This is a totally unrelated topic but last night on my facebook, I mentioned that I was going to have a Jewish burger. I wasn’t exactly prepared for the response but anyway, today’s posting is being inspired by some of my favorite foods and everyone whose only vocabulary is “yum!”. Credit to mom…she is the one who originated these recipes. I don’t know what her secret was but if it looks good in there, throw it in!
The Jewish Burger is named appropriately because it involves jewish rye bread which was a staple in mom’s house except it was sliced fresh at some bakery named ICan’tRememberTheName, in Albany NY. I am not exactly sure why but the vast majority of the good real rye bread is by someone with a Jewish name…in the case of Buffalo it would be Al Cohen’s famous rye bread, seeded of course! It has to have New York something in it or else it’s fake! The secret is in the crust.
Now that we got the bread out of the way, we can concentrate on the meat. It absolutely has to be ground sirloin. Anything else will either be too dog foodie or just not right. Ground sirloin and don’t worry about it getting dried out. What goes into the recipe from here on it entirely up to you. I like mine with slight salt and pepper, fresh garlic (not the cheap imitation dust), chopped onions (again, not the cheap imitation dust), a dash of oregano, and if you like extra bite…throw in some crushed red pepper. For an added bonus, get some really good sharp cheddar cheese diced up small. Mix everything together, clean hands and all! Be careful not to squash the meat, it is very important that it does have some air!
Now for the final prep. First turn the oven on broil. Put a nice thin layer of aluminum foil on the top rack, preferably the second slot from the top. Take a nice small meatball size portion and cover the ryebread. Make sure you cover it entirely including the edges. Take extra to pat it down…as if you’re patting your momma’s fanny, not sisters’s (or the wife’s). Once you have the entire slice covered, take a folk and press down on the meat so that it makes grooves on the top. When you’re done, it should look as wrinkled as grandma’s crows feet or, forehead.
With the oven blasting hot, toss the whole she-bang in. And while the she-bang (you have time to do that too!) is cooking, prepare a plates with whatever fancies your gourmet dreams. Personally, with two of these delicacies, I don’t need anything else except for some pickles. Sometimes we’ll have a side of krinkle fries but other than that, I assume you’re going to love these heavenly patties so much, anything else is irrelevant.
Now comes the BIG question…HOW LONG? For those of you Food Network pundits who even how everything gets cooked in a half-hour and so succulently tasty and raw, this is not the time to do any guessing because there isn’t any! I say…cook the crap out of the whole she-bang….COOK IT, COOK IT, COOK COOK COOK COOK IT!!!!! Cook it like you hate your stockbroker! Cook it like you are letting out a lifetime of frustrations! Cook it like you hate your ex (or ex-to-be)! Raw, medium raw, medium…ALLLLLLLLL OUT THE DOOR! The name of the game is well done…no wait, more than well done! Just cook the crap out of it…come on, its only about $1.50 worth of meat and bread and whatever else. A buck 50???? Trust me, its gonna be the most worthwhile buck fifty you ever spend. When the edges of the ridges that you made with the fork are blacken brown and the meat is all curled up on the rye bread, NOW is the time to throw some extra slices of cheese before taking it out.
When you take it out, extra care should be take to make sure you delicately slide at spatula under the bread to avoid ripping it. Lay it down on your already fully prepared plate. And finally, give it a dash of your favorite topping; in my case, horseradish sauce. I promise you will never ever have such a juicy, tender, crisp slab of ground meat ever in your life when you get done. The next time I make it, I will post some pictures…before and after. Oh…and the secret about the crust…it’s like a belt that keeps everything from falling apart and oozing all over your oven. For good measure, figure about a third to a half pound per slice, just enough to make a flat thin layer about 1/4 inch.
Oh and did I mention my famous mac and cheese casserole? Try it…with diced ham-cooked, in a cassarole dish and a big fat layer of swiss cheese melting down from the top.