Wednesday, October 19, 2011

French Hamburgers همبرغر على الطريقة الفرنسية



Is a hamburger by any other name still a hamburger? Not if it’s bifteck haché. Move over for a moment, All-American hamburger, and make way for this knockout straight from the Cordon Bleu. Fresh thyme, bacon and minced onions are mixed in to provide a subtle complexity, both herbaceous and smoky but never overpowering the flavor of beef. At least this is the way I make it.

It’s an adaptation of Julia Child’s ground beef with onions and herbs and her hamburgers with cream sauce carefully explained on my dog-eared and food stained pages 301 and 302 of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. I. The patties can be served with a sauce or not. This is my “or not” version so you’ll need hamburger buns.

The quality of the beef is very important. Some of the least expensive cuts, chuck and neck are the most flavorful. 85 per cent lean is about right.

Ingredients for 6 burgers
  • 2 T butter
  • ¾ cup finely minced onion
  • 3 oz. finely chopped bacon (smoked applewood or black forest)
  • 1 ½ lbs. ground beef
  • 1/8 t freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 t ground thyme or ½ t minced fresh thyme
  • 1 egg
  • 1 T butter for sautéing patties
  • 6 slices Gruyere cheese (optional)

Preparation
  1. In a large frying pan, cook the onions slowly in the butter until slightly wilted. Add bacon and cook until onions are very tender and bacon cooked through. Remove, leaving bacon fat in pan, and let cool.
  2. In a mixing bowl, add beef, seasonings, onions, bacon and egg. Mix lightly but thoroughly with your hands. Taste for seasoning. Form into six patties.
  3. Add butter to the bacon fat in same frying pan over moderately high heat. When the butter foam begins to subside, sear the patties. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes on each side or to desired degree of doneness.
  4. Now, to Frenchify these babies a bit more, melt a slice of Gruyere on top of each. Place on lightly toasted hamburger buns and add condiments of your choice. Personally I like soft buns that you can bite into and not have the toppings squish out the sides.

Enjoy your meal! (You know how Julia would have put it.)

Written by Victor Ribaudo
Recipe Provided by Phyllis Kirigin, aka sweetpaprika

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