What is a burger? It is merely a beef patty between two buns? Or is it something deeper, spiritual, a
satsfaction of one’s most carnal culinary desires, maybe even something naughtier? Matthew Ramsay
takes the foodporn movement to its unabashed pinnacle with PornBurger.
Inspired by his wildly popular blog pornburger.me (with over 2,400,000 visitors), Matthew has been steadily building his battalion of burger mongers with wild yet accessible takes on the classic burger.
But don’t be fooled by raunchy descriptions and Ramsey’s signature burger puns, like the Bill U Murray Me?, Spamela Anderson, and the Willem DaFoe–nut. This burger freak is a culinary-school-educated chef devoted to the dark arts of hamburgery. PornBurger offers the ultimate dining experience and entices you to create your own culi-naughty adventure. Every element of every burger is open to reinterpretation—with PornBurger, get weird, get wild, and leave no burger fantasy unimagined . . . or uneaten.
Bill U Murray Me?
PornBurger Smoky Burger Sauce (page 166)
Barbecued red onions
1 Juicy Floozy Patty (page 101)
A few slices of crisp--cooked smoked bacon
Jalapen~o Pickles (page 219)
Shredded cos lettuce
1 Sesame Brioche Bun (page 227)
What does this burger have to do with Bill Murray? Absolutely nothing. Well, unless of course you’re Bill Murray. In that case, this is a very personal public invitation to join me for a burger and a beer. Also, I’m pretty sure this is what he whispered into Scarlett Johansson’s ear at the end of Lost in Translation. This looker with a heart of gold is seared on the outside, medium--rare on the inside, with a molten core of melted cheese and a creamy sous--vide egg yolk. Stack this fatty with shredded lettuce, bacon, quick pickled jalapeño, tomato, and my smoky burger sauce, and you too may become a Bill--iever.
PornBurger Smoky Burger Sauce
*Makes about 1 cup*
Behind EVERY GREAT BURGER is a super--secret special sauce. This is mine.
3/4 cup homemade mayonnaise (at left)
4 teaspoons chili garlic sauce (I like Huy Fong)
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon sweet relish*
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
* I use Gordy’s Sweet Pepper Relish, which is a blend of pickled cucumbers, celery, onions, and peppers. (For more about Gordy’s, see page 13.)
Mix together the mayo, chili garlic sauce, ketchup, relish, and liquid smoke. Store airtight in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
The Juicy Floozy Patties
These patties utilize science to build off of the shoulders of St. Louis giant, the Juicy Lucy, by adding some creamy yolk-popp’n persuasion to the equation. For those of you not keeping score, each floozy is one sous--vide-cooked beef patty, one sous--vide-cooked egg yolk, and a whole lot of melty cheese.
*Makes 4 patties*
Eight 115 g PornBurger patties
8 slices American cheese, cut into 5 cm rounds (I use my 1/4--cup measure as a cutter)
4 extra--large eggs,* cooked sous-vide for 45 minutes at 65˚C
Extra-virgin olive oil, for the pan
Salt flakes and black pepper
* I usually make a -couple extra, just in case of breakage.
Use your thumbs to press a sizable divot in the center of each of the formed patties and press a cheese round onto each one. Carefully crack open your sous--vide eggs and gently remove the whites. Place a cooked yolk on half of the patties. Gently cover each yolked patty with an unyolked patty. Wet a finger or two and run along the seam of the two patties to make into one glorious patty. Be mindful not to squeeze down on the center, so as not to break the yolk.
Set your sous--vide water bath to 55˚C using your immersion circulator. Place the patties in zip--top plastic bags, one per bag, and use the water displacement method (see page 95) to push out the air from the bag. Zip--seal the bags and place in the water bath to cook for 1 hour.
Preheat a skillet or griddle over medium--high heat and drizzle it with oil. Season the patties liberally with salt and pepper and sear them on each side for about 1 minute, or until crispy. Serve immediately.
*Makes 2 cups*
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon salt flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 cloves garlic, peeled
7 to 10 jalapeños (the bigger they are, the less spicy), sliced into 5 mm -thick rounds
Combine the vinegar, water, sugar, salt, oregano, and garlic in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer, stirring the salt and sugar until they dissolve. Add the jalapeños and simmer for 1 minute before removing from the heat. Use tongs to transfer the garlic and jalapeños to a sealable 500 ml container, and top off with the hot brine. Allow them to sit for at least a few hours and ideally a full day before serving. Store airtight in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
First impressions are important, which is why I let these bubble buns do the all the talking. Buttery with supple squish and subtle sweetness . . . these babies got all the back.
*Makes 12 buns*
41/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (40˚C to 43˚C)
3 tablespoons warm milk (40˚C to 43˚C)
3 tablespoons sugar
4 large eggs
3 cups plus 3 tablespoons bread flour*
2 teaspoons salt flakes
140 g salted butter, at room temperature
Egg wash: 1 egg beaten with a splash of water
* Bread flour has more gluten than plain flour and allows for better structure. It can be found at your local grocery or online.
1. Combine the yeast, water, milk, and sugar in a small bowl. Allow the yeast to activate and foam for roughly 5 minutes.
2. Beat the 4 eggs in another small bowl until combined.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the flour, salt, and butter. Mix on medium speed until the butter and flour have a “crumby” texture.
4. Add the yeast mixture and beaten eggs to the flour. Mix the ingredients (still with the paddle attachment) for about 10 minutes on low. The dough at this point should be incredibly slack and sticky. You want to be able to hold the dough and allow it to drop to the counter without breaking.
5. Using as little additional flour as possible, shape the dough into a ball and set it in a greased bowl. Cover with a dampened kitchen towel and allow the dough to rise in a warm spot until it has doubled in size. It should take anywhere from 1 to 3 hours to double. Remember, it’s about size, not time.
6. Dusting your hands with flour, gently punch down the dough to remove air bubbles and portion the dough into 8 equal pieces. (I like to use a scale for precision and to ensure equal cooking time.) Again, the less flour used for shaping and handling, the better.
7. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Take each piece of dough and flatten it with the palm of your hand to form a disc. Fold over each of the four sides and pinch in the middle. Flip the dough so that the seam side is down and use your palm to gently roll the dough into a smooth ball, resembling a bun. Place the shaped dough on the lined baking tray, leaving 5 to 7.5 cm between buns. Loosely cover the buns with plastic wrap and allow them to rise for roughly another hour. They should be nice and puffy.
8. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200˚C.
9. Using a pastry brush, give the buns a nice gloss of egg wash. Place an ovenproof bowl with 1 cup water on the bottom shelf of the oven. This will give you the steam you need to get a nice and subtle crunch in the crust. Place your baking tray of buns on the top shelf uncovered and bake until golden brown, 14 to 16 minutes. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
Sesame Brioche Buns: Sprinkle 1/3 cup sesame seeds over the buns right after you brush them with the egg wash.
Images and recipes from Pornburger by Mathew Ramsey (Murdoch Books) RRP $39.99 available now in all good bookstores and online
Mathew Ramsey is a chef, food stylist, and photographer. A graduate of the California Culinary
Academy, he has worked for National Geographic and the San Francisco Chronicle’s Food and Wine
secLon. Aaer launching PornBurger to huge buzz and rave reviews, Ramsey began Bar R, a four-person dinner series featuring a secret, six-course tasting menu, with a waitlist of hundreds for its second season. He lives in Washington, DC.