Video by Tom Compagnoni
Hang onto your arteries -- barbecue season is upon us and it’s time to get acquainted with the ultimate burger.
Whether you’re a fancy wagyu fan, a run of the mill meat-lover or even a vegetarian -- there is a perfect burger out there with your name on it.
According to Sarah Robbins, head chef at Bar Luca Sydney, the key to a good burger is the meat (vegetarians, hang tight. We’ll get to you later.)
“The meat, definitely. You have to use a good quality meat, with at least 20 percent fat in there so it chars when it cooks and it’s nice and juicy.
“We do an 80/20 blend. So we have 80 percent meat and 20 percent fat, so it’s fatty. It’s good.”
She also advises to use a substantial bun in order to keep your burger together.
"I’m a big one for bun integrity. It has to hold the burger," Robbins said.
"You can’t have this little thin thing that’s going to fall apart as soon as the burger hits it. You want your bun to last the whole way until the end of the burger."
In terms of making your patties, Robbins advises to keep it simple and let the quality of the meat do the talking.
"Don’t overwork the patties. Don’t sit there rolling them and rolling them. Just form it gently, let it form its shape," Robbins told The Huffington Post Australia.
"Treat it like a piece of steak -- don’t add a heap of seasoning to it. Don’t add a heap of salt when you’re mixing the patties because it’s just going to draw all the moisture out. You want to season it just before you put it on the grill.
"When you're actually cooking, don’t push them down on [the grill] -- it just pushes all the juices out.
"If you’re worried about them puffing up you can put a little thumb print in the middle just before you pop them on, so it’s indented. But the only reason they are going to puff up is if you are overworking them before you put them on the grill."
Robbins says if the meat has enough fat, "that's what will bind the patty together.
"You don’t need to be adding egg or breadcrumbs or any of that."
For vegetarians, Robbins recommends a chickpea and sweet potato patty, once again advising to keep it simple.
"We use chickpeas that we soak -- we don’t cook them before we roll the patty -- so they have that texture and they help the patty hold.
"They kind of dry it in a way so you son’t have to use breadcrumbs and a whole lot of filler. We use a sweet potato and chickpea blend. It’s kind of falafel-ly -- which I think is the best kind of veggie patty.
"Alternatively, haloumi and mushroom are a great combo for vegetarians."
So now you have your ultimate burger -- how do you go about eating it?
"Don’t put it down," Robbins said. "As soon as you put it down, every time you pick it up you’re moving it around more. Don’t put it down. Commit.
"You need to get a grip -- if you can get a grip with your thumb and pinkie on the bottom and the rest of your fingers on the top, you’re going to get through."