Sunday, 18 November 2012

The Love of Cooking & Homemade Beef Patty Summer Wrap

Friends who has known me long enough knows that I LOVE eating and I LOVE cooking. Most of the time, most would comment that moi would be constantly have his mouth chewing on something or asking when is eating time. It's true. I constantly have an appetite for food. 

Sometimes when I feel stressed after work, I will hide myself in a supermarket!

Friends also have been complaining that I'm always cooking for myself and posting pictures of my culinary "masterpieces"online but not a single invitation for "food tasting".

To be honest, I'm SHY.

Me and so many others, are more or less self-taught "chefs". I've learned mostly from my grandma and mom during my young age. First experience, tumbuk chili paste with a mortar and pestle. I grew up watching Wok with Yan & Kuali too and I was seriously hooked.

I see my cooking style as a little bit of everything; but mostly rustic. I DO have an unorthodox method of food preparation and I do sometime put in certain ingredients that doesn't belong. That is why sometimes I'm afraid to share in fear that I would be "criticized" by foodies.

But after much pestering, I think I shall post out something a little "safe". Taking inspiration from Tri Stupe's recipe of Homemade Burger; but with a few tweaks of my own. 

First of all, the main thing to get is minced beef. 

Fresh Australian minced beef. The main ingredient. 
 Fresh Australian minced beef is not cheap. The pack I got was about 450 grams and it cost at about RM17++. That's the thing about shopping at Ben's where everything is quite pricey.

Vegemite & Blackstrap Molasses.
The next main ingredients are Vegemite and Blackstrap molasses.The molasses idea came from Tri Stupe and I've been experimenting with this ingredient for a few dishes. A brilliant alternative/substitute for sugar or honey.  Love the taste of it. It has a slight after taste of sweetness on a beef patty through it's cooked juices. The Vegemite is an additional ingredient of mine since I love the taste of it. Brings a little earthiness taste to the meat.

All the ingredients put in a bowl. 
 In a nutshell, here are the ingredients thrown into the mix.

1. Australian Minced beef (450g). A bit of oily fat from the meat is preferable. Good enough to make 12-13 patties.
2. One tablespoon of Blackstrap Molasses. (previous experiment used 3 tablespoons; too much and "burned" out colour)
3. One tablespoon of Vegemite. (personal preference - just love the earthy taste)
4. Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
5. Half of a large yellow onion. Bronoise (meaning chopped) into dice. Too add a bit of bite and crunch to the patty.
6. Homegrown Dry Basil. (Yes, I specially ordered Homegrown dry basil from mother's friend who grows, dry and pound her own dry herbs.)
7. Salt and pepper to taste
8. Balsamic Vinegar ( A few dashes)
9. Sesame seeds.
10. An egg. As a binding agent to bind the ingredients together and give it a more thicker consistency. 2 egg whites can be used too if concern about yolk. You can use a bit a flour but I prefer eggs instead.

Adding in sesame seeds last into the mix.
The patty all mixed and ready to be rested.
All the ingredients are all mixed in a large bowl and let it sit for a few hours.  

Meat patty quenelle into a football shape with 2 spoons.
 Once ready to cook, set non-stick pan on low heat. In the meantime, prepare you patty "shapes". You can always do the traditional flat shape but I always preferred the small football shape; almost like a cutlet. Use 2 tablespoons to scoop the patty and quenelle the patty into a football size shape. This method is usually used for sorbets and ice cream but works well with anything with this sort of consistency.

Pan fry low with NO oil.
 Place each patty on the pan and NO oil is required. Just make sure the pan is a non-stick coating one. Oil from the fat and olive oil will secrete from the patty. Make sure both sides are cooked but not to overcooked it till dry.

Insides of cooked patty.
 The other reason why I cooked them in this shape is to have a slight crispy burned outer skin but also have the insides cooked with it's own juices. The outcome is a luscious burst of sweet, earthy flavours from within. Great accompanied with red wine or spicy relish.

Pan fried Onions (julienned) and sear some fresh tomatoes. 
 Once all the patties are done, the pan will leave some residue of burned up molasses and oil. Do not let it go to waste and continue to fry it with the remaining balance of the half chopped onion (julienned it) and sear some fresh tomatoes with it.

A nice sunny side up to be added to the plate.
And now, all is pretty much done. For serving, I've decided to do a summer wrap by using huge Iceberg lettuce leave that I've found. Just another alternative besides sandwiching it with bread.

Spread the green over a plate flat and douse with a sprinkle of olive oil & Malt vinegar (balsamic is alright too). Lay the cooked patty together with a sunny side up egg, the julienned onions, seared tomatoes and topped with a spicy cranberry relish and sesame seeds.

Spicy cranberry relish. Bought from a supermarket. A bit pricey but very delicious.
The final product!
Finally, time to eat! You can use the lettuce to warp everything up. I prefer to serve and eat it by means of "deconstruction". Meaning to eat and taste it as separate components but still able to make out the final outcome of taste. 
Meat dipped into the runny egg and relish. 
 I love runny eggs as well. The meat dipped into the egg with some relish is just delicious! Told you I was unorthodox.

So there you have it. My first recipe/ cooking experiment posted online. Crossing fingers the scrutiny wouldn't be terrible. I'm still learning. ;)

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