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Friday, February 1, 2008

Dinner Tonight: White Castle Style Cheese Burgers

For dinner tonight I was going to sous vide a Mulard Duck but I decided against it at the last minute. Instead I decided to recreate an American classic the White Castle Cheese Burger. These little belly bombers are probably the quintessential guilty pleasure. Many times I've indulged on these in my youth after a night of boozing only to wake up the next day doing shots of Pepto. Why do we subject ourselves to such punishment? Maybe because they are delicious and their mini steamed goodness is so unique that they have to be enjoyed regardless of their undesirable side effects. With the help you You Tube I finally saw how they were made and became determined to duplicate them in the comfort of my own kitchen.

1lb ground chuck
2 onions chopped
1 egg
12 Wonder Bread Dinner Rolls
Couple dashes Worcestershire sauce
Couple dashes Adobo
Few slices of American Cheese
2 tblespns canola oil
2 oz water

Cook the rolls as directed cut them in half and put aside. Mix the chuck,egg, Worcestershire sauce and the Adobo in a bowl well. Grab a large piece of wax paper or foil to stage the patties. Make the beef patties as flat and square as possible. You want to make them larger than size of the rolls because when the patties cook they will shrink. I achieved this by pressing them down by hand and cutting the edges with a knife to form the square. You will probably have to shape it by hand a bit as well. They don't have to be perfect but try to get them as square as possible. With your pinkie finger make several holes in the patties. After the patties are made transfer them to the freezer and let them firm up for about half an hour. I did this because White Castle burgers are cooked frozen and I wanted to be true to the recipe and technique.

To cook the onions I used a large griddle pan, if you do not have one I guess use a large skillet or maybe even a cookie sheet. Regardless of what you are using place it on your stove with the oil
and add the onions and cook for a few minutes over medium heat turning them over a few times. Add the water then spread the onions out flat in a single layer and proceed to put the patties on top of them. Then place to top of the rolls on top of the patty. I know it might seem odd, even unsafe to place the bread on top of the raw meat but this is how they are made in the White Castle restaurants. This is how the burgers get their tradmark flavor and texture, the steam from the onions cook the beef and the vapors travel through the holes in the patties and are absorbed by the bun. Its actually pretty clever. Cover the everything with foil, lower the heat and let cook for ten minutes or until the patties are well down. While the patties are cooking add the ketchup on the bottom of the bun and place a piece of cheese on top of it. After that patties are well done assemble the burger and serve. I recommend a Napa Valley Pinot Noir to be paired with the burgers.

Makes approx 24 burgers


*Add a slice of pickle to the bottom of the bun with the cheese and ketchup of desired

* Here is a link the aforementioned You Tube video:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Awesome recipe. I followed your recipe using lean ground beef (96/4) and whole wheat hamburger buns. Came out fantastically!

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