HOORAY FOR THAT.
What you don't know is exactly how it all went down, particularly what it looked like to chase a bee around a backyard with a tiny cage that had no chance of ever re-capturing said bee.
Wouldn't you like to know what that looks like? OK - but don't judge me.
After that, Bubba and I had celebratory cocktails and then a few days ago I made a really good burger.
How are these things connected? They're not. I just don't want to go another day without correcting two of my household's strongly held beliefs so that we can all lead more delicious lives:
- A good burger can only be made on the grill.
- Cook's Illustrated recipes must be made EXACTLY AS DIRECTED otherwise IMMINENT FAILURE.
In this month's issue of Cook's Illustrated there's a recipe for a pub-style burger. The picture in the book, even though it's in black and white because CI really likes their old-schoolness, looked like heaven. Like heaven would look if blue cheese and beef and shallots were involved. OOH! And some awesome sounding sauce.
So I did as I normally do with my CI, I flipped it open and began proposing things to Bubba to see how happy the idea of eating these proposed things would make him.
"Hey Bubb, how would you feel about a pub style burger for dinner tomorrow night?"
He made the MMMMMMM face.
Then he made the Wait a Second face.
"Wait - are they made in a pan?"
I made the Yes, Who Gives a Crap face.
He made the Sad No Good face.
I made the Don't Doubt Me face.
"Well, I guess you have changed my mind about other foods. Maybe this won't be gross."
"I'm not making any promises."
"I'm sure it'll be fine."
"Don't you doubt my kitchen prowess."
Then he made the You Need a Cocktail face.
There were a lot of faces.
Anyway, I then made the pub-style burgers complete with the pub sauce recipe and the fried shallots and blue cheese and a chewy big bun plus a monster salad and then there were only Happy Full faces all around (even Jada - she got some that fell on the rug. It happens.)
|It's hard to tell from this small photo, but the glistening on the raw beef there is butter. Yep. Butter.|
So, if you need a good burger and you don't want to grill but you think that grilling is the only way to make a good burger - you're wrong and hooray! You can make a very good burger in a pan (and then in the oven, which was also weird) and then sit and savor your wrongness because OH it tastes so good.
The other thing that this recipe did was prove that my religious following of every detail of CI recipes is not always necessary in order to produce excellent results.
Because I don't know how many of you are like me in the sense that you think that the reason CI recipes are so good is because they test TEST test everything down to the last detail so you must follow these recipes to the letter otherwise the excellent results will actually be shitty results, but that's what I always thought.
Did you follow any of that?
Let me explain.
See, the beginning of this recipe calls for buying a select cut of beef, cutting it into cubes, refrigerating it or freezing it or something crazy, putting it in the oven and then grinding it up yourself in your house, which, No.
It was just too many steps for me. I don't like a lot of steps. I also don't like grinding my own meat when I have a chest freezer full of delicious grassfed sustainably raised without hormones or other cooties ground beef just waiting to be made into a delicious burger.
So, I gave CI the finger for the first time ever and ignored the first very lengthy part of the recipe that had all the steps I sort of described above and just used thawed ground beef from our meat share.
And would you like to know that it was completely awesome. The tastiest burger ever. Even without the cheese and the onions and the pub sauce (which Bubba tried to dip himself in), the burger itself was 100% mmmmmmmm.
You're going to go, "OBVIOUSLY" when I tell you this.
There's butter in it.
Yeah! I know! Obviously you put a couple tablespoons of melted butter into the meat mixture before you make it into patties and DER it's going to be a fucking taste sensation! Come on, now.
But still, it was fantastic and made in a pan and not to the letter of the CI recipe and I'm pleased. And Bubba was pleased. And my doctor won't be pleased if my cholesterol test comes back with a big cheeseburger where the numbers should be, but I hardly care right now.
I had this burger two days ago and I'm still basking in the deliciousness of it all.
So yeah, there's a queen in the hive and a very good pan fried burger in my belly. I mean, it's probably not *in* there anymore, but let's not be gross.