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MODERNIST HAMBURGER PATTY

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MODERNIST HAMBURGER PATTY

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Ingredients

Adjust Servings:
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
  • Serves 4
  • Medium

Ingredients

Directions

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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.

  1. 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.
  2. Mix the ground meats and fats together, and refrigerate them until 1 hour before cooking.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Cook the patties sous vide to a core temperature of 54°C/ 129 °F, about 45 minutes.
  9. Fill a large, deep pot no more than half full of frying oil, and preheat it to 200°C/ 428° F.
  10. Remove the cooked patties from the bags, place them on a tray lined with paper towels, and pat them dry.
  11. Deep-fry each patty individually until it becomes dark brown and crispy, about 30 seconds per patty.
  12. Drain the fried patties on paper towels.
  13. Season the patties generously with salt and serve them hot.

© Modernist Cuisine at Home (2012)

Nathan Myhrvold

Nathan Myhrvold is the polymath’s polymath. A love of food and knowledge consumes him.

Nathan Myhrvold, founder of The Cooking Lab, co-author of Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking and Modernist Cuisine at Home and author of The Photography of Modernist Cuisine, has had a passion for science, cooking, and photography since he was a boy. By the age of 13, Nathan had already cooked the family Thanksgiving feast and transformed the household bathroom into a darkroom.

Unlike many childhood hobbies, Nathan’s fascinations did not fade—they intensified. He consumed cookbooks and invested in new cameras and equipment even after enrolling in college at the age of 14.

He went on to earn a doctorate in theoretical and mathematical physics as well as a master’s degree in economics from Princeton University. He holds additional master’s degrees in geophysics and space physics and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of California, Los Angeles. He did postdoctoral work with Stephen Hawking at Cambridge University researching cosmology, quantum field theory in curved space-time, and quantum theories of gravitation before starting a software company that would be acquired by Microsoft.

Readers of Chef’s Pencil will want to read however about how as his career developed, he still found time to explore the culinary world and photography. While working directly for Bill Gates as the chief technology officer at Microsoft, Nathan was part of the team that won the Memphis World Championship Barbecue contest; he worked as a stagier at Chef Thierry Rautureau’s restaurant Rover’s in Seattle; and then he took a leave of absence to earn his culinary diploma from École de Cuisine La Varenne in France.

Nathan retired from Microsoft in 1999 to found Intellectual Ventures and pursue several lifelong interests in photography, cooking, and food science. Unable to find practical information about sous vide cooking, he decided to write the book he had hoped already existed—one that provided a scientific explanation of the cooking process, the history of cooking, and the techniques, equipment, and recipes involved in Modernist cuisine. Inspired by this void in cooking literature, he decided to share the science of cooking and wonders of Modernist cuisine with others, hoping to pass on his own curiosity and passion for the movement.

Nathan founded The Cooking Lab, hired an interdisciplinary team that included scientists, research chefs, and writers, and published the much acclaimed five-volume 2,438-pageModernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking in 2011. That was followed by Modernist Cuisine at Home in 2012, which applies the insights of the original book in a format designed for home cooks. In 2013, he wrote The Photography of Modernist Cuisine and The Cooking Lab partnered with Inkling to publish the Modernist Cuisine at Home App.

In 2015, for the first time, the Modernist Cuisine trilogy has its own distributor in Australia and New Zealand.

portrait by: Chris Hoover / Modernist Cuisine , LLC

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