The Definitive Breakfast Burger [Burger Days: DIY]
We haven’t been big on cooking our own burgers – preferring instead to leave it to the pros – but ever since our successful replication of a Burger Bash entry last month, we’ve found ourselves spending more and more time dabbling in the kitchen. While we’ll never be on the same level as build-a-burger superstud Mathew Ramsey at Pornburger, we’ve gotten enough positive feedback in recent weeks that we’re going to give it a try.
Starting today, we’re introducing a new feature called Burger Days: DIY, where we’ll share some of the crazy, batshit meat monsters we come up with in our kitchen and then let you know how to make it at home.
We hope you like them.
The Burger Story
Cereal is for suckers. For years, we’ve been searching for a way to maximize our burger intake but had yet to figure out how to inject the beef-and-bun into a first-meal staple. Sure, the classic bacon-egg-and-cheese burger is great but it’s everywhere these days. It’s become stale, boring. If we were going to do a breakfast burger, it had to be different. It had to be bigger. It had to be better.
So we brainstormed and cooked and ate and brainstormed and cooked and ate some more until finally, after a long, arduous and tasty-as-hell journey, we think we’ve finally done it. This thing is loaded, top to bottom, with a plethora of sweet, salty and savory goodness. It’s got all the breakfast essentials – but cranked up a notch or two. Naturally, there’s bacon but rather than just salty pig candy, we rubbed the Applewood smoked strips with brown sugar because it’s a scientific fact that salty and sweet is fucking delicious. Then, we’ve got a homemade hash brown patty in there, along with sautéed onions to hit that greasy-spoon factor. And because hash browns need ketchup, there’s some of that, but instead of regular catsup, we went spicy Bloody Mary-style. Next, there’s a runny egg, of course, but we fancy so we poached that sucker. And then, ohhhhhh man, we covered everything in a blanket of insanely delicious MAPLE SYRUP HOLLANDAISE SAUCE (you guys have no idea how ridiculous this stuff is – we were eating it with a spoon, it was so damn good).
Last but not least, in the middle of all the above is some of the finest ground beef you’ll find in all of D.C.: a pair of four-ounce 80/20 brisket, short rib and sirloin patties from Red Apron Butcher topped with American cheese. Oh, and we gave those delicious hunks of meat a coffee rub, too, because, you know, breakfast.
Behold, THE DEFINITIVE BREAKFAST BURGER.
THE DEFINITIVE BREAKFAST BURGER
Bloody Mary ketchup, homemade hash brown, two coffee-rubbed 1/4 pound Red Apron Butcher patties topped with American cheese, sautéed white onions, brown sugar-rubbed Applewood smoked bacon, a poached egg and a blanket of MAPLE SYRUP HOLLANDAISE, all on a toasted and buttered telera roll.
(We’re new to the whole recipe thing, so bear with us as we do this for the first time. If you’ve got a question about anything below, just ask. Most of the recipes for the components were adapted from other, much-better cooks than us. We’ve included links to the original recipes below.)
- 1/2 pound of Red Apron Butcher ground beef blend*
- 1 telera roll, cut in half (or any roll or bun that will handle the massiveness of the burger’s insides)
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 strips of Applewood smoked bacon
- 1-2 tbsp light brown sugar
- 2 slices of American cheese (Kraft is our favorite)
- 1 egg, poached (this is easier than it sounds, check out Alton Brown’s how-to if you need a refresher)
- 1 small white onion, chopped
- maple syrup hollandaise (recipe below)
- 2 tsp coffee rub (recipe below)
- 1 tbsp Bloody Mary ketchup (recipe below)
- 1 hash brown patty (store bought, McDonald’s or homemade – recipe below)
- kosher salt
- black pepper
* You could always go the one-patty route and just use 4 ounces of beef. But we don’t recommend it.
1) The ketchup, rub and hash browns can all be made ahead of time before starting on the burger.
2) Brush telera roll with melted butter and place under broiler until lightly toasted. Set aside.
3) Coat strips of bacon in brown sugar and place on a wire rack in a parchment or foil-lined baking pan and bake in pre-heated 400 degree oven for 20 minutes. Remove and set aside.
4) Sauté chopped white onions in a pan with 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high heat until translucent and light brown. Turn down heat and set aside.
5) Using ground beef, form two equal-sized meat balls. Be careful not to handle the meat too much. Season liberally with salt and pepper on one side.
6) Lightly wipe down a cast iron skillet with vegetable oil using a paper towel.
7) When skillet starts to smoke, place meat balls, seasoned side down, into skillet, careful to allow enough space to spread out when you smash them down. (We use The Food Lab’s “Classic Smashed Burgers” technique here)
8) Using spatula, smash meat down on skillet.
9) Sprinkle coffee rub on unseasoned side of patties.
10) After about 1-2 minutes, flip patties, and top each with one slice of American cheese.
11) When cheese completely melts, remove from pan onto plate.
12) Spread Bloody Mary ketchup on bottom of telera roll.
13) Place hash brown on the ketchup.
14) Place one, coffee-rubbed burger patty on the hash brown.
15) Top burger patty with sautéed onions.
16) Top onions with second, coffee-rubbed burger patty.
17) Top burger patty with criss-crossed strips of brown sugar-rubbed bacon.
18) Top bacon with poached egg.
19) Drench egg and rest of burger in maple syrup hollandaise and then top with other half of telera roll.
20) GET BUSY.
Layer by layer:
Notes: The timing is tricky at the end, getting the egg, hollandaise and burgers all done around the same time. After much trial-and-error, we’ve determined the best order, from first-to-last, is 1) Burgers, 2) Egg, 3) Hollandaise. The burgers and egg will stay hot enough while you quickly prepare the hollandaise which takes very little time to make. This way, you don’t risk the hollandaise cooling down while you finish the rest of the burger.
Maple Syrup Hollandaise (from Cupcake Project)
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
- 3 tbsp real maple syrup
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1) Whisk egg yolks, lemon juice and maple syrup together in a stainless steel bowl until mixture thickens and doubles in volume.
2) Place the bowl over a saucepan containing barely simmering water. The water should not touch the bottom of the bowl. (If you have a double boiler, use it here instead)
3) Keep whisking rapidly and SLOWLY drizzle in melted butter until sauce thickens and doubles in volume.
4) Generously pour over top of the constructed burger.
Bloody Mary Ketchup (from Family Fresh Meals)
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1 tsp hot sauce
- 1/2 tsp celery salt
- 1 tsp prepared horseradish
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp pepper
1) Mix all together in a bowl and stick in the fridge until needed.
Hash Brown Patty (from Michael Symon)
- 1 Russet potato
- 1/2 tsp salt
- black pepper
- 1/8 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tbsp flour
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
1) Shred potato with grater into a bowl. Season shredded potatoes with salt and black pepper, paprika and beaten egg.
2) Mix together using hands or fork
3) Add flour and mix in
4) Shake mixture into round patties, about 1/2-inch thick (if potatoes keep falling apart, add a little more flour)
5) Heat large saute pan over medium heat. When pan is hot, add oil. Pan fry patties about 1-2 minutes per side (or until golden brown).
6) Remove patties from oil, place on a paper towel and season with salt.
(To keep warm while you’re making the rest of the burger, place them on a wire rack on a baking sheet in a 200 degree oven)
Coffee Rub (from Epicurious)
- 1/4 tbsp ground coffee
- 1/2 tsp light brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/8 tsp ground coriander
- 1/8 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
Mix together in a small bowl.