balcony burger is better

burger 1

In light of Toronto’s current burger craze during The Grid’s TO’s Burger Week, I found it fitting to put forth my own recipe. I love seeing the celebration and respect this amazing sandwich deserves. I do, however, think a burger is something best enjoyed at home with friends and family in the backyard rather than for $20 in any restaurant or pub, but that’s just me.

My Dad’s burgers are a point of pride for him, and I the same. I have challenged his burgers in an all-family taste test a couple of times, of course always facing defeat at the spatula of the true burger king. I suppose that is a throne that isn’t won, rather inherited. That’s OK; I will gladly take second place to him.

Start with the best quality ground chuck you can find. Be certain you get ‘lean ground beef’, or even regular. Just be certain it isn’t ‘extra-lean’ – this will only leave you with a dry, dusty burger. The recipe is simple after that: throw it all in, use your hands to incorporate everything evenly and build your patties. Personally I like a huge patty – nearly an inch thick. I can get 5 solid burgers from 2 lbs of beef. Many traditional burger recipes have breadcrumbs in the meat but I don’t think it is necessary if you form the burgers well and chill before grilling – this will also keep them gluten free!

Make sure your grill is on screaming high heat when the burger goes on – essential to seal in the moisture. Cover the BBQ and leave alone for about 2 minutes before flipping. Immediately close the lid, turn the heat down to medium and let them cook for about 3 minutes. Flip and touch for doneness in the middle. Check just as you would a steak – soft to the touch, still rare and needs time; if firm it is well done. I usually shoot for medium-well, which takes around 4 minutes per side, but it all depends on the thickness of your patty.

Cheese is a tricky thing – almost anything will work, but some truly work better. Aged cheddar is classic. I have recently tried gruyere – a strong Swiss melting cheese and LOVED it. Pictured is a nice Canadian smoked Havarti – in my books, the more pungent the better. Just please stay away from Kraft singles – fml.

Toppings, condiments and the way they are arranged are entirely up to the eater. When it comes to this burger recipe, I will always leave the bun building to each of my guests, and everyone will be happy. I am just certain to provide as many options as possible!

I named it the Backyard Balcony Burger because my backyard is currently a 6’ x 12’ balcony. Enjoy yours wherever you can, as often as you can… Boom.

burger 3

Burger Mixture

– 2 lbs lean ground beef

– 1 egg

– 1/3 cup finely diced onion

– 4 cloves garlic – minced

– 2 tbsp grated fresh ginger

– 1 tbsp montreal steak spice

– 1 tbsp dijon mustard

– 1 tbsp dried oragno

– 1 tbsp smoked paprika

– 1 tbsp hot sauce

– 1 tbsp Worcestershire (Lea & Perrins)

– Salt & Pepper

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