It’s been quite a quite since I’ve had a good burger. For me, what I’ve found is that good burgers fall into two camps. Home made, and fast food. I’m not a huge fan of restaurant style gourmet burgers because for some reason I find them to all be consistently disappointing. Burgers are like the easiest things to make in the world, so generally I don’t believe in paying $15-$20 dollars for one at cafes.

I haven’t had a good homemade burger since I’ve moved to Singers. Without sounding completely arrogant or anything, my favourite burger beyond that of fast food joints is still my very own Cajun Burger. Oh man I miss it, think I’m way overdue to rustle it up again. For me a good burger is all about the seasoning and at home, you can season it however the hell you want. Perfection every time. Also I can cook it so that it’s slightly rare on the inside which I love. Everyone has their own completely different preferences when it comes to burgers. For me, I think of what could possibly be the most unhealthy way to make a burger, and then do it that way 😛 Or so it would seem….

Anyway, this session of Cookyn with Mervyn was about Wagyu Burgers. Now I’ve always wondered what Wagyu mince tastes like. I mean, it’s a lot of money to pay for mince. I went more out of curiosity due of this than because I was actually interested in making burgers. I was also about to pull out of the class on the day because I wasn’t feeling too good. Felt like I was coming down with something (and true enough, I did), and so was about to pike.

The prospect of staying at home alone didn’t sound too enticing plus I also know that Merv and Amanda look forward to pimping my ass out for pics and so I trucked myself on in with Erica. Funny, I told Erica that I probably wouldn’t end up taking much photos at all because I wasn’t in the mood and didn’t feel well, but ended up taking more shots than any class before. So much for that… Well there you go, a word of warning, don’t blame me if your modem keels over and dies after you click on the below link!

I’m still bedridden and have a headache banging away, so I’ll play nice and won’t make fun of anyone in the captions.

The menu of the day included Wagyu Burgers, Truffle Fries, Milkshakes, and upside down Banana (or Green Apple) Torte. The class kicked off with Merv oven toasting some Prosciutto on Foccacia with runny egg on top. Very simple, but so darn good.

Toasted Prosciutto on Focaccia

Drizzled with Balsamic Cream

Mmm… messy and gooey. Just how I like my errrm… food. Thats it.

The crime scene. It was horrible…
The bread just went into a jealous rage when it walked in on the egg speading itself all over the pancetta…

Gratuitous ring shot

Lazy ass Banana… get a job already!!!

Potatoes being soaked in cold water so as to remove the excess starch. Stops them clumping during the frying process

My Giraffe Hamburger Pattie. So life like.

My burger pattie was an epic fail :(

Now one interesting thing to note about dealing with Wagyu Beef, is the much higher fat content. This totally changes the behaviour of the mean when it comes to the grilling process. I’m used to using lean meat, which shrinks and contracts when you’re cooking it. However, Wagyu mince doesn’t do that due to all the fat. It’s more likely to break up due to the fat being melted by the heat. So if you’re using normal mince, you have to shape your patties thicker and fatter. If you’re using lean mince, you have to shape your patties flatter and wider to account for the contraction.

I shaped my patties as I normally would with lean mince and the bugger just fell apart.

Whilst one group grilled their burgers outside, the other made their shakes inside. Making milkshakes is a pretty standard affair. The key thing to remember is basically just to put in more ice cream than you’ll think you need, because if you think it looks like you’re putting in too much ice cream to the amount of milk that’s in there, it’s probably still not enough. That also depends on how think you like it. I love mine uber thick.

I ended up tossing peanut butter, rum & raison, and bananas in mine which turned out very very good. Just wished I had some malt as I do love plenty of malt in my milkshakes! Now if only… wait for it… my milkshake brought all the girls to the yard! Oh man, as if you couldn’t see that one coming!

Pounding the Oreos

Rum & Raisins

It’s like a mixed marriage… in a glass jar!

Twice frying the fries

The fries were twice fried so as for them to both be crispier as well as to also retain their crispiness for longer. For me, I’m a shoestring man. I love my thin cut chips. I think I’ll probably just take the easy way out and by the shoestring chips from the supermarket and then just deep fry and coat them with truffle oil :) True home made fries definitely has a certain type of rustic charm to it, but for me, there’s no chips like MacDonalds chips and so the closest thing to that the better! Hehe…

Or maybe I’ll just try tossing some cut parboiled potatoes in truffle oil and rosemary, then oven roasting them till crisp. I’m sure that would turn out pretty darn good too. Okay, mental note for next time.

The burgers were assembled and then thrown into the oven to melt the cheese. What I personally do is put the cheese on the burger pattie when I flip it over and let it melt whilst on the grill. Again, the great thing about burgers at home is that you could do it with whatever hell type of cheese or topping you want. Swiss, Blue, Brie, Cheddar, Etc etc… The patties look quite overdone on the outside but it’s not the case at all. Inside they were still wonderfully moist and tender due to the high fat content. But once again, try cooking lean meat to this extent, and you’ll end up with a nice height extension for your shoe.

Basically the key to cooking beef in my opinion is to cook it in accordance to it’s thickness and fat content (or there lack off).

Wagyu Beef Burgers

Adding Rum to the caramel mixture

With the burgers out of the way, it was lastly onto dessert. The Banana Torte. The puff pastry that Merv used for the based required rolling before it could be used. It’s basically the pastry in it’s raw layered form. I would probably just take the easy way out (again), and just using the pre-rolled square sheets for this. But I guess the plus for doing the rolling yourself is that you can kinda control the thickness and consistency that you’d like it to be.

The dessert is really very very easy and also very tasty. You can put just about anything you like inside. Apples, bananas, peaches, plums, pears, your neighbours children… it all goes. I went for the banana option and Erica the green apple. They both worked extrememly well.

I loved the rummy caramel sauce that Merv made as it had a wonderful flavour to it. Just make sure you don’t burn it when making it. Couple with a large scoop of vanilla ice cream that was drizzled with the rum & raisin, this dessert really hit the spot.

All up, this particular class was too much on the basic side for me, but that’s because I’ve been making Burgers and shakes for the longest time ever. But hopefully for those whom haven’t done it before, it will give them a nudge into trying something at home that’s both incredibly simple and so much better better than what you can get out there.

Green Apple Torte

Banana Torte with Rum & Raisin on Vanilla Ice Cream