Friday, September 25, 2020

The Hatch and Guac Burger

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We have made a boatload of juicy and delicious burgers this Summer, and this Hatch and Guac Burger is among the best of them. 

Hatch and Guacamole Burger recipe for the grill

It's a 6-ounce beef patty cooked on a coal-fired griddle to get the grilled taste but with a flavor-delivering crust of which Maillard himself would be proud. We put it on a bed of mixed greens and topped it with fire-roasted Hatch chiles, a slice of Grainger County tomato, homemade guacamole, and fried tortilla strips.

But a great burger isn't just about toppings and condiments. For me, a phenomenal burger patty starts with two factors - 

  1. the freshness of the grind and 
  2. the cuts used in the grind. 
We used brisket and sirloin for the ground beef that we used for these burgers. Let's talk about grinding before jumping into the recipe.

How I grind beef for the best burger

The Daily Grind

Oxidation is the enemy of ground beef. While the subprimal cuts are whole, the interior is protected from outside elements. As soon as meat is ground, oxygen starts attacking the fats, and oxidation of those lipids is the primary cause of "off tastes". So it stands to reason that the freshest ground beef tastes the best, right? Here are some quick thoughts on grinding your own beef.

  • Equipment Options. I've used grinders ranging from hand-cranked grinders to commercial units. At home, we use a stand-mixer grinding attachment. It works fine for small batches, but it is limited by the small hopper and throat. If you're going to grind a lot or often, look at getting a dedicated meat grinder.
  • Dare to Medium Rare? Grinding meat drastically increases the potential for food-borne pathogens. The longer it sits on a shelf, the greater that threat grows. As much as I love a medium-rare burger, I won't cook it that way unless I ground the beef myself. 
  • My Grinding Process is simple. First, I dip the whole cuts into boiling water for 3-5 seconds to kill any external bacteria. Next, I cut the meat into 1" cubes and freeze it for 30 minutes. I chill the grinder parts as well. Finally, I grind the first pass with a coarse die, and the second pass with a fine die.
  • Store-Bought Options. Did you know that a lot of stores grind their meat offsite these days? When I buy ground beef of any kind, I make sure to buy it from a reputable butcher or a grocery store that grinds beef fresh several times a day, like Food City does.

Not All Fat is Created Equal

  • That's because, scientifically speaking, intramuscular fat, or marbling, is more desirable to the human palate because it contains more monounsaturated fatty acids—specifically, oleic acid. It's much more akin to the fats found in avocados, olive oils, and sunflower seeds. In easier terms: it's a tastier fat. (Source: Certified Angus Beef)
  • We like to make burger blends with cuts high in oleic acid (brisket, short rib, and chuck) mixed 2:1 with flavorful, lean cuts (sirloin, flank, and skirt).
  • Some celebrity chef burger blends include:
Let's get back to this amazing burger that features the wonderful flavors of charred chiles and fresh guacamole. 

Recipe for a grilled hatch chile and guacamole burger



Hatch and Guac Burger

www.nibblemethis.com

Published 09/25/2020

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh burger grind or the freshest ground chuck you can buy
  • 2 teaspoons NMT Beef Rub v.2 recipe or another beef rub, finely ground
  • 4 thin slices Sargento Smokehouse Cheddar
  • 4 thin slices Asiago cheese
  • 2 fresh Hatch chiles or Anaheim 
  • 4 kaiser rolls, split and toasted
  • 4 slices Grainger County tomatoes or a beefsteak variety
  • 1 cup fresh guacamole (see notes below for a quick recipe)
  • 1/2 cup fried tortilla strips 
  • 1 cup mixed greens

Instructions

  1. Divide the ground chuck into four equal 6-ounce portions, lightly pressed into balls. If using store-bought ground beef, break any dense parts up into loose grinds first. I wear cotton gloves under food gloves to keep the heat from my hands from melting the fat.
  2. Preheat a charcoal grill to 450°f (medium-high heat). 
  3. Fire roast and peel the chiles. Place the chiles over the direct heat until charred on all sides. Rest them in a paper bag or covered bowl for 5 minutes. Cut off the stem end and slice lengthwise. Scrape off the seeds from the inside and most of the charred skin on the outside. 
  4. Preheat the griddle. Five minutes before grilling the burgers, place a griddle plate over the hot coals. Do NOT rush this step. Your griddle should be at least 450°f.
  5. Apply two tablespoons of oil to the griddle. Then use a burger press to smash the beef into patties on the griddle and allow to cook for 4 minutes. 
  6. At 4 minutes, season the burgers and then flip them. Now, season the cooked side. Top with a slice each of the two kinds of cheese and cook to your desired doneness. That will be about 90 seconds for medium-rare up to 4 minutes for well done.
  7. Then build your burger. Bottom bun, mixed greens, burger patty, 2 strips of Hatch chile, slice of tomato, dollop of guacamole, tortilla strips, and of course, the bun top.

Yield: 4 large burgers

Prep Time: 00 hrs. 30 mins.

Cook time: 00 hrs. 10 mins.

Total time: 40 mins.

Tags: burger, grill


How I grind beef for my burgers
For this round of ground beef, I did a 2:1 ratio of choice brisket and sirloin.

How to grind beef
The size of your cubes depends on the "throat" of your meat grinder. The popular stand-mixer attachment has a narrow tube, so you'll need to cut them to 1" pieces. Once cubed, spread these out on a tray and pop it into the freezer for 30 minutes. This will firm up the meat, making it easier to grind. Your grinder parts should be chilled as well.

How to grind beef
The pan on the right has only been through the grinder once using a coarse die. The left side has already been through a second time with the fine die.

An easy recipe for quick quacamole
My guacamole recipe is simple. Put a peeled/diced avocado, 3 tablespoons finely diced tomato, 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion, 1 minced garlic clove, and 1 teaspoon of Albukirky's Green Chile Seasoning and smash it all together. Taste for seasoning and add fine salt and a splash of lime juice if desired.

Easy guacamole recipe
Funny kitchen hack - I didn't have a bowl handy, so I just put the guac back in the avocado peel. 

How to fire roast, char, and peel Hatch green chiles
Charring a Hatch chile above a bed of glowing coals. If you have never done this before, relax. You almost can't roast it too much.  Keep in mind, chiles vary in heat. These were pretty mild, but I have had Hatch chiles that will peel your lips off your face. But generally, they are mild to medium.

How to fire roast, char, and peel Hatch green chiles
Peeling a charred chile. I'm halfway through here, but don't stress if you end up with a few flecks of charred peel still on there, that adds flavor.

PK Grill set up with a griddle plate
Don't cheat on the griddle pre-heat time. You want it hot for smash burgers, I like a minimum of 450°f as measured by a non-contact thermometer. Here I'm using a PK Grill with the griddle plate from a grill that I no longer have.

I'm a proud food-nerd and weigh out my burger portions.

Burger grind, ready for smashing. 

Making smash burgers on the PK Grill using a Craycort Ballistic Burger Press
Notice that I smash the burgers with the deli sheet still in there. I find the deli sheets make it easier to get the burger to release from the burger press when I smash them. Then I just peel the sheet off. Just a personal preference that works for me.

Smash burgers on the pk grill with kingsford charcoal
Grilled burgers are good, but fire-griddled burgers bring more flavor.

Make sure that you finely grind whatever beef rub you use. It freshens up the flavor, but to me, the finer texture seems to allow the burger to absorb the flavor better—especially when you flip the burger, and the seasoning is snowing down onto the hot, greasy surface.

Grilling puts a few tasty grill marks across the burger. But griddle cooking a burger blankets that surface with a delicious crust.

Toasting your rolls is almost always the right thing to do. It adds flavor and texture.

Cheese skirt forming on a cheeseburger
One of the best parts of a cheeseburger is when the cheese drips over the side and gets crispy, don't you agree? The same applies for grilled cheeses.

Hatch chile and guacamole burger recipe for the grill - so tasty!
That's what I'm talking about!

One last tip. While the heat of your grill is slowly fading after cooking, take advantage of that to re-season your cast iron griddle. Clean it, dry it, and stick it back in the closed grill for about 10 minutes to heat back up. Give it a swipe of Crisbee Stick, wipe it in with a lint-free towel, and leave it in the closed grill for a few hours. 



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