Last updated: 5/5/2017
Michelin-starred chef April Bloomfield opened a new restaurant, Salvation Burger.
Luckily for us, she decided to share her favorite burger recipe.
Before we start, don’t let the words “Michelin-starred chef” scare you, and don’t get caught up in “sourcing your own meat,” making your own pickles, or baking your own buns.
These steps may be necessary in the highly competitive world of Michelin eateries, but for the rest of us, these steps aren’t needed to create a great burger. If you focus on the core concepts of what chef Bloomfield does, you’ll realize that cooking these award-winning burgers at home is pretty straightforward and simple.
That said, if you really want to one-up your friends at the next get together and go the extra mile for bragging rights, we suggest starting with learning to make your own pickles.
Making a simple pickling liquid consisting of salt, vinegar, and other spices is easy and will serve you well in the kitchen for many other dishes as well.
And now for the Michelin-worthy burger recipe…
- 1.5 lbs. ground beef (estimate on about 1/4-1/3 lb beef per burger)
- 1 teaspoon rendered beef fat or bacon fat (per patty)
- American cheese slices
- sesame buns
- salt to taste
- secret sauce (scroll down for our easy recipe)
We also recommend watching the 3-minute video and focus on doing the following:
- Make your patties as thin as possible to get a good char to meat ratio.
- Get your pan (preferably cast iron) near smoking hot.
- Avoid cooking your meat too long and don’t press the juices out with a spatula!
- Pay attention to how chef Bloomfield cooks the patties in rendered beef fat (we suggest bacon drippings if you don’t have beef fat on hand) to maximize the flavor and the toppings she chooses to create the most appealing flavor profile.
- Don’t get discouraged if you don’t have access to something she used.
- Substitute two flat plates instead of a tortilla press. Store bought pickles and buns are certainly fine substitutes as well.
- Do use the same types of toppings to properly recreate the same flavor profiles.
Take special note of that last point. There are five basic tastes: sweetness, sourness, saltiness, bitterness, and umami.
The more you learn to mix and match certain tastes (think sweet and sour, salt and vinegar, sweet and spicy, etc.), the better your food is going to taste.
Many of the classic dishes in any food culture are a direct result of this. Take the classic sandwich BLT for example, the rich fattiness of the bacon and mayonnaise is cut by the acid of the tomato. That contrast is what really makes the flavors pop in your mouth.
Don’t be fooled, technique is certainly a factor, and in the world of high-end eateries, it separates the good from the truly great.
However, we can be average or even below average in our execution, but if we use the same flavor combos, we’ll still end up with a great tasting burger.
Once you taste the vinegar from the pickles cutting through the rich, salty, beefy flavor of the patties and the creamy “special sauce,” you’ll see first hand why the emphasis is on using the same toppings and flavors and not worrying about your skills (which will improve, don’t worry!).
The flavors will be instantly recognizable as what you always loved most about burgers growing up (aka the memory of that Big Mac…that always seems to taste better in our mind than in reality). The great part will be knowing that you crafted this burger yourself, and you actually know what’s in it!
- 1/3 cup of mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons of pickle juice
- 2 teaspoons of ketchup
- 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon of paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- salt to taste