Making the perfect burger starts with choosing the right blend of meat. Grocery stores are an ok option but not the best. Ideally, you want a high-fat blend of meats, such as 80/20 ground beef, ground chuck, heck, even brisket is a solid choice. And, if you have access to one, a proper butcher is the way to go. Yes, you’ll probably pay more for the meat than you would at your local market but you’ll notice the difference…trust me!
First off, you want to start with full-flavored beef. I almost always go for chuck, round or even brisket. Round is leaner so you’ll need to increase the fat content by adding another cut. That’s when I ask for the short-ribs. They have an intense beef flavor and the fat won’t melt out as fast as other types of beef fat. Adding short ribs to your mix, no matter what you start out with, is one of the things I’ve found helps bump up the beef flavor.
Now is when having a good relationship with a butcher is really going to help you. By talking with him or her, you can work together to determine what mix will give you the best flavor. Don’t be embarrassed to ask questions. I’ve always found if you go in with genuine enthusiasm and interest, they’re almost always happy to help. They want you to come back so it’s in their best interest to get you exactly what you’re looking for.
Depending on how big you want your burger and how many people you are planning on serving, a good ratio is 1/3 lb per meat choice. Now, keep in mind, this is not an exact science but rather a guideline. Any way you slice it, the burger you’re about to enjoy is going to be a good one. Now get busy cooking!
Brussels may be famous as the home of European bureaucracy, and well-known for its sweet tooth, from decadent waffles to fine chocolate – but few realize that one of the most popular fried foods in the world actually originates there, too. From the special way they are prepared to the best places to find them when you visit Brussels, we’ve got all you need to know about the humble fried potato.
Belgian fries, not French
Don’t be fooled by the name French fries; the origins of this ubiquitous dish can be traced back to Belgium. The misnomer stems from a geographical error during World War I, when American soldiers stationed in Belgium believed they were situated in France (due to the fact that part of Belgium speaks French). When introduced to the delicacy, the soldiers nicknamed these fried potatoes French fries. Brussels fine array of frituurs have been trying to reclaim their legacy even since.
Where it all began
The Spanish discovered potatoes in the early 15th century and brought them to Europe and 200 years later the people of Liège and Dinant, which are located in what is now the southern part of Belgium, started to fry them. It is believed the original idea came from the practice of catching and frying small fish from the Meuse river. As the river froze during winter, people used the same procedure but with potatoes instead and fries were born.
Making fries the Belgian way
The quality of Belgian fries is very important and the final result depends upon the temperature before cooking. The fries cannot be frozen or too soft before frying as they need the perfect balance to ensure that, once fried, they are crispy and delicious. The perfect Belgian frites are also no more than one centimeter (0.4 inches) thick and the procedure involves frying the potatoes twice.
Need further evidence that Belgians take their fries seriously? In 2014, a group successfully campaigned to have the dish added to the UNESCO list of Cultural Treasures. Next stop, World Heritage status.
The importance of condiments
You can visit any town or city in Belgium and order frites to be enjoyed while exploring the city. For maximum enjoyment, make sure to find the condiment that’s right for you. Belgian frites are almost always served with a sauce – be it the standard favorites of ketchup and mustard or a more interesting concoction like andalouse, samurai and joppieaus – but the most traditional topping for Belgians is mayonnaise.
A tasty side dish
So, we’ve established that fries are treat on their own but as a side dish, fries are ever-present in Belgium’s other staple dishes, such as moules frites (fries with mussels), filet americain, or the classic steak and fries combination.
Whichever language you’re speaking, Brussels isn’t short of these fast, easy-going eateries either. Alongside a swiftly-served portion of fries, you will also find a selection of accompanying snacks including chicken legs and sausages. If you’re new to frites culture, try a fried meatball called the boulet or the infamous Bicky Burger.
Without a doubt, one of the most popular and well-known locations is Friterie de la Barrière, a frites kiosk that’s always surrounded by tourists and is ranked among the top five places for frites in Belgium. However, the most popular frituur in Brussels is the famous Maison Antoine, located in Etterbeek.
A museum dedicated to frites
Testament to the esteem in which fries are held here, the delicacy even has a museum dedicated to it. The Friet museum has everything you need to know about the history of Belgian fries and offers visitors the opportunity to discover a variety of recipes.
The World’s obsession with the perfect burger: nostalgia; Yes, options; Yes, quality; YES.
It has been said that the burger is the queen of our culinary hearts as it’s classic, simple and nostalgic. We’ve eaten them since we were kids and we’re showing no signs of stopping . But, what makes the perfect burger and how do you pick your favorite? Who has the secret and how do we know if that truly creates “the best?”
Well, most chef’s and critics agree that the search for the best burger starts with the meat. Fat is paramount and seems to reign supreme. The quality and content is going to give you flavor and consistency, while giving you the right texture – you want to think juicy here my friends.
The second category of consideration is the bun and rather, meat to bun ratio. Let’s be honest, we all agree, for as we bite into that gorgeous burger, we really just want that bun to be a vessel, a delivery vessel if you will. Not too thick, not too thin and generally we’re considering a classic style. You can add an asterisk here to the sesame seed vs no sesame seed conversation. And don’t get me started on the no bun option. Move over protein style, I’m looking at you and this isn’t your category.
Now, the third category, which easily could go into a fourth, fifth, sixth, etc., would come in the form of toppings. For some, the perfect burger accompaniment is cheese, others not so much. Are you a lettuce fan, or is that a hard pass? How about condiments, are we the full shebang or is a minimalist approach your route? No matter what we choose it’s these variations that go perfectly with that classic, juicy foundation. And here’s the funny thing, the rest of the world agrees. The humble burger has topped menus worldwide and continues to grow. In France, where it is reported that over half of all restaurants have at least one burger on their menu, reports to be one of the most popular menu items. In Australia, it’s reported they consume on average 2-3 times the amount of burgers as the French. And if you’re looking for some adventure then we can go to some popular South American spots but get ready for an egg and some cilantro lime mayo. I’m on the fence here.