Modernist Hamburger Patty
- 360 grams boneless rib eye 0.8 lb (100% scaling)
- 360 grams boneless short rib meat 0.8 lb (100% scaling)
- 80 grams hanger steak 0.2 lb (22 % scaling)
- 6.4 grams salt 1.5 tsp (1.8% scaling)
- 20 grams neutral frying oil 20 ml / 1.5 tsp (5.6 % scaling)
- neutral frying oil as needed
- salt to taste
The extra effort to grind your own meat pays off in superior textures and flavours- and it allows you to customize the leanness and the tenderness. We love a combination of short-rib meat, rib eye, and hanger steak, but we know people who prefer 100% short-rib beef patties.
We performed many trials to figure out both when to salt the meat and how much salt to use. More salt makes for bouncier meat, like a sausage patty, but adding the salt too early can make the burger tough or rubbery.
Although we briefly deep-fry our patties to create a nice crust without overcooking the meat, another approach is to use a blow-torch to sear all the sides of the patty to a dark brown, 1 ½ minutes per patty. Alternatively, sear the patties on a very hot grill for 30 seconds on each side.
- Trim the fat from the rib eye, short-rib meat, and hanger steak, and then grind each kind of meat and fat separately through a 4.5mm/ 3/16 in plate.
- Mix the ground meats and fats together, and refrigerate them until 1 hour before cooking.
- Pre-heat a water bath to 55°C/ 131° F. Variation: Firm Burger Patty: If you prefer burgers that are rich in flavour and more cohesive, add 15g egg yolk (1 yolk) for every 400g/ 0.9lb of ground meat at the same time you add salt in step 4. Continue with Step 5.
- Wait until exactly one hour before cooking, note the time, and then fold the salt gently into the ground beef mixture. Salt activates the binding properties of the meat, and folding it in makes the meat more homogeneous in texture. Do not stir the meat aggressively or for long periods: doing so diminishes its tenderness.
- Weigh and divide the meat into four equal portions of about 200g/ 0.4 lb each. Form each portion into a square patty 2.5cm / 1in thick. If serving on buns rather than bread, make the patties round.
- Place each patty in its own zip-top bag, and pour 5g/5mL/ 1tsp of oil into each bag. Use the water-displacement method to remove as much air as possible from the bags, and seal them. Do not vacuum seal the bags as doing as compresses the meat so much that it becomes denser and less juicy.
- Refrigerate until 1 hour has passed since you added the salt. After an hour of curing the burgers will hold together well while remaining crumbly and tender to bite. Over-curing produces a tougher consistency that is more like a sausage patty.
- Cook the patties sous vide to a core temperature of 54°C/ 129 °F, about 45 minutes.
- Fill a large, deep pot no more than half full of frying oil, and preheat it to 200°C/ 428° F.
- Remove the cooked patties from the bags, place them on a tray lined with paper towels, and pat them dry.
- Deep-fry each patty individually until it becomes dark brown and crispy, about 30 seconds per patty.
- Drain the fried patties on paper towels.
- Season the patties generously with salt and serve them hot.