UPDATE: This post is no longer valid, except in an archival kind of way. A curiousity, as it were. And it is still a viable alternative if you don’t/can’t/won’t eat pork. But if the added goodness of bacon is not a problem and you want the best burger blend to date, head on over to this post and get something even better. Okay? Okay.
In a previous episode, I recommended that you use ground chuck for your burgers. I did this because it was an easy way to make sure you get at least 20% fat in your burger blend – distressingly, most grocery store meat counter drones and even some actual butchers no longer know what you are talking about when you ask for “80 – 20” ground beef. Sad, but true.
That advice, however, is now complete passé. The absolute best blend for burgers, as confirmed by a rigorous series of wintertime experiments in my kitchen, is 50% ground boneless short ribs, and 50% ground brisket. And I make a point to say “boneless” for the short ribs because – despite the fact that it should be completely obvious that you want to take the bones out of the short ribs before you grind them – there are grillheads out there who have a hard time with common sense.
So. Get to the butcher, ask for a 50-50 blend of ground brisket and ground short ribs. The fat content is going to come in at a very respectable 20 – 25%, and the flavour profile is out of this world.