So we have reached the great state of Victoria. No! You haven't stumbled upon a road trip blog - we have in fact moved states from New South Wales to Victoria. If you're not entirely familiar with where I am talking about, here is a Google map of our journey. I am taking a short sabbatical before deciding what to do next. We spent most of this week either packing and driving down. It was a really lovely trip - we went through Gippsland and enjoyed watching the lovely countryside roll by as we drove. It was kind of stressful having the cat and a couple of fish tanks worth of fish with us but we managed to get to Stawell safely. We are currently staying with Andrew's parents who are kind enough to put us up (or put up with us!) for a bit.
Anyway, I've been dying to show you something Andrew found recently and decided to make - it was a real winner! I can't remember how he found it but this is probably the first cook book he has coveted. It is called "The Good Stuff Cookbook: Burgers, fries, shakes, wedges, and more" and is by Spike Mendolsohn. I haven't heard too much about him in Australia but I'm sure he is well known over in the United States.
We tried 2 of the recipes as featured on the amazon.com link - "Spike's Village Fries", as well as the "Farmhouse Bacon Cheese Burger". These were great - and I urge you to try them - except be aware that the burgers are utterly, utterly huge so if you are watching your weight (as I am) you may wish to modify the amount of fillings in the burger. Even Andrew was rather full afterwards. I think - it's all about that awesome sauce!
This recipe shows my changes and additions/subtractions of this fabulous recipe.
Farmhouse bacon Cheese Burger (Spike Mendolsohn)
800 gm ground sirloin
6 hamburger buns, cut in half
500 gm streaky bacon
Sea salt, freshly ground black pepper
6 slices cheese
red onion slices
About a cup of Spike's "Good Stuff Sauce" (as per recipe below)
1. To make the patties, roll six mince balls.
2. Grill or fry your bacon as you like (I prefer to grill to "crispy")
3. Heat a large skillet pan over med-high heat, and add a small amount of oil.
4. Place the mince balls into the pan, and flatten into patties. Season the patties with salt and pepper and cook for 3 minutes. Flip, and cook on the other side for 1 minute. Place 3 strips of bacon and 1 slice of the cheese on each patty and continue to cook 2 minutes more.
5. Cover with a lid for the last 30 seconds to melt the cheese.
6. Toast the buns and set aside.
7. To assemble the burgers, place 1 patty on 1 toasted bun bottom. Top the patty with a lettuce leaf, tomato slices, onion slices, and 2 pickle slices each. Slather over with some of the "Good Stuff" sauce. Cover with the bun top. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Let rest for 2 to 3 minutes and serve.
Good Stuff Sauce
Spike says: "After reading several books and articles on Americans and the hamburgers they love, my mother found that people’s favorite sauces were different takes on Thousand Island dressing (ketchup and mayo). At one of our family tastings, Mike Colletti, a chef I met at Le Cirque, and I came up with our twist on it—we locked ourselves in the kitchen and added a little something to the sauce to give it a real kick."
2 cups whole egg mayonnaise (I use S & W Whole egg Mayonnaise - I haven't graduated to making homemade stuff yet but feel free to go that extra mile!)
2 tbsp ketchup (NOT tomato sauce. Ketchup is far sweeter and tastier than tomato sauce)
2 tbsp molasses (you will find this in health food stores)
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp salt
Add the mayonnaise, ketchup, molasses, vinegar, and salt to a food processor or blender. Puree until smooth. The sauce can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Coming Soon - "Spikes Village Fries"; the perfect accompaniment to these yummy burgers!