Sunday, November 2, 2008

Homemade Burgers

Not to sound like a broken record, but most of the burgers here are not so great.  They're over-seasoned, over-topped, some combination of both, or ... as is the cast with most, just plain bad.

I understand why.  Beef (baka) is relatively expensive here.  So, the vendors buy some of the worst cuts and try to mask this by stacking on the toppings.  Philippine-style burger toppings are almost like American cole slaw.  While good, they don't belong on a burger. 

Oh, and let's not forget the use of banana ketchup.  Besides being the source of All That Is Evil In The World, banana ketchup is sweet.  Again, wrong on a burger.

These poor souls don't know any better.  They've been told that this is how burgers should be made.  Tough buns, soft meat, and toppings piled high ... toppings so generous that you can't taste the over-seasoned meat.

Let me put it this way: McDonald's serves probably the best burgers in town.

Naturally, being devoid of patience, I said "enough!  I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!"  OK ... besides having stolen that from a great movie, I wasn't really mad.  Just tired of mediocrity.

So, I whipped up some burgers of my own.  I had some beef round in the fridge that I was aging to use as a roast.  Never mind the roast ... time to get out Big Iron and make some ground round.


My favorite cheese for cheeseburgers is Kraft Deluxe.  Not the individually wrapped ones, but the slices that you buy in a two pound pre-sliced block.  We don't have those here.  Everything is individually wrapped, too.  So, I bought one of each.

I picked the Anchor cheese (on the left).  It had the best flavor (not so great, but what choice do I have, eh?).  Fortunately, it was also the cheapest at P120 ... versus P150 and P160 for the other two.

Now, I'm getting tired of the buns we can buy at a local bakery.  They're convenient.  But, somehow lacking in character.  So, I whipped up a batch of potato buns.  I made them large.  Turned out to be too large.  Oh well ... I just sliced out a bit from the middle.

They were tasty and everyone raved about the buns.  Including me!


150 gram patties cooked on high, high heat on the stove.  I put on some caramelized onions, some ketchup (Heinz, of course!), and a little mustard.

So easy to make.  So good.

Test Results
Primary Test Group: Delicious! Marasa!

Test Group C: Where's more?

Test Group M: Needed more seasoning.

Potential Improvements

Needed more seasoning.  Even my mom, who seems to think that sugar is too salty, thought it needed more salt.

And, the buns were far, far too tall.  I made them larger than usual.  I guess I wasn't paying too close attention because they ended up being about four inches tall!

Potential Variations

Chili burgers!  I just need to work on a chili recipe.

Cook them on the grill ... give the beef that lovely charred taste that we all know and love.  It probably goes back to our caveman roots when we'd chase down some animal, crudely prepare it, and cook it briefly over a fire ...


So satisfying.  I now know how relatively easy it is to have great homemade burgers with nice soft potato buns.  Next time will be even easier.

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