Food Republic http://www.foodrepublic.com Where Food, Drink & Culture Unite Fri, 26 May 2017 18:00:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.4.2 Burgers, Allergies, Ice Cream: 10 Hot Topics On Food Republic http://www.foodrepublic.com/2017/05/26/burgers-allergies-ice-cream/ http://www.foodrepublic.com/2017/05/26/burgers-allergies-ice-cream/#respond Fri, 26 May 2017 18:00:12 +0000 http://www.foodrepublic.com/?p=169949 Finally, we’re placing the top bun on our Burger Week burger and taking a bite. From the best way to cook a burger (not grilled!) to all the ways a burger can be transformed into something shameful, we learned so much about one of America’s favorite meals. We also found out why peaches and kiwis […]

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allamerican
Black Tap’s all-American burger is a glorious one.

Finally, we’re placing the top bun on our Burger Week burger and taking a bite. From the best way to cook a burger (not grilled!) to all the ways a burger can be transformed into something shameful, we learned so much about one of America’s favorite meals. We also found out why peaches and kiwis make our mouths tingle and how spent grains from beer brewing can be incorporated into ice cream. Now that you’re armed with an extensive knowledge of burgers, go forth and conquer Memorial Day Weekend.

  1. This two-Michelin-star Chicago restaurant is incredibly well known for its burger.
  2. You probably aren’t eating burgers properly. Here’s an illustrated diagram to fix that problem.
  3. Got leftover roast beef? Wrap it up in Yorkshire pudding.
  4. Ever heard of hamburger ice cream? That’s just one way the world we live in has twisted the burger name.
  5. Does your mouth tingle when you eat a certain fruit or vegetable? If so, you may have oral allergy syndrome.
  6. What’s the easiest way to build a campfire? The Kamoto OpenFire Pit may be the answer.
  7. Want to pair your burger with wine? Follow the lead of these sommeliers.
  8. Joe Isidori of NYC’s Black Tap is so done with fancy burgers.
  9. The ice cream masters at Salt & Straw are gathering up food scraps from local purveyors in L.A., San Francisco and Portland to create new flavors for the month of June.
  10. What’s the first thing to know about cooking burgers? Find the answer in one of these eight cookbooks.

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Mario Batali And Co. Gear Up To Fight AIDS: This Week In Food Activism http://www.foodrepublic.com/2017/05/26/mario-batali-fight-aids/ http://www.foodrepublic.com/2017/05/26/mario-batali-fight-aids/#respond Fri, 26 May 2017 15:00:21 +0000 http://www.foodrepublic.com/?p=169942 Refugee dinners and the (RED) Foundation are the main subject of this week’s news. If you’re in L.A., head out to Momed for the month’s last dinner dedicated to refugees from nine countries. June is right around the corner and will be dedicated to fighting AIDS. Several events are planned in New York City and […]

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Refugee dinners and the (RED) Foundation are the main subject of this week’s news. If you’re in L.A., head out to Momed for the month’s last dinner dedicated to refugees from nine countries. June is right around the corner and will be dedicated to fighting AIDS. Several events are planned in New York City and elsewhere throughout the month. Here’s what’s happening this week in food activism.

  • Wednesday, May 31 marks the last immigrant-themed dinner at Momed in Los Angeles’ Atwater Village neighborhood. The nine-course menu will highlight dishes from Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan, Syria, Lebanon and Egypt and is part of the LA Times‘ Food Bowl festival. Half of the proceeds will benefit the International Rescue Committee, an organization dedicated to helping refugees.
  • This year’s Eat (RED) Save Lives campaign to fight AIDS starts next Thursday. Mario Batali takes the lead in the month-long fundraiser. On June 20, the campaign’s first film festival will screen Sleepless in Seattle and feature picnic baskets curated by Batali, Danny Bowien, Ina Garten and Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Tickets run $100 with all proceeds getting donated to (RED). Meal kit service HelloFresh is also offering limited edition kits designed by Batali, Carla Hall, Emeril Lagasse and Rachael Ray. New subscribers can use the code HELLORED for $20 off their first box and donate $20 to (RED). Luke’s Lobster’s newest location in New York’s Union Square will open on June 1 and will dedicate the month to the campaign by decking the place out in red. Throughout the month, Luke’s will offer costumers the option of donating $1 to (RED), specifically in sub-Saharan Africa, and will match donations. Finally, chef Hugh Acheson will cook a family-style dinner at Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, Tennessee on June 8. Proceeds from these ticket sales will go to the campaign as well. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will be matching all donations throughout the month.
  • Starting next Friday, Salt & Straw creamery will be scooping new flavors that were concocted with the help of food scraps saved from local purveyors in Portland, Los Angeles and San Francisco. The flavors will be available all June long.
  • Author Neil Gaiman has agreed to perform a live reading of the epic poem-length Cheesecake Factory menu if $510,000 is raised for the United Nations Refugee Agency. Comedian and author Sara Benincasa proposed the idea to Gaiman on Twitter and has since started a crowdfunding page for the effort. The goal is to raise the money by June 20 (which happens to be World Refugee Day) in order to make the reading happen. As of Thursday afternoon, $40,000 had been raised.

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Here Is The Easiest, Fastest Way To Make Cheesecake http://www.foodrepublic.com/2017/05/26/here-is-the-easiest-fastest-way-to-make-cheesecake/ http://www.foodrepublic.com/2017/05/26/here-is-the-easiest-fastest-way-to-make-cheesecake/#respond Fri, 26 May 2017 14:00:41 +0000 http://www.foodrepublic.com/?p=169778 It’s older than the original Olympic Games, and there are references to it throughout the ancient texts of numerous empires. Its reach is worldwide — from New York to Bavaria — and it has been written about by everyone from Renaissance philosophers to Bon Appétit and Esquire. There’s even a whole factory devoted to it! Cheesecake — we […]

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cheesecake
Bust out your finest mason jars to hold this simple, homemade cheesecake.

It’s older than the original Olympic Games, and there are references to it throughout the ancient texts of numerous empires. Its reach is worldwide — from New York to Bavaria — and it has been written about by everyone from Renaissance philosophers to Bon Appétit and Esquire. There’s even a whole factory devoted to it! Cheesecake — we all know it, and we all love it. It’s a timeless dessert with countless versions and styles, and yet it can be even better. Our friends at ChefSteps are proud to introduce sous vide cheesecake. This tongue-coating confection is simple and rich — a delectable pot de fromage that you can make in less than 90 minutes with Joule. Grab your prettiest mason jars and whip up these little sweets in batches to satisfy a full dinner party. Or pop them in the fridge for treats to get you through the week. With a quick topping of graham cracker streusel, you can’t go wrong.

[Editor’s note: ChefSteps cooks sous vide with the Joule, a tool created by its in-house team of chefs, designers, and engineers. Joule is a Wi-Fi-connected device that you control with your smartphone. For more, check out Food Republic’s independent review of the device.]

Ingredients
2 (eight-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened to room temperature (we use Philadelphia Original)
100 grams granulated sugar
2 grams Kosher salt
3 whole eggs
5 grams vanilla extract, optional
130 grams buttermilk, or heavy whipping cream

Equipment
Food processor
Sous vide setup
Fine-mesh sieve
5 (eight-ounce) mason jars
Jar lifter

FAQs
What can I use instead of buttermilk?
No buttermilk? No problem. You can use whipping cream as a replacement — but we do love that buttermilk tang.

What should I put on top o’ this cheesecake?
Oh, the possibilities! Streusel would be great. Perhaps with some macerated strawberries too? Or you could top it off with some homemade rhubarb or raspberry jam. Maybe even a little spoonful of lemon curd to brighten up the day?

How long will these last in the fridge?
We’d say safely a week.

Directions:

  1. Heat Joule to 176°F. Remember, the water in your pot will get hot enough to cook your food — treat your work surface accordingly! Place a trivet beneath the pot to help protect your countertop, or use whatever precautions you normally would when exposing your counter to a dish, pot or pan you just removed from the oven or stove.
  2. Add cream cheese, sugar and salt to the bowl of a food processor. Blend the mixture until smooth, periodically scraping down the sides of the bowl to make sure everything is incorporated.
  3. Add eggs and vanilla to cream cheese mixture. Blend to incorporate, again scraping down sides of blender bowl to make sure everything is combined.
  4. Keep the food processor running and add in the buttermilk. Blend the mixture just until everything is incorporated smoothly. You don’t want to see any chunks of cream cheese.
  5. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve (optional).
  6. Chefs call this “casting.” Fill each mason jar with 130 grams (4 1/2 oz) of batter, making sure to leave enough room for your toppings.
  7. Place a lid on the mason jar, then twist the lid until it’s closed but still possible to open with your fingertips. This allows air to escape from the jars when they’re submerged in water. If the jars are closed too tightly, the trapped air will press against the glass and could crack or break the jars. Here’s our foolproof way to master the art of closing jars “fingertip tight:” Place the lid on top of the jar, then, using just your fingertips, twist the band to tighten. When you begin to feel resistance, twist once in the opposite direction to loosen, then once more in the original direction to tighten.
  8. Place jars carefully into the water and cook for 90 minutes for a creamy, traditional cheesecake texture. This is our favorite way to make cheesecake. You can also cook these little cakes quicker! A 60-minute cook time will yield a smoother, more custard-like texture.
  9. Remove jars from water with jar lifter and cool them at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Then transfer to the refrigerator and chill these li’l cakes overnight.
  10. When you’re ready to eat some cheesecake, remove them from the fridge and dig in. Feel free to add some toppings — perhaps streusel, fresh fruit or some delicious compote.

ChefSteps comprises a team of award-winning chefs, filmmakers, scientists, designers and engineers focused on revolutionizing the way people cook by inspiring creativity and encouraging expertise in the kitchen. You can also get access to all of ChefSteps’ Premium content — including paid classes and dozens of recipes available only to Premium members for a onetime fee of $39. Classes include Sous Vide: Beyond the BasicsFluid GelsFrench Macarons and more!

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The 11 Most Memorable Burgers I’ve Eaten http://www.foodrepublic.com/2017/05/26/the-11-most-memorable-burgers-ive-eaten/ http://www.foodrepublic.com/2017/05/26/the-11-most-memorable-burgers-ive-eaten/#respond Fri, 26 May 2017 13:00:35 +0000 http://www.foodrepublic.com/?p=169951 I tip my hat to the writers who gorge their way through a city or state or even the whole country in search of the best burger. I mean, it’s such a subjective thing, but I can see why a guy or gal would get the critical inspiration to weigh many options and crown a […]

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I tip my hat to the writers who gorge their way through a city or state or even the whole country in search of the best burger. I mean, it’s such a subjective thing, but I can see why a guy or gal would get the critical inspiration to weigh many options and crown a winner. It’s fun, it’s delicious, and you can complain about the tedium of the task while surreptitiously loving every minute. That said, as a writer who once tried to judge six Seattle fish and chips stands in one day, I’d make the argument that such ambitious endeavors are unwise and probably don’t lead to the best judgment.

To me, what makes a burger special is if it satisfies not only the stomach but the soul, on some subconscious level, thus leading to a lasting memory. To qualify for my top 10, the burger had to be delicious, sure, but it also needed to stick with me months or years later, as these 11 do:

1. Clark’s Oyster Bar, Austin, Texas: I dined here during South By Southwest a couple of years back with a friend after hearing buzz in culinary circles. A fantastic burger at an oyster bar? It’d seem dubious to an outsider, but Austinites know that Clark’s is a Larry McGuire/Tom Moorman joint, so it makes sense. Anyway, my friend Rachel and I walked in for lunch, and I spotted Andy Roddick and his wife Brooklyn Decker dining on the patio with friends. A gracious server walked us to a table nearby on the patio, which overlooks a parking lot, and Rachel and I split this thick-pattied, gruyère-topped burger, which is served with rosemary-laced shoestring fries. It was juicy, salty and that one half was the perfect amount of burger. I’d go back anytime and have another.

2. Dick’s, Seattle, Washington: I had to include a greasy fast-food burger on here, and this is my favorite, as far as memories go. Dick’s has multiple locations, but my go-to during my stint living in the Emerald City was the NE 45th St. location, a pull-in/counter service place which probably hasn’t changed much since the 1950s. You get a bag filled with burgers and fries, sit on a curb or in your car, and go to town.

3. Le Tub, Hollywood, Florida: This place was all the rage for burger tourists in the aughts after GQ plucked it from relative obscurity and anointed it one of the 20 burgers you have to eat before you die. I felt like death, hungover in a way only Miami can do to you, when two friends called and said they were picking me up to take me here. We ordered our burgers, found a wooden picnic table on the dock and watched the boats go by as we waited, and waited (they warn you). When the burger finally came, I was almost dead, and the gigantic patty and poppy seed bun brought me back. Thanks Le Tub.

4. Au Cheval, Chicago: It’s probably the most overhyped burger in America but I had to try it (and when I went in 2013, it was still kind of a cult thing). I landed at O’Hare, took a cab straight to the West Loop, got a table, ordered the burger and a pint of Three Floyds IPA, then watched as the snow began to fall outside through the big windows, the juice dribbling down my cheek.

5. Corner Bistro, NYC: Back in the day, if you lived in NYC or visited and had in-the-know friends, you went here to get served a simple cheeseburger on a white paper plate with unremarkable crinkle-cut fries. It’s still great today but in the late 1990s, this dive bar with a surprisingly amazing burger really resonated.

6. Minetta Tavern, NYC: The first time I had this burger, seated in the clubby room near a table where David Byrne and John Waters were sharing a steak, I just had one of those New York moments that you can’t resist. Then the salty, flavorful burger took hold, the caramelized onions and bun and beef and oooh. So good.

7. Husk, Nashville, TN: Sean Brock is an awesome dude. Probably the coolest chef to ever hang out with. And I respect him even more, because when I told him I was going to try another hyped burger during a visit to Nashville, he replied matter of factly, “Why would you do that? Just go to Husk.” His double patty with cheese sauce and benne seed bun is the definition of a memorable burger. I’m dreaming about it now.

8. Bip Burger, Paris, France: I totally buy into the Ernest Hemingway quote, “If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.” That said, when I studied in Paris, the nearest burger joint to my dorm was Bip Burger, which I’m pretty sure in retrospect was worse than McDonald’s. But I remember nights by myself heading up the avenue Charonne to grab a burger by myself and it has indeed stayed with me.

9. The Spotted Pig, NYC: It’s in a league of its own, and you never forget your first bite.

10. Knife, Dallas, TX: The memory is fuzzy, because Knife was my third dinner of the night (I was dining around with chefs, also from out of town), but I do know that we ordered like three different burgers, plus steaks, and I couldn’t stop eating. John Tesar is a meat master (and a highly opinionated man!). I’ll be back.

11. In-N-Out, West Hollywood, CA: My go-to New Yorker move during a dabble in bicoastal living was to fly to LAX, rent a car and drive to this location of the iconic chain, where I’d order a double-double with fries and get satisfied every time. I won’t engage in the Shake Shack debate — I like the Shack, usually — but this is about memories, and my In-N-Out memories have lasted a long time.

 

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Thrillist Names Best Burger In The Country http://www.foodrepublic.com/2017/05/25/thrillist-names-countrys-best-burger/ http://www.foodrepublic.com/2017/05/25/thrillist-names-countrys-best-burger/#respond Thu, 25 May 2017 18:00:49 +0000 http://www.foodrepublic.com/?p=169923 The search for America’s best burger is a polarizing conversation for the ages. Thrillist’s national burger critic Kevin Alexander took on the daunting and calorific (99,000 calories to be exact) task of hunting down the absolute best burger this country has to offer. In a year, Alexander ventured to over 30 cities, ate 330 burgers […]

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The search for America’s best burger is a polarizing conversation for the ages. Thrillist’s national burger critic Kevin Alexander took on the daunting and calorific (99,000 calories to be exact) task of hunting down the absolute best burger this country has to offer.

In a year, Alexander ventured to over 30 cities, ate 330 burgers and finally came to the conclusion that Stanich’s in Portland, Oregon was the home of America’s best burger. Stanich’s has been around since 1949 and is still family owned and operated. The humble owner, Steve Stanich, son of the original founders, told Alexander that he was “shocked” to find out that his restaurant made America’s best cheeseburger.

Stanich’s burger is not an over-the-top sandwich loaded with every topping under the sun. It’s simply a single chuck patty topped with American cheese, grilled onions cooked in bacon grease, lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise, mustard and relish on a sesame bun. And it’s only $8 (even with a large fries, it’s still under 12 bucks!).

Check out Thrillist’s video here.

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Derek Stevens’ Marrownaise Makes A Killer Burger http://www.foodrepublic.com/2017/05/25/derek-stevens-marrownaise-makes-killer-burger/ http://www.foodrepublic.com/2017/05/25/derek-stevens-marrownaise-makes-killer-burger/#respond Thu, 25 May 2017 15:00:54 +0000 http://www.foodrepublic.com/?p=169836 Celebrated Pittsburgh chef Derek Stevens of Union Standard spreads a mayonnaise on burger buns that’ll have you drooling til the cows come home. It’s not just any mayonnaise, you see: it’s marrownaise, a silky, fatty, meaty substance that transforms regular beef into a rich umami experience. We spoke with him to learn more about this wonderfully savory […]

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Celebrated Pittsburgh chef Derek Stevens of Union Standard spreads a mayonnaise on burger buns that’ll have you drooling til the cows come home. It’s not just any mayonnaise, you see: it’s marrownaise, a silky, fatty, meaty substance that transforms regular beef into a rich umami experience. We spoke with him to learn more about this wonderfully savory concoction and see if we might even be able to recreate it at home. Spoiler alert: there’s no real recipe — you’ll just need mayo-making supplies and a few big marrow bones.

What is the origin story of this wonderful-sounding condiment?
I love bone marrow and I’ve used it in all different ways, so I thought it would be an interesting accompaniment. It’s a basic mayonnaise with lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, oil, rendered bone marrow and egg yolks. We serve marrownaise with our french fries, too. The reason I wanted to serve it with fries was that the taste reminds me of McDonald’s fries [before the chain switched to vegetable oil]. A good friend has a restaurant in Pittburgh where he does beef tallow fries. It’s odd how much I remember that taste.

Do you use marrownaise on anything else on the menu?
We also use marrownaise as a condiment to season our steak tartare, which gives it a unique flavor for a steak tartare. The mayo has that specific “warm roasted meat umami,” which we mix with cold raw meat, so you get an extra deep beefy flavor. I think it would be great on a turkey sandwich, too. Or you could pair with fried cauliflower, add a nice meaty flavor to some veggies.

Can we make it at home? Is there a trick or two we should know?
Sure! It’s a little in-depth and there’s a lot to it, but you can totally do it. We roast pipe-cut marrow bones and drain off all the rendered marrow. Then we make a mayonnaise. Put a little warm tap water in while you’re mixing it up, because what’s really important is that the marrow is room temperature. You don’t want it hot or cold. Too hot and the mayo will break, too cold and it will solidify. It’s a ratio of about 75% blended oil and 25% marrow. Even with 25% marrow, it still carries so much of that flavor. Then you can save the bones and still make stock.

What’s something to keep in mind when making mayonnaise in general?
If you have the opportunity to make mayo instead of buying it, it’s a whole different world. You want to have good-quality farm eggs and a healthy dose of Dijon mustard (an emulsifier) and you can experiment with vinegars and citrus. Start very slowly, then speed it up, paying attention to the consistency. As it gets really thick, if you add a drop too much oil, it’ll break. If it starts to get too thick, taste it — if it’s not quite right, add water or lemon juice.

How long has the burger with marrownaise been on the menu?
The whole time we’ve been open! I wanted to do a pretty simple straightforward high- quality burger, not a bunch of ridiculous bells and whistles on it. It’s indicative of the rest of our menu in that we do food that’s good and simple. We use a local grass-fed beef from Jubilee Hilltop that has a great fat content. We add a local white cheddar, and we don’t make the buns yet but we have a local bakery that makes them just for us. It’s a potato roll with everything bagel spice on top that gives it a little extra crunch and flavor. We cook it on a really high heat griddle or a cast-iron skillet instead of the grill. You have to get that nice sear and crust on it.

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#TBT: A Look Back At Frites Week http://www.foodrepublic.com/2017/05/25/tbt-frites-week/ http://www.foodrepublic.com/2017/05/25/tbt-frites-week/#respond Thu, 25 May 2017 14:00:03 +0000 http://www.foodrepublic.com/?p=169902 It would be a complete travesty — or even criminal — to have a Burger Week and not mention our beloved Frites Week, which graced computer and smartphone screens last March. Frankly, it’d be comparable to the detestable act of serving a companionless burger. Nobody wants to have to pay for friends. Frites Week brought some controversy to the […]

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It would be a complete travesty — or even criminal — to have a Burger Week and not mention our beloved Frites Week, which graced computer and smartphone screens last March. Frankly, it’d be comparable to the detestable act of serving a companionless burger. Nobody wants to have to pay for friends.

Frites Week brought some controversy to the Food Republic office. Two of our editors butted heads on the steak fry. We surveyed our office and Zero Point Zero colleagues to rank 18 styles of fries with the unsuspecting waffle fry coming up on top. There’s even a recipe for the uniquely shaped spud.

French Fries_V2

We also got an exclusive look into how Five Guys, which recently booted In-N-Out out of the top spot for best fast food burger chain on the Harris Poll, makes its fries. Shake Shack let us in on the secret to their crispy crinkle fries. We even went global and found the best spots for patatas bravas in Barcelona and visited the Frietmuseum in Belgium to learn of the surprising beginnings of the fried potato snack.

Often times, fries are a contributing factor to a bigger dish like poutine, cheese fries or Philadelphia’s gravy fries. But however you prefer them, there’s no denying that French fries are an essential part of our food-obsessed culture — and must, simply must, be served alongside any and all burgers.

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Joe Isidori’s Black Tap Burgers Get Gold Stars http://www.foodrepublic.com/2017/05/25/joe-isidori-black-tap-burgers/ http://www.foodrepublic.com/2017/05/25/joe-isidori-black-tap-burgers/#respond Thu, 25 May 2017 13:00:12 +0000 http://www.foodrepublic.com/?p=169577 Joe Isidori, chef/owner of of NYC’s Black Tap Burgers & Beer is a burger-purist’s burger man: the New York native likes his burger all-American, his shakes blended properly and his fries included in the price of a burger. You like him already, don’t you? His recent cookbook, Craft Burgers and Crazy Shakes from Black Tap, a compilation […]

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black tap burgers
The fare at Joe Isidori’s Black Tap Burgers & Beer is worth celebrating!

Joe Isidori, chef/owner of of NYC’s Black Tap Burgers & Beer is a burger-purist’s burger man: the New York native likes his burger all-American, his shakes blended properly and his fries included in the price of a burger. You like him already, don’t you?

His recent cookbook, Craft Burgers and Crazy Shakes from Black Tap, a compilation of the best-loved Black Tap burgers and desserts, is a colorful and innovative course in keeping it delicious, classic and fun. Hold it like a normal book and devour page after page of loaded, delicious-looking burgers hot off the flat-top. Flip it over and attack the desserts section while its back is turned. Recently, I met up with Isidori and talked about this and plenty of other juicy burger-centric topics at Black Tap Midtown, just a few short blocks from my apartment, where I’ve set off the smoke alarm dozens of times in an attempt to cook a patty with the perfect cast-iron crust.

isidori_headshot

What I first found interesting about your cookbook was the format — one way and then the other way. Where did that come from?
That was actually my publicist’s idea. She asked me what I wanted to write about, and I said “It’s quite obvious, craft burgers and crazy shakes.” I made a hardbound sample book, which I use for my branding. I gave it to her and said, “This is the kind of book I want to do.” She came in the next day and said, “Okay, we’re going to do Craft Burgers and Crazy Shakes by Black Tap and we’re going to make it a flip book.” The whole idea was to be able to put it on the stands next to each other so it’s like a “double the space” kind of a deal. It works out good. When people figure it out, they love it.

“If one more chef gives me a dry-aged beef burger with Gruyère cheese and truffles on a brioche bun, I’m going to jump off the Brooklyn Bridge.”

It’s really innovative! I think more cookbooks should take a fun but timeless approach like that.
That’s the beauty of Black Tap is that we are a timeless business model that we just modernized. I asked myself “What do you want to do?” and decided I wanted to sell burgers. “Fancy burgers?” No. If one more chef gives me a dry-aged beef burger with Gruyère cheese and truffles on a brioche bun, I’m going to jump off the Brooklyn Bridge.

$15 supplement for foie gras.
Choke me now. It’s just a burger that I can’t get behind or enjoy anymore. I found myself going to the old-school luncheons in New York City. I found myself seeking out the old griddle burger, the luncheonette burger — Joe’s Junior, Piper’s Kilt in Eastchester — going to the outer boroughs and hitting up all these places because I thought those were real burgers. My whole idea was to take that old-school New York burger and give it a twist, and that’s when I came up with the term “craft burgers.” But, it’s rooted in the old fashioned style: loose-packed beef burger, double American cheese, soft potato bun, lettuce, tomato, pickle on the side, French fries, one plate, one price. Not 60-day dry aged beef, truffles, short rib and a partridge in a pear tree for $32.

$32 at least.
I went to a burger place the other day — and they will remain nameless — they were selling a six-ounce burger — again, I won’t say what was on it because it’ll give it away — and it was $32.

And that’s without fries.
Yeah, that’s the thing. Ours is $15 for an eight-ounce burger, American cheese, special sauce, lettuce, tomato, pickle and fries and it’s the best burger in New York City.

How could you serve a burger without fries? Why would you do that to somebody?
Fries are a different story that I’ll tell you later, but I have a strong opinion on fries, believe me.

How long did it take you to write the book?
Two weeks, but I can come up with a hundred burgers if you give me a little time. It’s endless because once you have this foundation that people are attracted to, you kind of know what they want. What we’re doing is pulling from a few things: nostalgia, recognizable classics then giving them that Michelin star chef’s edge that we all have here. We’re not recreating the wheel, we’re just polishing it up a little bit and people like it. I can go and do research on America’s favorite burgers and then create my own versions if I wanted to. I can do the same thing with milkshakes or desserts. It’s just endless.

allamerican

What is your favorite burger right this moment?
I’m old-school. Give me the All-American. I always tell everyone, when they come here for the first time, there are so many great burgers on the menu. I say have the All-American. If they ask why, I say “because it’s so good it’ll bring you back.”

“American cheese is the only cheese for a burger. It has perfect harmony with it.”

What’s my favorite burger right now that I haven’t tried yet?
Well I have to stay true to my answer, have the All-American! There are three that really get people, one is the All-American, two is the Texan, and three is the Greg Norman. Those are the three highlights on the menu. They’re not some magic burgers that I pulled down from the sky. The All-American is the all-American, everyone’s had one! The Texan is inspired by my days when I lived out West and it was Carl’s Jr.’s everywhere, when Carl’s Jr. was good. It sucks now.

I went to college in LA, I totally remember when Carl’s Jr. was good.
It was really good, right?

It was really very good.
What happened?!

I don’t know, man!
I went out last week and there was an In-N-Out and a Carl’s Jr. across the street from each other and I battled them. It wasn’t even a competition. Back in the day I used to like In-N-Out but I was in a debate constantly. Anyway, the Western Burger at Carl’s Jr. was the inspiration for our Texan burger. The Greg Norman is the more chef-y burger. It’s Wagyu beef, it’s really unctuous, buttermilk-dill dressing, zippy bleu cheese, fresh crunch of arugula. Those three sort of show what Black Tap is in three different ways.

Let’s go back to the role of Wagyu in the ultimate burger? When are you going to go to Wagyu over Angus?
They’re really interchangeable. We use Creekstone from Pat LaFrieda; it’s a prime blend of brisket and chuck. It all depends on the preference of the chef. I personally think that the Wagyu is really unctuous. You can taste the difference. Someone with a good palate can take a basic All-American with a mix of chuck and brisket and with Wagyu and know the difference. Certain ingredients like American cheese mask that funk a little bit, but the richness or luxuriousness of a blue cheese really sits well with the Wagyu.

Let’s go back to American cheese. A lot of people bad talk it, but if there’s one cheese for a burger, it’s American.
Tell me about it. Only American cheese. Yesterday I went to a place that was known for its burger, ordered it and it came out with cheddar. Cheddar cheese just doesn’t melt properly. It’s not made for it. There are some instances like our Texan where we use cheddar cheese just because barbecue and cheddar cheese go hand-in-hand; otherwise I wouldn’t use it. American cheese is the only cheese for a burger. It melts perfectly, it’s got that elasticity that it needs. When you steam it, it just kind of wraps itself around the burger. It has perfect harmony with it. Other cheeses break and have a weird pull to it. They just don’t want to be on the burger.

Other cheeses are like “I’m here for the party, but the party’s not that great. I’ll probably leave early.”
American cheese says “I am the party!” Anyone who pooh-poohs American cheese does not get a seat at my Christmas table.

There are four seasons in a year. If you were to pick one burger of yours for each season, what would it be? Let’s start with winter, since you mentioned Christmas.
I’m going to do the Old-Fashioned: horseradish sauce, Swiss cheese, mushrooms, onions, little more hearty. Or maybe even the Texan: bacon, cheese, barbecue sauce, something a little more substantial.

gregnorman
Black Tap’s Greg Norman burger.

Spring: I would go with the Greg Norman: buttermilk, bleu cheese, arugula, zing, pop. It’s like the same thing — ramps are here, the first sign of spring. You want that zippiness. That’s what the buttermilk does to the Greg Norman with the blue cheese. It’s paired off with Australian Wagyu beef and it’s the number one burger in New York City. It’s won that two years in a row. I gotta get that plug in.

At Burger Bash?
At Burger Bash. We won People’s Choice two years in a row.

What about for summer?
The All-American: backyard barbecue, it’s the Fourth of July burger. Enough said.

Fall?
That’s a good one. I would say probably the bison just because it’s a little gamier. That kind of screams “fall” to me. It does have a little freshness to it with the fresh mozzarella.

Here at the restaurant you’re cooking on flat top griddles, right?
Only.

At home, what’s your best replacement for a griddle?
Cast iron pan. Get your cast iron pan real hot.

Are we smashing?
Nope, never smash, never press. Season with kosher salt, not sea salt.

Why only kosher?
Sea salt has moisture in it, and when it hits the pan it’ll give off a little bit of moisture, which will delay the Maillard reaction, which is the browning.

Maillard and steam are mortal enemies right?
Yes, so I always go with kosher. The real reason is because my old man was a chef for years and he taught me to cook with kosher salt, not sea salt. Period.

Any other tips for the home cook?
A couple of pieces of advice: cast-iron pan, if not, a really awesome stainless steel pan like and All-Clad or something like that. Do not try to melt your cheese in the oven. Do a steam melt with your cheese. Don’t overcook your burger. Anything over medium starts to get a little suspect. We do a chef’s medium, which is “medium rare plus” here. Anyone who’s wary of that, we do a medium plus, which is just below medium well. After that it’s fair game.

Do you get a lot of orders for well-done burgers here?
No, not really. 

Is the well-done burger just ruined in your opinion?
Not necessarily. I believe in giving people what they want. I believe that’s my job and if you want a well-done burger, I’m going to give you the best well-done burger you’ve had.

brooklyn blackout milkshake recipe
Black Tap’s Brooklyn Blackout milkshake is the sum of many desserts.

And now for dessert. The Brooklyn Blackout Shake is so beautiful on the page. If someone’s going to recreate this and add a baked good to the milkshake, what would be your advice?
At the end of the day this is burgers, shakes and fries, not rocket science. When I wrote this book, I said it’s not for you to sweat the details, it’s about having fun. Don’t be intimidated, do whatever you want. Nothing’s wrong, nothing’s right. It’s just what you want. When you’re doing the milkshakes, there are some rules. You don’t make a chocolate milkshake with chocolate ice cream and chocolate syrup.

Why not?
Because that’s just not how you do it. Old-school luncheonette style is premium vanilla ice cream with a flavored syrup. If you wanted a chocolate milkshake, it’d be vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup, and for strawberry it’s vanilla ice cream with strawberry syrup. You add to vanilla, that’s how we do it here. If you want to make an apple pie shake, my suggestion would be to take a piece of apple pie, chop it up, throw it in with your vanilla ice cream, caramel, pinch of salt and whip that up. If you want to do a chocolate brownie shake, same thing. Maybe add a little more of chocolate syrup, maybe a drop of caramel syrup to it. Don’t be afraid to add baked goods to your base. We do it here in some regards, but the Brooklyn Blackout is really the premium chocolate shake with all different chocolate garnishes.

Oh, so the cake isn’t actually blended up?
No, because that’s not what we’re looking for. That would be a brownie shake. Brooklyn Blackout is chocolate, chocolate, chocolate, chocolate, chocolate. That’s why it’s called Brooklyn Blackout. That’s the approach. If we were to make a brownie shake, I’d add the brownie or a cupcake to the shake and then garnish it with it as well.

What’s a fun fact about burgers that most people don’t know?
Grilling them on a barbecue is the worst thing to do. A burger on a barbecue is very American, very Fourth of July, but that’s as far as it goes. Open flame just doesn’t lend itself to the perfect burger — even cooking over propane. There are a couple rules to it. One: you always want a flat-top heating surface to get that crust on the burger with the kosher salt for the perfect Maillard reaction. When you go on a grill or even a backyard grill that’s propane, you get uneven heat, you got these ash marks, there’s flavor on one place and not on another, the fat drips down and causes flare up, which people are like, “Ooo flame-grilled!” No, it tastes like crap. It doesn’t taste good. It’s not the most suitable way. That’s the thing that people always get wrong. “I put my burgers on the grill and they tasted awesome!” Nah. I’d rather take my cast iron pan, put it on a grill outside, get it hot and cook my burgers that way.

Now there’s a whole other trick to this. Not over propane or an open flame, but over barbecue or coals, you can now impart flavors. What happens is you have a cooking element that really now imparts flavor, which is good for the burger, such as coals, but you still have that lack of an even cooking surface. So the trick that I do when I want to create a crust and even browning, I take my favorite barbecue sauce — which, believe it or not, is Sweet Baby Ray’s right off the shelf — and I baste the burger while I’m cooking it. The sugars and the flavor combined with the charcoal kind of crust it up and give it that backyard flavor. If you do it the right way, you don’t even taste the barbecue sauce. Then you slap two slices of American cheese on it, let it hug the burger and serve it with your favorite condiments.

…but to go back to the original question, the biggest fallacy is that the best way to cook a burger is on a grill.

So Black Tap has five locations now, right?
Let’s count this out, I love doing this. Meatpacking, Midtown, Lower East Side (opening in June), one in Dubai, then we have a little kiosk in DUMBO.

In how much time has this all happened?
26 months.

And you have a new baby!
He’s two months old. I call him the Prince.

So you’re tired is what you’re saying.
Yes. We watched The Lion King yesterday.

When does the cub get his first burger?
Whenever he wants. If he’s like me, he doesn’t need to ask.

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Salt & Straw Is Creating New Ice Cream Flavors From Food Waste http://www.foodrepublic.com/2017/05/24/salt-straw-creating-new-ice-cream-flavors-food-waste/ http://www.foodrepublic.com/2017/05/24/salt-straw-creating-new-ice-cream-flavors-food-waste/#respond Wed, 24 May 2017 18:00:12 +0000 http://www.foodrepublic.com/?p=169868 We know that Americans waste a whopping 40% of food. Portland-based ice creamery Salt & Straw is working on limited edition series of flavors made with local food waste. With other locations in San Francisco and Los Angeles, Salt & Straw is partnering with purveyors and gleaning organizations such as Urban Gleaners (Portland), Food Runners (San […]

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food waste
Salt & Straw is rescuing food that would’ve gone to the dump, and turning it into ice cream. (Photo courtesy of Salt & Straw.)

We know that Americans waste a whopping 40% of food. Portland-based ice creamery Salt & Straw is working on limited edition series of flavors made with local food waste.

With other locations in San Francisco and Los Angeles, Salt & Straw is partnering with purveyors and gleaning organizations such as Urban Gleaners (Portland), Food Runners (San Francisco) and Food Forward (Los Angeles) to create the new flavors. A portion of June’s profits will be donated to all three.

From leftover popcorn at San Francisco’s Roxie Theater to spent grains and spices from beer brewing and gin distilling, ingredients normally thrown out get another chance to be consumed. Several creameries are also donating their extra whey to preserve fruits for the sweet treat. Who knew whey could be used in so much ice cream?

Check the flavor menu at the different stores below. These flavors will be available in their respective cities from June 2 to June 31.

Portland

  • Urban Gleaners’ Toasted Baguette PB&J — toasted baguette ice cream with swirl of berry jam and chocolate peanut butter
  • Celery Root & Strawberry Celery Leaf Jam — celeriac ice cream with strawberry jam infused with celery leaf clippings
  • Ancient Heritage’s Lemon Curd & Whey — salted whey ice cream with lemon curd
  • Breakside Brewery’s Spent Grains & Bacon S’mores — ground spent grain ice cream and bacon with bacon marshmallow fluff
  • Bourbon Distilled Cherries Ambrosia — whiskey-steeped cherries ice cream

Los Angeles

  • Food Forward’s Top of the Beet — salt and pepper ice cream, beet top, lemon and sherry vinegar jam, dehydrated beet leaf brittle
  • Whey-Preserved Strawberries — extra-ripe strawberries preserved in whey and turned into ice cream
  • Salt-Cured Backyard Citrus Creamsicle — vanilla ice cream and salt-cured citrus marmalade
  • Three Weavers’ Spent Grain With Blackberry Fig Jam — spent grain ice cream and blackberry fig jam
  • Greenbar Distillery Gin Spices & Tonic — spent spices steeped in simple syrup and mixed into ice cream with tonic

San Francisco

  • Food Runners’ Banana Bread Pudding — spiced banana ice cream, chunks of bread pudding
  • Roasted Sunchoke Mock Apple Pie — vanilla ice cream, nutmeg crumble, sunchoke pie
  • Imperfect Produce’s Candied Citrus & Whey Caramel — frozen yogurt-style ice cream with caramelized whey
  • Imperial Stout Wort and Peaberry Coffee Bark — stout ice cream with chocolate coffee bark
  • The Roxie Road — popcorn ice cream with caramel and coffee-flour cookie crumble.

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12 Innovative Burger Recipes (Hold The Beef) http://www.foodrepublic.com/2017/05/24/burger-recipes-hold-beef/ http://www.foodrepublic.com/2017/05/24/burger-recipes-hold-beef/#respond Wed, 24 May 2017 17:00:33 +0000 http://www.foodrepublic.com/?p=169759 Everyone knows a classic burger is nothing without the beef, but we’ve been eating classic burgers all week and have recognized the value of keeping it fresh. No, not salad fresh — we’re talking about innovative burger recipes using other meats. This selection flips the classic on its head and will make you think twice before going […]

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Everyone knows a classic burger is nothing without the beef, but we’ve been eating classic burgers all week and have recognized the value of keeping it fresh. No, not salad fresh — we’re talking about innovative burger recipes using other meats. This selection flips the classic on its head and will make you think twice before going with the old standby again.

Recipe: Chorizo Pork Burgers With Manchego

Combining fresh chorizo sausage (squeezed out of its casings) with plain ground pork makes for a spicy, brawny burger. You can serve these plain, but I like to caramelize sliced onions on the grill and pile them on top. Their sweet-and-sour notes go really nicely with the pork. And a few slices of Manchego cheese add a pleasing salty creaminess that keeps with the Spanish theme here, though any sheep’s-milk cheese will work.

shrimp burgers with tartar sauce recipe
Not all burgers are made of beef. This one is filled with succulent shrimp.

Recipe: Shrimp Burgers With Sweet ‘N’ Spicy Tartar Sauce

As host of Travel Channel’s American Grilled, chef David Guas travels the country seeking backyard cooking’s best and boldest flavors. In his new cookbook, Grill Nation, Guas shares the secrets he’s learned along the way, offering pit-proven tips, techniques and delicious recipes for year-round smoking, grilling and barbecuing. A virtually encyclopedic guide, Grill Nation includes everything you need to master the flame and create flavorful home-cooked food. Dip your toes into Guas’ immense pool of grilling knowledge with these big bold shrimp burgers.

Photo: Kate Sears
Photo: Kate SearsOpt for the leaner turkey burger.

Recipe: Turkey Feta Burgers

Looking for a healthier burger alternative for lunch or dinner? By using ground turkey and switching up your usual burger game for something packed with fiber, vegetables, protein and calcium, you don’t have to feel guilty about chowing down. Maybe even casually slip another onto your plate. It’s good for you. You can easily fire these off on a grill pan or cast-iron skillet if your barbecue is hibernating.

pulledlambburger
This lamb burger is served on pita-like buns with creamy peanut sauce and pomegranates. Just try to tell us you’ve had one of these before.

Recipe: Xi’an City Pulled Lamb Burger

“A burger?” I hear you ask in disbelief. I was just as surprised when I first experienced this dish. Xi’an is most famously known for being home to the ancient terracotta army of the Qin dynasty (221–206 BCE). However, head to the streets of the city and you will find what some would contend to be the origins of the hamburger. The bread bun is more like pita bread than a typical Cantonese bun, having a crisp surface and a soft interior that soaks up all the braising liquor from the lamb.

salmon burgers recipe
Giving red meat a break? Opt for a moist salmon burger, like this one.

Recipe: Simple Salmon Burger

We wanted moist, flavorful salmon burgers that tasted foremost like salmon and that could be made in advance and cooked up for a quick and delicious dinner. Many salmon burger recipes use canned salmon, but since the salmon is the star of this dish, we found that it was well worth the additional modest expense and effort required to make our burgers with fresh salmon. Burgers made with canned salmon were lackluster (to say the least) and mushy, while those made with fresh salmon were moist and full of flavor, with an appealing, chunky texture. A food processor made quick work of chopping the salmon into pieces.

grilled bison burgers with caramelized onions and crispy shiitakes
Not only are these bison burgers better for you, they’re also something different from your everyday fare.

Recipe: Grilled Bison Burgers With Caramelized Onions And Crispy Shiitakes

I know it says bison here, but that lean meat (bison = buffalo) is really just a great excuse to hold a mushroom-a-palooza while getting a load of brain-boosting B12. First, we mix the bison with chopped cremini mushrooms. Then a few crispy shiitakes that have been tossed with smoked paprika and olive oil go on top. In between? Caramelized onions (mmmmmmm). Put it all on a lily pad of butter lettuce and it tastes like a tower of umami! The mushrooms also provide a bit of hard-to-find vitamin D, which University of Kentucky researchers say plays an important role in reducing oxidative damage in the brain that impacts learning.

Photo: Jason Snyder
Photo: Jason SnyderSweet tamarind pairs perfectly with a savory turkey burger.

Recipe: Grilled Tamarind Turkey Burgers

Most children today have been exposed to a greater range of flavors than we were when we were very young, and their tastes are more developed, even for spicy foods. I cannot count the number of times I meet children who can rattle off their favorite sushi! So there’s no worry that the warm but not too spicy Southeast Asian seasonings in these turkey burgers won’t appeal to young palates.

Savory buffalo chicken burgers will satisfy your craving for tangy heat while cutting out the extra fat.

Recipe: Spicy Chicken Burger

If you are a Buffalo chicken lover, you’re sure to love these Buffalo burgers with a Ranch-style spread. To make your own ground chicken breast, simply cube one pound of boneless, skinless breast meat, place in the freezer for 30 minutes, and pop it into the food processor until coarsely ground. A crumble of blue cheese, sliced tomato, and red onion are also great toppers for this crazy-good burger.

Vitello Tonnato Burger Recipe
Anchovy on a burger? You bet your buns.

Recipe: Vitello Tonnato Burger

I’m such a snob when it comes to burgers, I’ll admit. If I’m going to eat a burger, it’s got to be top quality. I think this hits the mark for a great alternative to the traditional beef burger.

One bite of these burgers and you'll be transported to the Mediterranean. (Photo: Lisa Cohen.)
One bite of these burgers and you’ll be transported to the Mediterranean. (Photo: Lisa Cohen.)

Recipe: Greek Lamb And Haloumi Burgers

One of the great things about drinking at a real pub — gastro or otherwise — is that the food will be perfect for whatever’s in your pint glass. That’s why we’re loving cookbook author Rachael Lane’s Great Pub Food, a tome packed with all things beefy, cheesy, fried, salty and otherwise perfect for the bar-frequenter. These Greek lamb and haloumi burgers put a plain old cheeseburger to absolute shame.

tonkatsuburger

Recipe: Tonkatsu Pork Burger With Apple And Fennel Slaw

Let’s be honest: crumbing food makes just it better! Japanese crumbed pork (tonkatsu) is bloody delicious. Even better is tonkatsu sauce, which is basically Japanese barbecue sauce, widely available from Asian grocers, along with the panko breadcrumbs. Throw in some slaw and some buns and you’ve got a real crowd pleaser.

burger with fig compote
Sweet and savory pork makes for a beautiful burger.

Recipe: Pork Burger With Fig Compote

Ground pork is great. The next time you visit your butcher ask him or her to grind up a good mixture of tenderloin, bacon, shoulder, or a combination of those. Be sure to keep some fat in the mix for good flavor, just as you would for beef patties. I usually make pork patties thinner than beef patties, since I’m not looking for a pink center. In fact I want these pork burgers well done (above 145°F ).

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How Do You Pair Wine With Burgers? Ask These Sommeliers! http://www.foodrepublic.com/2017/05/24/pair-wine-with-burgers/ http://www.foodrepublic.com/2017/05/24/pair-wine-with-burgers/#respond Wed, 24 May 2017 15:30:43 +0000 http://www.foodrepublic.com/?p=169698 When it comes to burgers, there’s the tried-and-true basic backyard version, and then there’s capital-B Burgers — you know, the big, gooey, beefy ones that chefs become known for and Instagrammers swoon over. While there’s nothing wrong with the former simple burger-cheese-bun version, the latter requires more thought when it comes to choosing what to drink with […]

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Pair Wine With Burgers
When paring for burgers with more complex flavors — like the bacon, muenster and cremini mushroom burger from Post 390 in Boston — look to Ribera y Rueda wines from Spain.

When it comes to burgers, there’s the tried-and-true basic backyard version, and then there’s capital-B Burgers — you know, the big, gooey, beefy ones that chefs become known for and Instagrammers swoon over. While there’s nothing wrong with the former simple burger-cheese-bun version, the latter requires more thought when it comes to choosing what to drink with it. A straight-up cheeseburger requires little more than the coldest beer you have on hand, but what happens when you’re working with things like grass-fed beef, mushrooms, figs and (gasp) butter between the buns? Then, friends, drop the hops because it’s wine time. Let’s learn how to pair wine with burgers. 

To solve any burger pairing quandaries you might have as peak burger season arrives and to properly honor National Burger Day (May 28th), we’ve enlisted four sommeliers to give their tips and picks. All agree that Ribera del Duero red wine is the best thing to go with a burger (aside from fries, of course). Avoid the beer bloat and pop some bottles that lift your burger game to new heights.

Brahm Callahan
Master Sommelier and Beverage Director, 
Himmel Hospitality Group
@Brealsomm

Burger for Pairing: My ideal pairing would be the Bacon, Muenster & Cremini Mushroom Burger from Post 390 in Boston. It has crispy bacon bits, sauteéd cremini mushrooms and muenster cheese melted over the top on a soft bun, and I’d serve it with the Hacienda Monasterio from Ribera del Duero. This burger is nominated in Boston Magazine’s Battle of the Burger!

What is it about Spanish wines like those from Ribera del Duero that pair so well with burgers?
A good burger is all about the beef mix – just the right amount of fat makes all the difference and a big red (like the Hacienda Monasterio) will pair perfectly as the tannins in the wine will be mellowed by the fat in the burger.

What are some things to keep in mind when pairing wine with burgers in general?
Think about toppings: they often are the “secret sauce” that makes the burger stand out, but can also be aggressive flavors sometimes for pairing with wines.

What do you want to avoid when pairing wine with burgers?
You always want the wine to support the burger, so make sure that the flavor profiles play off one another — look for similar flavor profiles in the varietal as the topping of the burger.

Why is this the first burger that came to your mind?
This burger has all the things — all of them. The mushrooms and muenster cheese are all about umami, you add in the savory bacon flavor and this is just exactly what the Hacienda Monasterio is looking for.

(allenadri/Instagram)
(allenadri/Instagram)

Chris Tanghe, Master Sommelier
@CTanghe

Burger for Pairing: First the easy part: 2013 Dominio del Aguila Picaro Tinto Ribera del Duero with Bar Melusine’s Burk Ridge grass-fed burger with aioli and fig aigre-doux on their house baked seeded bun. This burger is an umami bomb with the aigre-doux and aioli! Aigre-doux is an extremely versatile condiment originating in France where fruit is cooked down and reduced with red wine, vinegar and sugar to make a sweet/sour sauce that is an incredible counter to the richness of the burger.

You can make this pair especially well by using a bottle of Ribero del Duero in the preparation of the aigre-doux. Dominio del Aguila is one of the most exciting new projects coming out of the region. The wines are super-savory with the relatively out of the ordinary blend of Tempranillo, Garnacha, Albillo and Bobal, with the inclusion of stems in the ferment. The wine sees cement and neutral oak that lets the quality of the fruit shine through, displaying the complex structure of the terroir of Ribera del Duero. The crunchy black fruits with formidable tannins tame the richness of the burger and pair nicely with the fig.

What is it about Spanish wines like those from Ribera del Duero that pair so well with burgers?
Burgers are protein– and fat- (read: flavor) heavy, which requires a wine that has the structure to match the intensity of that combination. The important structural elements needed here come in the form of acid and tannin. Ribera del Duero wines have these in spades due to the varieties used and the climate in which the vines are grown. Acid makes your mouth salivate — think of how lemon juice or vinegar feels — which helps to keep your palate from being overwhelmed with richness. The acid essentially cleanses your palate and keeps you wanting another bite by refreshing your tastebuds. Tannin works in the same way but is more protein specific. Tannins are attracted to those proteins and whisk them away, adding to the refreshment factor of the acid.

What are some things to keep in mind when pairing wine with burgers in general?
It largely depends of the type of meat used. For beef, lamb, bison and pork you’ll want a full-bodied wine like Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo or Syrah to cash in on that tannin magic. If it’s chicken or fish, white wines can work as you don’t have as much fat and having just acid will work nicely.

What do you want to avoid when pairing wine with burgers?
You have to be careful with fish oil and tannin, as the combo will often create an unappetizing metallic taste. I’d go with a white wine with some body like white Burgundy or oaked Sauvignon Blanc.

Why is this the first burger that came to your mind?
I love the simplicity of this burger. It’s all about the best ingredients and clear flavors — just meat, aioli, aigre-doux and bun that all work really well with wine.

(shakeshack/Instagram)
(shakeshack/Instagram)

Josh Lit, Sommelier, TheModern NYC
@Joshlit

Burger for Pairing: The burger that immediately popped into my head was the Double SmokeShack from ShakeShack. They key ingredient for this food and wine pairing is the addition of bacon. The fruit profile and structure of the wine goes perfectly with a double patty, Niman Ranch bacon and ShackSauce. The wine is so refreshing you keep coming back for more, and the saltiness of the bacon will also have you wanting more! When looking for a pairing with a burger, I would avoid any wines that are too light in body. This is because all you will end up tasting is the burger and the wine will become lost when you take a bite/sip. In most cases, you will want a little bit fuller of a wine with some tannin to help break down the burger and the toppings on the burger.

What are some things to keep in mind when pairing wine with burgers in general?
The most important thing about pairing wine with a burger is that it has to be “crushable.” What do I mean by this? When having a burger, it is not the time to have a wine you need to contemplate over. I want something that straddles the fence between medium to full-bodied, balanced alcohol and something juicy to balance out the burger patty. What comes to mind is 2013 Aalto from Ribera del Duero in Spain. The wine has bright red fruit and black fruit notes. Couple this with a little bit of structure and bright acidity and it is the perfect match for a burger.

What is it about Spanish wines like those from Ribera del Duero that pair so well with burgers?
I love wines from Ribera del Duero to go with a cheeseburger. The wines from this region in Castilla y Leon in Spain always have the perfect balance. They are always full of generous fruit and structure.

(@culvers/Instagram)
(@culvers/Instagram)

Charles Ford, General Manager and Sommelier at the upcoming S.K.Y. restaurant Chicago, IL
@Chuck40oz

Burger for Pairing: Culver’s “Butter Burger with Cheese” with 2009 Finca Villacreces Ribera del Duero is a solid pairing. Probably the most ordered burger in the midwest, Culver’s is the king of burgers across the middle states! As for the 2009 Finca Villacreces, this affordable vintage drinks super-smooth right out of the bottle, only needing a few moments to catch its breath before opening up with a huge blast of dark fruits and a silky mouth feel.

What is it about Spanish wines like those from Ribera del Duero that pair so well with burgers?
Spanish wines, particularly from Ribera del Duero, go so well with fattier foods because of the relationship that wine tannins have with fatty molecules. Tannin in wine bonds with proteins, which on a molecular level creates a more harmonious bite. How oak is traditionally used in Ribera del Duero, as well as its great relationship with the Tempranillo grape, make for a perfect flavor combination with a juicy burger.

What are some things to keep in mind when pairing wine with burgers in general?
Make sure you’re aligning the body of the burger with the body of the wine. Sure, you can probably get away with pairing many different wines with a burger, because it’s that simple a dish. However, A fuller-flavored dish like a cheeseburger needs a wine that has a bit more body to it, typically from thicker-skinned grapes.

What do you want to avoid when pairing wine with burgers?
With regards to pairing wine with burgers, the only thing I avoid is eating it more than once or twice a week. Honestly, that’s about the only thing I avoid when drinking wine while eating cheeseburgers. For health reasons, of course.

Why is this the first burger that came to your mind?
The Culver’s butter burger with cheese was the first burger that came to my mind, because this burger has been there for me every single time I called on it. What a constant. If something is that reliable, never leave it.

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