Do you love hamburgers? Do you butter your buns with care? And most importantly, do you grind your meat at home? If these questions make you feel like you need a cold shower, you’ve come to the right place. This week on Spilled Milk, we cook and eat a couple of supremely juicy burgers and share our best tips for buying and grinding meat. Recipe: The Spilled Milk Burger. www.spilledmilkpodcast.com
*THE SPILLED MILK BURGER*
_We like a 6-ounce burger, but you lose a little meat to the grinder, so we’ve specified a little extra meat. It’s unusual to find boneless short ribs for sale, so buy English-cut short ribs bone-in and cut them off the bone (easy!) or ask your butcher to do it._
7 ounces boneless short ribs, cut into cubes
7 ounces lean boneless beef chuck, cut into cubes
3/4 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
1. Sprinkle the meat with salt and grind through the fine plate of a meat grinder. Form into two patties, about 3/4-inch thick, pressing an indentation into the center of each patty so it’s thicker at the edges than in the center.
2. Heat a stainless or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat or higher. When the surface is very hot, add the burger patties. Cook without moving for 3 minutes. Flip. (A metal spatula is helpful here.) Cook to medium-rare (internal temperature of 130°F), testing with an instant-read thermometer if you have one. This will take 1 to 3 minutes. Serve immediately on toasted buns.
Yield: 2 servings
This week on Spilled Milk, we’re celebrating cucumbers the same way that we celebrate everything: by cooking them. Cooked cucumber! Who knew? Also, what’s up with recipes that call for salting cucumbers to make them crispier? Seriously, what’s up with that? Recipe: Spicy cucumber salad. www.spilledmilkpodcast.com
*SPICY CUCUMBER SALAD*
Adapted from _Land of Plenty,_ by Fuchsia Dunlop
1 English cucumber
2 tablespoons peanut oil
8 long dried red chiles, snipped into 1-inch sections
2 teaspoons whole Sichuan peppercorns
1 tablespoon sesame oil
Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds and pulp with a spoon, and then cut crosswise into 1/4-inch thick half-moons.
Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add the peanut oil and swirl around to cover the base of the wok. Turn the heat down to medium-high and then add the chilies and Sichuan pepper. Cook for a few seconds until they smell deliciously spicy and the chilies are turning a darker red color. Take great care not to burn the spices.
Toss in the cucumber pieces and stir for about 30 seconds to heat and coat them in the flavored oil, adding salt to taste. Remove from the heat, add the sesame oil and stir thoroughly. The cucumber should not be cooked through, just swiftly heated so that it absorbs the flavor of the spices. Allow to cool before serving.
Yield: 4 servings