Beef & Broccoli
  • 1 1/2 lbs beef chuck (roast or chuck steak), diced into thin 1 1/2-inch long strips
  • 1/2 yellow onion, sliced into 2 portions
  • 1 cup low-sodium beef broth or beef consommé*
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/3 cup slightly packed dark-brown sugar
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 3 cups broccoli florets, diced into bite size pieces (from about 12 oz broccoli crowns)
  • Sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)
  • Add beef and onion portions to a slow cooker. In a mixing bowl whisk together beef broth, soy sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar and garlic. Season mixture with salt and pepper to taste. Pour mixture over beef and onions in slow cooker. Cover with lid and cook on low heat 2 1/2 - 3 1/2 hours, until meat has cooked through.
  • Ladle out 1/4 cup of the broth from slow cooker and pour into a bowl. Add cornstarch and whisk until smooth then return broth mixture to slow cooker and gently stir. Add in broccoli pieces (if you want vibrantly green broccoli you can steam it instead then add it at the end) and cover slow cooker with lid, then increase to high heat and cook 20 minutes longer, or until broccoli is tender and sauce has thickened slightly. Remove onion pieces. Serve warm over white or brown rice sprinkled with optional sesame seeds.
  • *I used low-sodium broth (as well as the low-sodium soy sauce) so I have better control over the amount of salt that goes in. You can use regular beef broth, you just might not need to add salt, and same if using the consommé.
Bacon Colby Jack Sliders

Makes 8 sliders


1 lb ground beef, preferably organic and 80/20
1 tsp sea salt
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp garlic salt
4 slices applewood smoked bacon, preferably organic
3 pepper colby jack cheese, 8 small slices (or 4 large slices, available at the deli)
1 cup brown mushrooms, sliced
2 cups arugula
8 whole wheat dinner rolls, about 3 inches in diameter (available in the bakery section of most grocery stores)
2-3 tbsp butter, melted
4 long bamboo skewers, cut in half, or 8 short skewers


1) Slice rolls in half and set aside on a large plate or platter with arugula and cheese.
2) Mix ground beef with the herbs and spices in a small bowl using your hands. When the spices are evenly mixed throughout the ground beef, form 8 patties about 4 inches in size and place them on a large plate.
2) Cook bacon in a skillet until it’s browned on each side and remove to a plate covered with paper towels. Break each slice into 4 equal pieces.
3) Cook the mushrooms in the same skillet (without emptying the bacon grease) on medium heat for about 5 minutes. Remove to a small bowl.
4) Heat a grill pan or large skillet on medium high heat. When it’s hot, place the patties on the pan. Press the patties with a spatula occasionally as they cook to keep them from swelling up. Flip the burgers when they’re about half way cooked on the bottom side. After they burgers are cooked to your liking, place them on the large plate again (this time covered with a paper towel.) Place the slices of cheese on the patties and then put the burgers in the oven or microwaave to keep warm while you prepare the buns.
5) Brush the melted butter on the top and bottom (insides) of the buns and place them butter side down on the hot grill pan. Press down on the tops and let them cook for about 1-2 minutes. Place them back on the platter when they’re browned on the bottoms.
6) To plate the burgers, place the bottom bun on the platter, then add a burger patty topped with cheese, 3-4 mushrooms, 2 pieces of bacon, arugula, and the top of the bun. Stick a skewer through the middle to secure the slider. Repeat with the rest of the burgers and serve warm and fresh.

how to make the perfect burger


September 1, 2014

recipes, burgers, food, beef

This is the ultimate burger. For an 8 oz. burger, it’s the lighest, heaviest burger you’ll ever eat. Notice how airy it is, threatening to collapse and surrender on the first bite. This is due to the a technique pioneered by Heston Blumenthal of Fat Duck fame. I’ll go over how I did mine, but if you scroll to the end of the page, you’ll find the link to the video of Heston’s quest for the perfect burger, where he goes over the recipe in detail. This is how we do our version, with notes on how to adapt it for the average household.

NOTE : Keep in mind the pictures below are from my home experiment. Our methods have changed since these were taken.


You can either grind it yourself, if you have an attachment, or you can purchase it already ground, but if you choose the latter, make sure you choose a pack that’s freshly ground, and the strands of meat are kept parallel (pictured above). You can also ask the butcher to grind your preferred cut for you. We prefer a mix of chuck, brisket, short ribs, and some dry-aged fat from our 100% grass-fed and finished Morris beef.

If you choose to grind your own meat, the trick is to catch the strands in a narrow loaf pan so they run in long parallel strands. This is the key. When the burgers are properly rolled, they strands will be locked from forming to cooking, and when you eat it, it just falls off tenderly since every single bite will be against the grain.


Try your best to keep the strands as parallel as possible, and put as little pressure on the meat as possible. Using food grade plastic wrap, roll it up like a piece of candy, tying off both ends to create a tight seal.

If you’re hardcore, like my Sous Chef, Ryan is, you’ll design a mold for this exact purpose. That’s what we use now. It also helps when you’re making a couple dozen of these every day.

TIP: it’s best to wet the work surface just ever-so-slightly (you can use a mist spray bottle); this helps the plastic stick.


Park the roll (or mold) in the freezer and chill it for 1 hour, or until the outside is completely firm, and the inside still soft.


A slicer would be the best knife to use, but make sure it has a razor sharp edge when cutting these. If you don’t have a knife that sharp, use a serrated knife just to break the plastic, and the frozen layer on the outside. You can switch knives for the remaining center.

These were weighed to about 8 oz. each.


There’s a couple of ways to cook the patty, and those will be outlined in the links below, but for practicality, I recommend searing or grilling.

SEARING : I prefer searing because you can baste the patty with flavored fat while cooking. You can use butter, suet, duck fat, or pork fat depending on your intended flavor profile. Seared patties tend to be juicer, and develop a more even crust.

Look at all the crispies.

GRILLING : if you’re looking for a deep char flavor, grill it. This make sense for certain burgers (such as our Chimichurri Burger). Otherwise, searing is recommended over grilling.

Either way you cook it, make sure to have the heat on high, and flip the patty often. Heston recommends every 15 seconds, but I found that it was too fragile. Instead, I would flip the patty every minute, for a total of about 8 minutes for medium-rare.

I season the beef with a mix of the following : fresh coarse black pepper, sea salt, mushroom seasoning, touch of MSG, and touch of sugar.

The hint of sugar helps it caramelize, and the mushroom seasoning and MSG accentuate the savory beef flavor.

When the patty comes off the heat to rest, we baste it in a beef demi-glace.


We use potato bread baked daily from a local bakery, but again, there’s some links below if you’re committed to making your own.

Spread soft butter on both sides, and toast them on medium high head.


I’m simple—mayonnaise and a dijonnaise is all I really need—but if I were to add something without taking away from the rest of the burger, it’d be a mushroom marmalade.

It consists of crimini mushrooms, balsamic vinegar, sugar, worcestershire, soy sauce, truffle oil, garlic, onions, parsley, chives, duck fat, and arbequina olive oil. How to make:

  1. Slice mushrooms, 1/8” thick; mince garlic and onions; finely chop the herbs.
  2. Caramelize the onions with duck fat slowly until the texture is slightly melty. Add half the garlic, and sweat for another 5 minutes. Have this done before starting the next step.
  3. In another pan, sear the slices of mushrooms in batches on high heat with duck fat.
  4. Let the pan cool, and add the mushrooms, sweated garlic, and caramelized onions.
  5. Add some balsamic vinegar, and cook until the mushrooms have fully absorbed the vinegar.
  6. Repeat with worchstershire, and soy sauce.
  7. Add a touch of sugar. Let mixture cool completely.
  8. Add chopped herbs, the remaining half of the fresh garlic, enough olive oil to coat, black pepper, and a drizzle of black truffle oil.

Of course, there’s an over-complicated modernist version of the cheese slice, that we do at work, but for home purposes, I recommend havarti, or—why not—American cheese. They both melt beautifully.

Notice the granulation of beef all going the same way?

And that’s our perfect burger.


Check these links out for how it can be done with a well-equipped kitchen.

Heston Blumenthal : In Search of the Perfect Hamburger

Modernist Cuisine : The Ultimate Hamburger

ChefSteps : Hi-Tech Mushroom Burger

ChefSteps : Hi-Tech Veggie Burger

ChefSteps : Brioche Bun

Serious Eats : How to Cook The Modernist Cuisine Cheeseburger, Fries & Shake