence post. It was in some long ago article in some magazine that is now defunct. That article didn’t lead me to a 7吵 but it did lead me to a lot of single shot rifles. I don’t read many magazines these days but with the advent of the computer have spent some time on 24 hour Campfire and was pleased to see John’s input there.
I skimmed the issues of the news and then read all of them over the last few weeks. I made a batch of OMG cookies, learned the word obesagenic, read about my beloved .270 cartridge, your 100th big game animal, and enjoyed all those other wonderful articles.
I am embarassed I did not know about this sooner but elated that I found it. Thanks for a wonderful newsletter.
Eileen, What a great book! I ordered it for the recipes. I’ve butchered all my game animals for the last ten years to control the quality of the meat, so I was sure the butchering section would be of little use to me.
Boy was I wrong! The technique of cutting steaks off the bone looks great! I’ve read other books, and watched butchering videos online, but that was the clearest presentation I’ve seen. I can’t wait to try it.
Thanks for personalizing the book for me as well. when I’m finished reading it the first time, it will sit next to another favorite of mine, The Art of Wild Game Cooking.
I would like to share a story with you that involves John’s “Use a Rest” article (I hope that’s the correct title). Anyway, prior to last year’s elk hunt I shared the article with my wife Cheri. Well, a couple of days into the hunt we were working along a ridge. Cheri was out on point, Calli (my oldest daughter) was in the middle and I was hanging back a ways to keep other hunters from blundering into our hunt. I looked along the ridge and spotted the tell tale buckskin of elk ahead of us about the same time as Cheri and Calli drop into cover. With my binoculars could see that there were at least 5 critters and one was a spike. Since we had bull tags I figured Cheri would likely take a shot at the spike since this would be her first elk. I was in an exposed position so I hunkered down and waited for the shot…i could see Cheri was in a shooting position…and waited….and waited. Well, the spike wandered over the edge of the ridge and started down with a small group of cows. I crawled off the ridge and started working my way down trying to get a look at the spike…muttering under my breath about taking the shot. Unfortunately the wind and vegetation were working against me. I caught a glimpse of an elk butt heading down hill at an extended trot…no chance of getting a shot. So then I started working my way below the ridge to come up to Cheri and Calli from below. About the time I got even with them and made eye contact a bull lets out a scream. Damn, no wonder she didn’t take a shot at the spike! I can see Cheri in a sitting position with her rifle resting on a downed tree trunk. She’s looking through the scope…the bull is screaming…and..screaming…and…no shot…I’m thinking “pull the damn trigger will ya…you’re killing me”….and the bull fades off into the distance. Once the adreneline rush starts to fade I work my back up the ridge to Cheri and Calli. I ask Cheri why she didn’t shoot. Cheri says “I had a great rest like John described in his article but I couldn’t get a clear shot because a branch was in the way. I walked over to where she had been sitting and I looked at her and said “You know, you could have just stood up.” Rest anchored…
Just wanted to pass along a couple of “thank you’s” for Laurel. I was unable to get much time off work for this hunting season so Laurel hunted without me quite a bit. She was alone when she made a nice shot on a 5 bull Elk using the “lucky” .270 you passed on to her. Thank you #1.
Then when it came time to butcher that elk, and I wasn’t there to assist in the beginning, she remembered your book “Slice of the Wild”, and using it as a guide, got a great start on breaking down the elk into managable parts. Thanks #2! Of course, we constantly use the recipes from your book to prepare our wild game feasts, with many compliments from guests, even those who normally wouldn’t enjoy venison. Guess thats Thank You #3! Chuck
I took my 7吵 Argentine Mauser out to test some loads this past Sunday morning , and was thrilled with the results. Until recently, I have been building loads with an old set of RCBS FL dies. I just switched to Redding , and the run-out on 150 grain Partitions dropped consistently to less than .005”. All groups were at, or under 1” at 100 yards, with one group down to .5”
I followed the techniques you described in your video, and greatly appreciate the results.
Ingredients US Metric
- 1 1/2 pounds ground venison
- 6 ounces uncooked bacon or pancetta, ground or very finely chopped
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 large egg yolks
- Dash Worcestershire sauce, or more to taste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 to 6 slices Emmentaler cheese (optional)
- 4 to 6 good-quality burger buns, toasted or grilled
- Coarsely ground mustard (optional)
- Store bought or homemade mayonnaise (optional)
- Sliced dill pickles (optional)
- A handful arugula (optional)
Build a really hot fire in a grill or preheat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat.
In a bowl, combine the venison, bacon, salt, pepper, egg yolks, and Worcestershire sauce with your hands. The mixture will be sorta wet and sticky. Divvy the mixture into 4 to 6 balls and gently shape each blob into a 1 1/2-inch-thick patty.
Carefully brush the grill rack or skillet with a little oil.
Grill or sear the patties until well browned on one side, about 5 minutes. Flip and, if desired, place a slice of cheese on top of each patty, and then cook for about 3 minutes more for medium-rare to medium, or longer according to your desired doneness.
Serve the burgers on buns with your desired combination of mustard, mayonnaise, pickles, and/or arugula.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
I use venison a lot in cooking and have made a lot of venison burgers, but this was one of the best.
We made the burgers a little smaller when we ended up with 2 more people to feed at the last minute but they were still amazing. Even with our variety of picky eaters, the burgers got a thumbs-up plain, with just ketchup, with cheese and mustard, and with everything but arugula. One of our last-minute dinner guests had never tried venison and thought it was better than any beef burger he had had before.
A wonderful recipe that I’ll use again.
[EDITOR'S NOTE: The tester, Lori, sent us this note a year or so after first making these venison burgers.] Knowing my boys were having their wisdom teeth out and would be eating soft foods for a few days, I made sure to ask what they would like for dinner the night before surgery. As it was deer season, they both agreed it should be this venison burger. We always make the burger patties according to the recipe but always change the cheese and toppings to fit each individual’s personal taste. We just finished dinner and, as usual, the burgers were perfect!
What a delicious preparation for venison burgers! Since my husband has been a hunter for years, I’ve had my share of big game and game birds to prepare. The ground bacon and egg yolks added an unbelievable level of moistness to the venison meat. And we loved the smokiness of the bacon in the burgers.
I served them with Emmentaler cheese melted on top and an additional slice of cooked bacon on top. We had an arugula salad on the side with a Dijon vinaigrette. We left the bun off—the meat was awesome by itself! With so much ground venison, elk, and antelope around here, I wish I had found this recipe years ago. I’ve got it now and will use it often.
If you’re eating venison because it’s low-fat, this isn’t the recipe for you. But if you’ve some venison and want to make something tasty with it, this burger is the way to go. Venison would normally make for a very lean burger, but this recipe solves that problem by adding a generous amount of bacon and egg yolk.
As written, this recipe will make some really large burgers. I used only 1 pound of meat and scaled the recipe accordingly. I still got 4 pretty big burgers out of it. The bacon, in addition to adding fat, adds a nice smoky flavor that really complements the intense meatiness of the venison. The resulting burger is quite delicious. I have to say, I much preferred it to a beef burger.
I used the suggested condiments, and they worked very well as a package, but feel free to dress the burger according to your whim.
I was unsure about this recipe as I’m not used to cooking with game, but since I had access to some, I thought I’d try. I found I liked venison burgers very much.
I had to grind the 2 loins I was given in the food processor so I did the bacon at the same time. This made assembling the burgers very easy. The resulting mix was very wet. I seared them in a cast-iron skillet for 5 minutes and then turned them to cook for another 4 minutes for a medium burger. They were mild tasting and very delicious. There was no gamey taste at all and they were tender to the point of almost falling apart. One taster said his burger did fall apart while he was eating it, but mine just had a few bits come away from the edge however, I didn’t load up with condiments to the point where I’d have to squeeze it all together to eat.
I’d definitely make this again, perhaps adding a little more seasoning for extra flavor and maybe leaving out 1 egg yolk to make a drier mix.
This recipe makes 4 large venison burgers. Ground bacon and 4 egg yolks are mixed with the venison to add moisture. I grilled the burgers over charcoal and found the recipe’s timing to be accurate. The result was delicious.
I used crunchy dill pickles and that was an added wow factor, as the flavors worked really, really well together, plus the combination of textures was perfect. Because these burgers were so rich, I might suggest making them a little smaller, either by reducing the amounts or by making perhaps 5 instead of 4, and adjusting the cooking time accordingly.
HUNGRY FOR MORE?
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Counter Intelligence: The Hart &amp the Hunter makes angelic biscuits
The first thing anybody is going to tell you about the Hart & the Hunter, the restaurant in the new Fairfax District Palihotel, is that you should get the biscuits, which come four to an order and are served on a board. And you should get the biscuits, which are really pretty extraordinary, as light and delicate as the angel biscuits you sometimes find in the best Southern households, but also flaky at the extremities, and layered — they naturally separate into two or three finger-burning strata, which you are going to need if you want to butter them properly.
I have been making biscuits since I learned how at my mother’s knee, and I get my biscuit flour flown in from the last water mill in Kentucky. I can talk to you for hours, if you like, on the differences between biscuits made with supermarket butter or European butter, home-rendered organic lard or globs of Crisco. I once talked about the finer points of biscuits on stage at Caltech with Shirley Corriher, who is to biscuits what Edison was to light bulbs, until visions of protein molecules danced in my head.
What I’m trying to say is that I’ve never made biscuits like these. My mother never made biscuits like these. I’ve never tasted biscuits like these, which combine the best of what I’ve previously thought to be incompatible schools of the art. And when they come this scorchingly hot on a plank that also holds a spoonful of pimento cheese, a smear of good butter and a few blackberries that taste as if they have just been plucked from a preserver’s pot, there is really nothing else you could want.
The Hart & the Hunter is the project of Kris Tominaga and Brian Dunsmoor, who used to cook at a Southern-themed Venice pop-up called Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing (and who are unassociated with the new place currently bearing that name), and before that at Joe’s. The restaurant is named after an Aesop’s fable with the moral “we often despise what is most useful to us” — the moral in this case being a set of skinny legs, if you wish to see the restaurant’s existence as a kind of hipster allegory.
The plates are mismatched, although they all look as if they were somebody’s grandmother’s company dishes, and the paintings on the tiled walls may well have been rescued from a hunting lodge. The wine list is rich in slightly wild California natural wines in the $50-to-$60 range, like Donkey and Goat Grenache Blanc and Giornata Aglianico, which are served in juice glasses. The glassed-in kitchen appears to be nearly as large as two old-fashioned phone booths placed side-by-side. And the party — the restaurant takes no reservations — often cannot be contained by the small dining room, spilling into the hotel lobby outside.
As music writer Jessica Hopper recently noted, it is a Mumford Mumford Mumford world we live in now. Looked at a certain way, the Hart & the Hunter could be the restaurant equivalent of a drummerless band in vests, the South filtered through the not-South, especially when you are handed a plate of fried chicken skin served with a little bottle of handmade Tabasco, especially when you realize that the thin curls of La Quercia ham from Iowa, the smoked trout with avocado and capers, and the raclette cheese melted onto new potatoes are all served with great piles of white toast.
It’s not as if the place exists completely outside the Los Angeles restaurant mainstream. You will find a kale salad, after all, with bits of apple, cheese and nuts, and there is the requisite hand-chopped steak tartare, a version of which seems to be at two-thirds of the new restaurants in town. The only hart you will come across is in the form of a plate of venison carpaccio with pickled garlic and horseradish cream.
If it weren’t for the dominance of the biscuits, the best dish on the menu might be the salad of slivered Brussels sprouts tossed with peanuts, bits of cheddar and a bacony vinaigrette, which sounds like something you might have served at your first dinner party in your college apartment, but it comes together in an inexplicable way.
But then you notice that your table is covered in little bowls: They hold black-eyed peas cooked down with bacon and sausage sprouting broccoli tossed with chile and garlic charred shishito peppers. You pass the Low Country shrimp boil, which may be more andouille than shrimp, and dig into the puddly, plain cheddar grits. Little bowls of things: It doesn’t get much more Southern than that.
And then you look forward to the lemon ice-box pie.
Go for the biscuits, stay for the Brussels sprouts.
In the Palihotel, 7950 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, (323) 424-3055, hartandthehunter.com
Snacks, $3-$10 larger dishes, $11-$21 desserts, $6.
Breakfast 7 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. daily, lunch 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily, dinner 5:30 p.m. to about 11 p.m. Tuesdays to Sundays. Credit cards accepted. Beer and wine. Valet parking.
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Jonathan Gold was the restaurant critic for the Los Angeles Times. He won the Pulitzer Prize in criticism in 2007 and was a finalist again in 2011. A Los Angeles native, he began writing the Counter Intelligence column for the L.A. Weekly in 1986, wrote about death metal and gangsta rap for Rolling Stone and Spin among other places, and was delighted that he managed to forge a career out of the professional eating of tacos. Gold died July 21, 2018.
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How to Make a Butter Burger
Now that you know the magic of the butter burger, you'll probably want to try the simple technique at home. Here's how to do it:
Start with toasting a bun (both Krolls would recommend a semmel, also known as a kaiser roll).
In a large bowl, use your hands to gently combine ground sirloin and brisket. Divide your mixture into four equal-sized, meat pucks about 2 1/2 inches thick. Then, heat a griddle, large cast-iron skillet, or large heavy stainless-steel skillet to high and add 2 tablespoons oil to the griddle or skillet. Heat your skillet until the oil begins to smoke. Working one at a time, add a patty to the griddle and immediately press one of the large griddle spatulas flat on top of the patty. Use the handle of the other griddle spatula to hammer the spatula down, smashing the patty until it's 1/2 inch thick. (You'll have to hammer harder and longer then you might think.) Press down and slide the spatula to remove it without tearing the patty generously season patty with salt and pepper. Repeat this smashing process with your remaining patties.
Flip each patty once the first side is deeply browned and crisp with craggly edges—this should take 1 1/2 to 2 minutes for a burger cooked to medium. Season the cooked side generously with salt and pepper. Then add a slice of cheese (preferably Wisconsin cheddar) and continue to cook until melted, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes more.
Add your cooked burger to your toasted bun. And just plop an extra pat of butter on top to give the burger a bit of fatty sweetness. The butter can also sometimes help to cover up any “imperfections” in the cooking, or to take the burger to steak-like sublimity.
"If the burger sits for 30 seconds to a minute—the time it takes to go out to the dining room—that gives it the time for the butter to melt and get that juiciness," says Schauer.