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Chuck out everything you ever knew about making cheeseburgers, and get ready to beef up your burger repertoire.
Named the best burger in America by The Food Network, the 10 o’clock burger from Holeman & Finch Public House in Atlanta relies on fresh ingredients made from scratch. Executive Sous Chef Jason Paolini showed patrons how to make the famous burger at Taste of Atlanta over the weekend.
“The secret is making everything from scratch,” Paolini says. “We grind our own meat daily, we have a bakery that makes our own bread, we make our own pickles, we make our own ketchup and mustard. That’s what makes it so delicious.”
Don’t have a meat grinder? Don’t sweat it. Paolini gives some tips on how to replicate his masterpiece from home, with as much hassle as you’re willing to sacrifice.
Holeman & Finch bakes its own bread, and Paolini suggests doing the same at home if possible. If not, buy fresh-baked rolls.
“One of the good ways to tell a good burger bun is if it has some good sponge action, so when you squeeze it, it comes back,” he says. “That way, it will absorb some of the juices from the meat.”
Paolini uses a French-style roll and butters and toasts the inside of each bun before fitting with a burger. He also uses buns that are the same size as the burger patties to ensure that each bite is the same.
“Toast the buns in the skillet, so just the inside of the bread is toasted and the outside is still soft and has that nice bread texture,” he says.
2. Use fresh ground meat
If you don’t have a meat grinder at home (and really, who does?), you should be able to get fresh ground meat from “any decent butcher around town,” Paolini says. The 10 o’clock burger is made from one part chuck and one part brisket, equally distributed.
Each patty should be 4-ounces each, with two patties per burger. “We patty them thin so that when you cook them, all the fat renders out, which creates a good, juicy burger,” Paolini says.
Salt one side of each burger and place salt-side down on a griddle or sauté pan. Burgers should be cooked medium, with the inside of the patty left slightly pink.
3. Add red onions and Kraft American cheese
Once you’ve flipped your burgers and salted the tops, add sliced red onions on top of one of the burger patties and top both with one slice of Kraft American cheese.
“That helps cook the onions a little bit while retaining that raw, crisp flavor,” Paolini says.
But Kraft singles? Really?
“The idea is that it’s a classic American burger,” Paolini says. “We use Kraft American cheese because of the way it melts.”
4. K.I.S.S (Keep it simple, stupid)
Don’t overdo it on the condiments.
“You can get a burger with ten different things on it – mushrooms and onions and lettuce and tomato and foie gras and cheese,” Paolini says. “We wanted to just keep it simple and make it perfect.”
Holeman & Finch adds only red onion, American cheese and homemade pickles to its burgers, with its very own ketchup and mustard on the side.
“If you can find good bread and butter pickles, French’s Mustard and Heinz Ketchup … you’ll come pretty close to recreating it,” he says.
5. Serve with fries and a bubbly beverage
What’s more American than French fries? (Besides, you know, Kraft singles?) Holeman & Finch serves its burger with a side of homemade fries, made from Idaho potatoes.
Add a beer to the palate or wash it down with your standard soft drink.
“The idea is that it’s a classic, so eating a burger and drinking a Coca-Cola out of a glass bottle is great,” Paolini says.
The burger might be “classic,” but it’s certainly not ordinary. It’s just simple.
“Each ingredient can stand on its own,” Paolini says. “You don’t really need more.”
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