Kenji Makes Oklahoma Onion Burgers | NYT Cooking
Home » Kenji Makes Oklahoma Onion Burgers | NYT Cooking

Kenji Makes Oklahoma Onion Burgers | NYT Cooking

I'm pleased with how these came out look At that doesn't that look good I haven't Even eaten yet and I know it's going to Be delicious should I just eat It hey everyone this is Kenji Lopez alt I'm going to be making some Oklahoma Onion Burgers these are one of the sort Of great Regional hamburger Styles in The US invented in eleno Oklahoma by Homer Davis during the Depression they Were originally invented as a way to Stretch out hamburger meat uh by cutting Them almost 50/50 with onions these days People continue to do it just because They taste fantastic so here's how we're Going to do It I'm starting with ground beef any Ground beef from the supermarket will do You want it to be relatively fatty Though so this is 8020 uh you just don't Want it to be too lean because you know Burgers have a tendency to dry out if They're too lean I'm going to roughly Divide it into about four even patties Normally I would recommend very gently Handling these and kind of just Loosely Forming them into a Patty so you don't Compress the meat and you get almost Sort of like a fluffy texture inside However with these of burgers we're Going to be smashing them out and so we Want them to have a little bit more Cohesion um so I'm actually going to Kind of knead these balls just a little

Bit and the idea here is that just like When you're needing bread dough the Proteins in here are going to cross link And sort of form a kind of a matrix That's going to help the meat hold its Shape a little better you know I'm Squeezing this the way like a a hefty Toddler would squeeze Play-Doh you want To kind of knead it together just until It starts to feel a little bit tacky You'll notice kind of a change in Texture as it really starts to cling to Itself so you can do this part ahead you Can refrigerate the patties if you want I'm going to jump straight into it so I'm going to go to the next step which Is to flatten them out just a little bit Not a ton I'm going to try and get them Into rounds about 3 in or So I got some salt here I Will season one Side salt and Pepper and we're going to flip these Over I'm going to go wash my hands and We're going to start on the onions All right so for the onions the key here Is that you want to slice your onions Right before you use them and you want To slice them very very thin I like to Use a mandolin for this you can use a Knife of course if you want but these Japanese mandolins are relatively Inexpensive the brand is called benriner Or in Japanese benina which like

Literally translates to oh how handy and They are handy what we used to call in The restaurant we used to call this one The the big Benny when I have a big Benny available to me I like to slice my Onions whole um otherwise you can slice Your onion in half and do it on the Smaller Benny the reason you want to Slice your onions just before using them The chemicals specifically that make you You tear up in onions which are called The lacrimator same same root word for Like lacos um so sad you know represents Tears the lacr mators and the onions um Only form after you slice them and so The longer you let an onion sit after Slicing the more pungent that's going to Get um all right so we got a whole onion Here sliced basically as thin as Possible and what I'm going to do is I'm Going to place a big pile of the these On top of each one of these patties here It's like a real big pile I mean you Know I'm I'm kind of going for a a loose Hay stack here so what's going to happen Is I'm going to smash these patties down Into that pan some of these onions are Going to hit the pan immediately some of Them are going to rest on top of the Patties we're going to flip them over um And you end up having these sort of Multiple textures and flavors of onion And that's I think really part of the Magic of this type of burger I got my

Cast iron pan I'm going to get it really Nice and hot uh you can use cast iron You can use stainless steel this will Make your house it will make your Kitchen your apartment whatever you live Your tent uh it will make it smell like Onions for a long time it'll also smoke A little bit and steam a little bit so Just be prepared for that one thing You'll notice I have not seasoned the Onions yet that's actually pretty Important um as soon as you salt onions They're going to start purging liquid That that salt is going to draw moisture Out from the onions and if they if you Do that before the onions are in the pan Um and these are sort of starting to get A little bit wet they're not going to Sear properly they're not going to Spread out properly when you smash them So you don't want to salt onions until After you've already smashed down your Burgers and they're in the pan and You're ready to go I got a big spatula This is probably the biggest spatula I've ever tried this with um but as long As the spatula fits flat inside your pan Like that um and it's nice and stiff uh That's what you want all right so we're Going to work one burger at a time Here so this is going in with the Seasoned side down and with each Patty I Want to push them down so that they stay As wide as possible but within their own

Sort of quadrant um and what I'm going To going to do is I'm going to focus Really on the edges which I want to get To be sort of the thinnest part leave Them a little bit thicker in the center So they Stay Juicier and any onions that fall off at This point you just kind of tuck them Right back on I had this pan as hot as I Could get it and I'm keeping it at the Highest heat as we go you'll notice I Also did not uh add any oil to the pan First of all you don't need any extra Fat because the beef has is going to Have quite a bit of fat on its own but You want the patties to actually stick a Little bit around the edges that's how You sort of get the laest crispiest Edges in fact sometimes if your cast Iron pan is a little bit too well Seasoned um which this one is actually Really well seasoned it won't stick very Well um and so you won't you don't get Quite the crispy edges you get on say Like a stainless steel griddle or in a Stainless steel pan either way it comes Out really delicious so it doesn't Matter if you're not comfortable kind of Sticking your hand on a spatula like That one good trick is to use two stiff Spatulas or say a wooden spoon um and Then you can push on one with the other To get sort of pressure on it without

Getting your hands too hot I know I know Some people don't like to get their pans That close to a hot surface like this so We're going to let that first side sear At this point now I'm going to season The onions a little bit when I flip over My Burgers I like to flip my spatula so That I can get some leverage under there Especially like if you're doing this on Stainless steel and getting a real like Meat to metal contact uh will create Sort of chemical bonds that are really Hard to break so you really want to get Lot a lot of Leverage in there on cast Iran it's a little bit easier but I Still like to do this just to make sure I get as much of the crust and the Onions up as Possible okay so scrape it all off and Give it a Flip and we're looking for sort of that Nice crusty edge around [Music] There all right so now this is the stage Where the onions are going to really Start showing sort of all those Different flavors the onions that are Directly in contact with the pan Underneath are going to start to Caramelize the onions that are kind of Frizzled around the edges are almost Going to char and burn and get really Crispy um and then there's going to be Some onions that are still sort of

Against the meat itself that are really Going to just Steam and so you get all These different flavors of onions that Kind of intermingle in there I'm going To add some deli sliced American cheese Which is always a favorite of mine American cheese is pretty key because American cheese has and multif finding Salts in it that help it melt in a way That other cheeses can't of course if You like you know cheddar Swiss whatever You want it'll work in here so I'm now Going to take my top buns Untoasted and I'm going to place them on Top of the patties Here and then we're going to take our Bottom buns and place them on top and The idea here is we're going to cover This all up those steaming Vapors from The onions are going to kind of permeate The buns and give them all that onion Flavor and everything's going to kind of Turn into this soft I don't know uh it's What my my friend Ed LaVine refers to as The cosmic Oneness I think you're going To get you get this really nice Cosmic Oneness between uh the onions and the Cheese and the burgers and the Buns all Held together with you know American Cheese and uh and onion vapor at home I Have what I call the Onion towel this is A trick I learned from a a slider joint In Detroit called tellway you place it Over your steaming buns you want to tuck

It in so that the edges don't burn your Towel is going to permanently smell like Onions um so if the New York Times Kitchen did not have an onion towel Before now they have an onion towel We're going to give it just a couple Minutes uh we're going to feel the steam Coming through the nice thing about the Towel is that it really traps it Directly against it so if you put a Dom Lid the Buns can actually get a little Bit sort of wet as one as as a steam Condenses on the top and you get little Water droplets sometimes a towel will Steam it with while also preventing that From happening so I think it is the best Way all right so now you can take off Your soft oh nice and soft you can take Your bottom buns uh I like to do Bottoming on these types of burgers pick It all up nice stack like that right Then you take your bottom Bun stick it there Slide it out and then you can just hand It to someone and it's good to Go look at that doesn't that look good Frizzled bits kind of caramelized bits I Know tucked underneath there there's Going to be these nice kind of steamed Onions the cheese just hels every holds Everything together the buns are nice And soft and steamy I haven't even eaten Yet I know it's going to be delicious um I didn't put anything on here I don't

Think it needs condiments I the most I Would maybe do is pick pickles for Myself but you know you can do whatever You [Music] Want this is worth having your house Smell like onions for a week and Definitely worth having an onion towel At home there really is this sort of Magic way in which the onion Vapors just Get through everything it's one of these Burgers where it doesn't taste like a Series of components uh mixed together It just tastes like this one delicious Hole that's all bound together with Onion steam I love it Oklahoma Onion Burgers onions beef cheese a lot of Onion steam that's about it you can get This recipe any one of my New York Times Recipes um and a whole bunch of other Great New York Times recipes at nyt Cooking [Music]

0/5 (0 Reviews)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *