What does it take to make an epic burger?
To some, an epic burger may be topped with macaroni and cheese, a fried egg and jalapeno poppers. While that would be a sinful delight, I’m learning from the masters to go back to the basics.
True culinary genius is not dumping the kitchen sink on a patty. It is appreciating the flavor of the beef, cooking it to perfection and accentuating it with thoughtful ingredients.
So in order to fulfill my promise of epicness, I pulled my #BurgerMonth inspiration from world-renowned “On Fire” chef Francis Mallmann. The Argentina native has a gift of using fire to create masterful, yet simplistic meals.
The Argentina Technique
I grew up eating burgers cooked two ways – either grilled or pan-fried on the stove. The grill provides that familiar backyard barbecue smokiness, but the pan creates the caramelized beefy crust.
In Argentina, cooks have found a way to combine the best of both of these methods. They use a chapa or plancha, which is essentially a piece of tin or cast iron placed over the coals.
The coals heat the metal just as a stove heats a pan, but when you close the lid over the pan and coals, the familiar smoky taste of barbecue is encapsulated into the meat. Again, best of both worlds.