When we moved to Berlin last may, one of the first places that was recommended REPEATEDLY by work mates, acquaintances, and a quick scour through the weeklies, was The Bird. How can so many people be wrong? we asked. So we went, to see and eat for ourselves. One 'Da Birdhouse' Burger later and I understood why it has the street cred it does. The reviews here, here, and here say it all. As does foodspotting. That's not to say there isn't controversy. Quite a few people on ToyTown have argued that their burgers are overpriced, and sometimes undercooked. And that there are better places in Berlin where a great burger can be had.
Fast forward to this past weekend, and both Kelsie and I were craving a bit of protein of the burger form. Being on a budget we were happy to recreate our own 'at home' bird experience. The results (see photo) were just what we had been craving: big, fat, beautiful boigers.
I've posted before about making burgers, and this time was a bit different:
Here are a few of my Big Fat Beautiful Burger Assembly tips and tricks:
- Get the oven chips on before you do anything else. I like making my own oven chips, mostly because they taste really good, but also because they're cheaper than store bought ones, and they don't take up valuable freezer space. Cut washed, not peeled potatoes into 1 cm wedges, blanch in boiling water for 3 min, drain thoroughly. bung into a roasting tin with sunflower oil and sea salt and black pepper. toss around until well coated. roast in a 220C oven for 20 min or until golden brown on the outside. make sure you turn them halfway through cooking.
- next, get some caremelised onion rings on next. cut an onion into thin rings, saute with olive oil and some s+p. make sure the heat's not too high. you want them to cook slowly.
- toast your burger buns. i just get my cast iron skillet on a low heat, butter the buns and let them start toasting while i'm doing the prep. then, when the burgers are close to being done i turn the heat up to make sure they're a nice light golden brown.
- For four burgers use 500g mince. That makes a generous 1/4 pounder per burger. The Bird makes 250g burgers which are massive.
- Choose your mix-ins carefully. In this batch i used worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, generous grindings of black pepper, hefty pinches of NoMu cajun rub, one egg, and a small amount of ground stale jacobs' cream crackers to bind it.
- watch the heat when you're cooking the burger and please don't overcook! these days i'm using an electric cooker. i preheated my cast iron skillet to medium high. i did one side of the burger for about 3 min. then, after i flipped it i topped with thick slices of mature cheddar and put the pan in the oven to finish for another 3 min. the oven was still hot from cooking the chips which by this time were out. i turned the heat down to 175 after taking out the chips.
- Burger toppings make it extra special. we went for slices of garlicky gurkins, slices of beef tomato, crisp lettuce, mayo and mustard.