Is that you, Hendrick’s?

William Grants dry gin

William Grants dry gin

William Grants dry gin

William Grant’s Special Dry Gin, meet the Internets. Internets, meet William Grant’s Special Dry Gin. I’ve been googling all over for this. The bottle above has been in my house for the past 15-20 years. Hendrick’s has been around since 1999 and take my word for it, they absolutely taste the same. What up, William Grant?

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Sampling some of the best meat around

Irish Angus for that matter. We got ourselves the good old ribeye, T-bone, sirloin, and a couple of filet mignons. Well, mainstream cuts of a kick ass breed. Thing is, my girlfriend is on vacation, and I’m the worst photographer ever, especially when I’m hungry so the pics suck. When they are not entrirely ruined by my shaky hands, they are out of focus, partly because I don’t know how to focus, but mainly because I’m trying to show off my new global G2 chef’s knife. Here we go:

T-bone: 

Grilled. Nothing surprising to it. Perfectly good meat, kinda grassy flavor. Unfortunately sliced too thin to get the best of it, but we loved it anyway.

 

Ribeye:

Grilled. Tremendously buttery, as expected, tasty and rich as hell. Also we ate both this one and the T-bone with absolutely nothing added. Not even seasoning.

Sirloin:

Here’s some major photographic suckage. This one was properly prepared, pan fried with bay leaves and rosemary, finished with some butter. Best one so far. Also, –PERFECT PINK RIGHT THERE BRO! -Thanks noob. Ahem.

Filet mignon: 

Meat so far had been great. I was almost sad that we left this typically overrated cut for last. I never really liked tenderloins, they always need less cooking than you thought they did, they suck overcooked and i dont like the fact that you kinda have to boil-fry them in a pan. Also I never really had a tasty one. Until I tried these. For once I did not overcook them. To the contrary, i almost left the center cold. It was amazing. First rare meat I eat that you don’t need to chew. You could just melt those with your tongue against your palate and it was cool. Also the taste. When biting it, the initial kick was similar to biting an orange, followed by all kinds of buttery, nutty flavors, finaly leaving an aftertaste of maybe pecorino. Absolutely amazing. 

About patties

I’ve posted a few burgers by now, so it’s time i got some facts straight. 4.5 of them to begin and one extra.

0.5.

Get to know a butcher and never disagree with your butcher. They may be smartass know-it-alls most of the time but in any case you want them on your side. So be polite. Don’t share too much information on what you’re doing, they’ll confuse you, but always ask for their opinion. And then buy whatever the fuck you went there to get in the first place.

1. The meat.

In a burger, it is everything. No matter what fancy shit one may encounter in a burger, if the meat sucks, it sucks.

Get yourself some nice fatty (20-30%) ground meat. Try stuff and figure out what you like. As long as there’s enough fat content it’ll always be interesting. Most people use chuck. That’s the upper front part of a cow all the way to the ribs. Others use shortrib.. If you got money to spend, a meat grinder (butchers will refuse to do it for you), and absolutely no respect for most things in life, you can also use the area between the 6th and 12th rib. That is where ribsteaks come from. Some people also use the back area of the cow. It tastes different but and it is worth a try. Sirloins or round. Just make sure you get the fat content right.

If you want to take things to the next level you can always blend those toghether.

Google those cuts.

2. The grind.

Never ever buy pre-ground meat. If you can’t do it at home get your butcher to do it. Make sure that they’ll grind it twice and that they will empty their machine beforehand so you dont get whatever shit was left in there from the previous grind. They wont be happy.

Again to take things to the next level grind the meat yourself, a coarse grind the first time, and a finer the latter. You’ll get great texture out of that.

Google Pat LaFrieda.

3. The forming. 

Don’t fiddle around with your mince. The temperature difference between the meat and your hands will ruin the fat. Keep it in a cool place until the last moment and then form it, season and cook it. Only season right before cooking otherwise the salt will mess with the moisture of the patty and result in a sausage-like texture. There are different ways to form a patty as there are to cook it. Depending on size and cooking method you can basically hand form it, smash it, or use a ring to form it without touching it. There are lots of other ways but these are the ones 80% of the time.

If you are gonna broil it I can’t tell you much. It needs to be kinda big, >200g, loosely formed, and you can touch it as much as you want. Most of the fat with be lost anyway. Let some air in it. It cooks better that way. When forming it press the center to get it thinner than the sides. It will keep your patty from turning into a meatball.

If you are to cook it on a griddle or on a pan make sure you get it really hot first. If you dont want to pre-form the patty just make a ball of mince, smaller than the broil, around 100g-150g place it on the pan, season, and smash it to a patty with a spatula. Dont worry if the shape is not too regular, it’s part of the beauty of this technique. Feel free to place some thin sliced onions before smashing too, tastes great.

To pre-form a burger without any touching just get a metal ring or create one with tin foil, that fits the diameter of your bun. Throw some mince in there and gently press it down. Again make sure you get it thiner in the center, and that you pressed it loosely enough to keep air moving in there. Like I did here.

To the next level: Do what Heston Blumenthal did with the patties for his “perfect” burger before he went on to create them artificially.

Google: Smashed burger

4. The cooking.

Well. Get some nice heat on your girdle, pan or whatever (dunno much about grilling burgers), add a few drops of olive oil or a slice of real butter and place the patties or balls on top. You can always add chopped onions and a few drops of worcestershire sauce or any other umami flavor enhancer. If you got the right meat it’ll probably taste good anyway. Depending on your cooking preference remember to flip it at some point. Everything you ever wished to know about burger flipping, you can find it in the burger lab.

Extra fact.

Ketchup. Don’t use it. Try your burger without a buttload of red sugar first. If you don’t like it that way you can always drown it in ketchup anytime you want.

These would be a few fundamental things to know about patties. Start cooking and you’ll find there are many more. Also keep an eye on the burger lab in serious eats.

Careful what you wish for

Hey, hi. 

Been a while. I am not unemployed anymore. A friend was kind enough to trust me to cook at his amazing little restaurant so that’s pretty much all I’ve been up to lately. His standards concerning hygiene, food quality, technique and menu are neat so it’s great fun to work there. (By the way no one involved is aware of this site so this isn’t a butt kissing post.)

I’ve never done any professional cooking before, and trust me, home cooking is a totaly different thing, so there was a lot of stuff to be learned, yelling to be carried out, pain to be endured, etc. There’s so many new things to learn about cooking that I ended up forgetting shit I thought I knew. For instance, by doing a little cooking at home or reading/watching some basics, one for sure knows that knives must always be placed at the same spot on a work surface, right? I did know that. In case shit gets going too fast in your kitchen try not to forget it. I did and I no longer have a fingerprint on my left pinky. Also since veggie oil burns at around 200C, when deep frying in a pan try not to get any on you. I got my wrist “tattooed”. See basic things are easy to miss when all hell breaks loose. But like I said, it’s great fun, even the battlescars, and some of my fingers already got that nice heat and cut resistant extra skin. Kinda like Iggy Pop’s back.

In other words, Yippie Ki-Yay Motherfuckers!