Posted 20 August 2012 - 10:25 AM
Although I normally don't particularly like hamburgers, I had such a good one (bacon blue cheese burger) at a grill in Santa Fe that I decided to try the recipe in Modernist Cuisine, and hang the expense.
I bought 2 lbs of short rib meat, 2 lbs of bison rib-eye (Whole Foods didn't have any aged rib-eye) and 1.5 lb of hanger -- $75 for hamburgers!. I chilled them in the freezer for an hour after bringing them home, then cut them into 1" cubes.
I chilled my Kitchen Aid grinder with some liquid nitrogen, then started grinding. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a half cylinder mold, so I decided to improvise. I laid out some plastic wrap on top of a Silpat mat, and started grinding, using a 14/" aperture plate. I alternated the various cubes fo meat, soit would be mixed. But unlike the MC recipe, instead of coming out in nice strips that I could lay down lengthwise, this just made little bits or balls of meat, which I spread out as best I good, with minimal handling.
I rolled up the Silpat/plastic into a cylinder about 3" in diameter, then wrapped the plastic around in and tightened up the edges. I made two of those rolls, and chilled one and froze the other. After chilling, I cut the roll, including the plastic, into about 1-1/4" thick patties.
The MC recipe said not to vacuum seal the patties, but I tried sealing three patties with my chamber vacuum, first at 50% ( too much air -- it floated too much), and then 70%, which seemed about right.
MC said 30 minutes would be enough, but I used Sous Vide Dash and came up with 47 minutes for that thickness, at 52C.
I then removed the plastic wrap around the edges, and dipped the patties in liquid nitrogen for 30 seconds, then into the deep fat fryer for a minute at the maximum setting of 375F.
I then slapped those on Whole Foods Seeduction buns that had been previously prepared with blue cheese, tomato slice, and an onion slice.
The results were disappointing, frankly, especially considering the time and expense.
The patties seemed a bit overdone, and not particularly juicy. Maybe I went overboard in trimming out the fat, and by using the very lean bison rib-eye. Next time I'll use more fat, or perhaps heart surgeon's suggestion of some butter.
The second problem was that my Krups electric deep fat fryer won't go any higher than 375F, whereas the recipe called for 450F. I may buy a second fryer and void the warranty by adjusting or defeating the upper temperature limit. I had one that I had done that to, and stupidly gave it away with I bought the Krups.
Anyway, I think 350F is a bit low, and a minute a bit too long. Next time I'll try 30 seconds,
And finally, the buns and the blue cheese were cold, and the blue cheese didn't melt. Next time I'll pop those in the oven briefly, just to warm them up a bit.
And to add insult to injury, I forgot to cook the french fries twice, once at a lower temperate, and once at a higher temp, and as a result they were rather limp. Again, I don't think the oil was hot enough.
Anyone else gone through all of this, with better results? I've still got five patties, plus the frozen log to try again.
Any other ideas?