I adore burgers.
I'd confidently estimate that a full quarter of my culinary expertise is based solely on grilling meat, and a quarter of that again is homemade gourmet burgers of all kinds.
I keep a portfolio on my laptop complete with dates, times and photos of every single unique burger I've ever created, and have them registered as my intellectual property when I can.
So, it's safe to say that burgers are my forte.
Indeed, in almost every kitchen I've worked in that allowed free creative range, I've invented a line of gourmet burger to add to the menu.
I've thought up burgers such as the Flyin' Hawaiian, a burger with pineapple slices and smoked ham; The Titanic, a massive burger with pulled pork, bacon and melted cheddar cheese; along with a plethora of others.
I once made a burger, though, that I haven't included in any restaurant menus because not only does it hold significant sentimental value to me, but I planned on saving it for my own restaurant one day.
That being said, I'm also a food writer now and as such, I feel the need to share this burger with all you fine readers so that you can experience this taste bud carnival for yourselves.
The Button Burger
2.5 lb. ground beef
1/2 cup basil
1/3 cup garlic salt
2 large eggs
1 medium onion
2 tsp. sugar
1 dropshake gravy browning
1/3 block shredded mozza cheese
2 cups bread crumbs
3 tbsp. savoury
1 tbsp. melted margarine or butter
2 tsp. corn starch
1 tsp. salt
Olive oil as needed
For meatballs (buttons):
Combine ground beef, eggs, basil and garlic salt, kneading by hand until the proteins form stringy bonds and it is consistent throughout.
Form meat into small balls. In a deep pan, add about 3 tbsp. water and a splash of olive oil. Heat the pan at medium high for about 4 minutes or until liquid begins to bubble.
Add meat balls and gently stir occasionally until fully cooked.
Remove meatballs and quickly add 1/4 cup water to meat juices and gradually whisk in corn starch quickly so clumps do not form.
Add salt and whisk again. This will make gravy for the buns later.
Add savoury to breadcrumbs and gradually stir in melted butter to create a basic bread crumb dressing.
For caramelized onions:
Chop onion into coarse bits and sauté at medium high heat in a small amount of olive oil with sugar for extra sweetness. Cook until translucent and in a light brown coating.
Toast buns on white side using a pan heated on high. Spread gravy on both sides of bun.
Next, add meatballs, covering the whole bottom bun.
Top with mozza cheese, caramelized onions, and finally, a healthy sprinkle of dressing along with the top bun.
It's a great idea to stab a skewer or steak knife down through the centre of the burger for presentation and to help hold it in place.