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Oklahoma onion burgers


rotuts
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who knew ?

 

not me :

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/07/19/dining/oklahoma-onion-burger-recipe.html

 

possibly behind a pay=wall.

 

for review purposes :

 

"" 

Humans have been cooking meat with onions for at least as long as recipes have been recorded, but I’d argue that the combination was simplified to its primal core during the Great Depression, when Homer Davis and his son Ross invented what they called the Depression burger at the Hamburger Inn in El Reno, Okla.

By smashing shaved onion — a half-onion’s worth per burger — into a few ounces of ground beef, they not only offered his customers a better value in their five-cent hamburger. They also inadvertently created a sandwich that, like pizza margherita or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, I consider a culinary endpoint: a creation so perfect in its simplicity that it cannot be improved upon, only tweaked."

 

and

 

"" 

“De Re Coquinaria,” the oldest known cookbook, includes numerous dishes for meat stewed or simmered with onions and spices. Likewise, onions have been a part of hamburgers since before the modern hamburger as we know it — a patty of beef sandwiched in a soft bun — was invented. Recipes for proto-hamburgers, like the Hamburg steak listed on an 1837 menu from Delmonico’s restaurant in New York, included onions or garlic blended into the meat patties. In his book “The Hamburger: A History,” Josh Ozersky credits Walter Anderson, a founder of White Castle, the world’s oldest fast-food hamburger chain, with first thinking to place onions directly on the griddle with the beef to “bathe in the juices of the still-cooking meat.” Those sliders are still cooked on a bed of onions today.

""

 

""  Even in El Reno, the exact cooking process varies from diner to diner, but the basics are the same: A small ball of ground beef is placed atop a griddle, then topped with a confusingly large haystack of very thinly sliced onions. The cook then aggressively smashes the beef into the griddle, spreading it into a rough patty large enough to overhang the edges of a bun, while simultaneously embedding the onions into the meat. When juices start to collect on top of the patty, it’s scraped up and flipped, onion side down, and seasoned with salt and pepper.  "

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2 hours ago, gfweb said:

Sounds a bit like White Castle

 

Indeed. See the second quoted paragraph above.

 

Edited by Alex (log)
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4 hours ago, rotuts said:

 

""  Even in El Reno, the exact cooking process varies from diner to diner, but the basics are the same: A small ball of ground beef is placed atop a griddle, then topped with a confusingly large haystack of very thinly sliced onions. The cook then aggressively smashes the beef into the griddle, spreading it into a rough patty large enough to overhang the edges of a bun, while simultaneously embedding the onions into the meat. When juices start to collect on top of the patty, it’s scraped up and flipped, onion side down, and seasoned with salt and pepper.  "

 

The MO of Cliff's Burgers, my hometown, mid-Century.    11¢ each.    But then so was movie entry for under 12 at that time.

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eGullet member #80.

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59 minutes ago, Kim Shook said:

I made these back in May of 2020.  In my notes, I said, "I truly wonder if these are any better than a hamburger cooked like always and topped with caramelized onions. I'd like to try a side by side sometime. I suspect that getting the onions done enough overcooked the burgers."

 

Did you ever do a side by side test?

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Posted (edited)

thank you for your take

 

and experiences w this technique 

 

Im very interested in it .

 

It Hot&Humid here 

 

gives me some time to think about it.

 

when cooler  .....

 

and no SV'd is involved , nor combi-oven 

 

very odd.

Edited by rotuts (log)
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Not that I eat burgers very often these days, but I was always told to mess with the meat as little as possible: don't incorporate lots of stuff in it, don't mush or mix it up or take forever to form patties, etc, and above all use good quality beef. This onion smashing seems brutal.

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11 minutes ago, Katie Meadow said:

Not that I eat burgers very often these days, but I was always told to mess with the meat as little as possible: don't incorporate lots of stuff in it, don't mush or mix it up or take forever to form patties, etc, and above all use good quality beef. This onion smashing seems brutal.

 

Agree; it may have been on this here board where many years ago it was "decided" that fresh-ground beef (chuck, generally) really was the one thing that improved a burger more than anything else. Like freshly ground at home or right from your butcher.

 

So I imagine if one is using pre-ground beef, or beef at a grade below choice, or both, sure a lot of onions can do nothing but help.

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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@Katie Meadow 

 

and

 

@weinoo 

 

excellent points .

 

I watched aTV  show on my iMac 

 

the other day , before the Big Melt.

 

fine show   [ The Old Man ] 

 

inserted , maybe to get the Brow a bit HighBrower

 

was  something about Language 

 

there is A Burger 

 

as me noted above 

 

and so worthwhile 

 

looking into 

 

and then this sort of 

 

version 

 

more like a 

 

slider , w carefull atentin to the bun

 

and they don't really 

 

slide down ,

 

they take three  OK two bites

 

then you go back fore more .

 

The Burger , demands 

 

a lot more of your time 

 

to get to its deliciousness .

 

 

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I read once to make Salisbury steak to grate onion into your mince and let sit for a few minutes.  Quite the significant difference.

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20 minutes ago, Captain said:

I read once to make Salisbury steak to grate onion into your mince and let sit for a few minutes.  Quite the significant difference.

 

In my experience the grated onion and also onion juice is an element long used in a number of cuisines with various ground meats.  I read the Kenji article  and as a Depression era meat stretcher in that large amount it makes sense, As usual he tries to turn it into a pseudo science "ultimate/best" thing. Try it and repeat if you enjoy it but there are, as others note, so any ways to do ground meat patty to your personal taste.

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I've made them. I don't do it very often because I don't have a mandoline or anything else to easily slice onions as thin as they really should be. It's tedious trying to slice them thin enough with a knife.  I like smash type burgers, and an onion burger is a nice variation to have occasionally.

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On 7/20/2022 at 7:49 AM, Kim Shook said:

I made these back in May of 2020.  In my notes, I said, "I truly wonder if these are any better than a hamburger cooked like always and topped with caramelized onions. I'd like to try a side by side sometime. I suspect that getting the onions done enough overcooked the burgers."

I can see that. In the videos Kenji made, he talks about having a combo of caramelized onions at the edges while the ones in the middle are 'steamed.' Not sure I’d like that but might give it a try someday when I have nothing better to do 🙃

One video is on a gas grill, the other in a cast iron skillet on the stovetop

 

 

Edited by blue_dolphin (log)
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