A cheese burger inspiration

A burger of our own, inspired by a visit to New York
Photo for CMC by: Jan-Erik Nilsson © 2009.

You can spend a lifetime exploring the culinary offers in metropolitan New York where there are endless food choices, but I would recommend anyone visiting New York to make a pit stop at Michael Jordan’s, the Steak House to grab at least a burger. They also serve quite simply the best steaks in Manhattan!
 
The Grand Central Terminal is exactly as its name describes, central, and is conveniently located in the middle of most everything in New York. The Steak House inside occupies the north and west balconies of the terminal and overlooks the big clock featured in the DreamWorks movie Madagascar (2005). A visit to the restaurant is effortlessly combined with a visit to the MOMA, a look at the Rockefeller Center and it could also be combined with all kinds of shopping sprees. So, from a Bite of the Big Apple point of view this is pretty much as good as it gets.
 
It took two seconds for me to decide that I would settle for a burger when I stood just inside the entrance of the Grand Terminal, two steps from the amber-glowing ambience of Michael Jordan’s, the Steak House restaurant; its entrance elegantly flashing a sign telling of their Specials of the Day – a choice between a 12 oz broiled burger or a 14 oz steak.

So this being a very happy memory, the following is a celebration of sorts to New York burgers in general and to Michael Jordan’s, the Steak House restaurant in particular.

Our own recipe in preparation and cooking order

Our 150-200 gram burger patties in the pan,
flavored with freshly ground black pepper

Minced beef is usually readily available over the counter. If you want to go for perfection, you could pick out specific cuts of steak and have them ground for you on the spot. My recommendation is any front parts – chuck steaks – of beef, minced with an 8 mm roundel. These parts are extremely flavourful, with a good balance of meat and fat that make them splendid for burgers.

For burger patties, I would divide the minced meat in portions of ¼ pounds (125 gram) or thereabout. Two pounds (2 lbs or 1 kg) will split nicely into six burgers (166 gram each) or eight burgers (125 gram / 1 quarter pound).

To me, it is worth the extra trouble to give the buns a light toasting
to add some extra flavour to the bread.

If you freeze the patties you’re not going to use, you could separate each patty into a bag. This makes it more efficient to defrost only the number you’ll need in the next meal.
 
The rest of the cooking is fuss-free and not much to discuss. You could toast the buns lightly to add flavour to them, and then add to or top the burger with whatever you like.
 
A few of our favorite options are:
 
• Salad,
• Tomatoes,
• Fried potato wedges
• Mushroom stew
• Pickled cucumbers,
• A fried egg
• Crisply fried Bacon
• Fresh onion
• A warm pineapple slice
• Melted Cheddar cheese
 

Bacon burger with cheese and pineapple.

A nifty topping for the burger could be a Thousand Island style dressing, made by simply stirring together mayonnaise and some ketchup.
 

Burger with bacon and cheese on top

Good ideas for a hearty meal are usually very simple.

Bon appetit!

Favorite burger link suggestion: Serious Eats; A Hamburger Today