With Memorial Day upon us, aside from remembering what this day is really about, what else do we think about this time of year? Burgers, Barbecue, and cookouts are what most of us think of, and we here at the Nashville Fork aren’t any different. Except that our current living situation doesn’t allow for a grill, or outdoor cookouts, or having guests over for that matter. So, since we recently signed up for our CSA and are on a mission to find different ways to use the wonderful products included, we thought we’d try a little something different. Specifically, we took a trip to Vegas a couple years ago and had a chance to try Hubert Keller’s Burger Bar , the chef’s take on the American classic. Chef Keller’s take on burgers is not to put a french flair on the burgers, but rather how to make the burgers the best they can be. He advocates grinding your own meat, using the freshest ingredients, seasoning lightly (but appropriately), and letting the meat and other pieces of the burger speak for themselves. With that, we decided to give one of the recipes from his Burger Bar cookbook a try. Namely his “burger and fries”.
We figured we might as well buy a mandoline to do the “fries” right.
Our “monkey” peeler. Don’t judge.
First peel about 2 lbs of potatoes.
Be sure to use the hand guard. I can safely report that I still have 10 fingers.
But wait. These don’t look like fries!
The special thing about Chef Keller’s “burger and fries” is that it’s not a traditional burger on a bun, with fries on the side. It’s actually a burger wrapped in thin strips of potatoes, fried in a pan, and finished in the oven (remember, no grill for us right now?). We had a slight hiccup when we realized the mandoline would slice things super thin and do wonderful julienned potatoes, but not julienned potatoes super thin, so we had to improvise. Basically, we took the super thin potato “chips”, and then julienned them by hand with a paring knife. It wasn’t perfect, but it got the job done.
Then we moved on the meat. Glorious meat!
This weeks Avalon Acres CSA box included 2 packages of ground beef from Yoder Farms. The package was formed into two patties about a half pound each, seasoned only with salt and ground black pepper.
The burgers were placed on a bed of our potatoes, then topped with more potatoes. We had a little bit of issue getting the potatoes to adhere, but that was mostly due to their thickness, and once fried, they stayed in place quite nicely.
The burgers about to go in.
The burgers were placed in a non-stick pan on medium-high heat, with a bit of olive oil to coat the pan.
After 3-5 minutes the burgers get flipped. After another 3-5 minutes the pan is placed in a 450 degree oven for about 9 minutes for medium rare, or 14 minutes for just over medium. We’ve found that with good quality beef, even if there is little to no pink in the burger, there’s still a great deal of juiciness and flavor.
The finished product.
So, the Nashville Fork’s inaugural Memorial Day challenge has been completed, and despite a few snafu’s, I’d call it a success, especially since we both definitely cleaned our plates. After having time to reflect and digest, I’d suggest smaller burgers, maybe in the 4 – 6 oz. range, and definitely try to find a mandoline that can julienne potato strips very thinly. Overall, the potatoes add a delicious crunch to the outside of the burger, while the meat itself needed nothing else, no cheese, no bacon, just a little bit of salt and pepper. So folks, if you’re doing something special for Memorial Day, what are your plans?