The Perfect Burger Blend

This summer we turned to superstar butcher Pat LaFrieda to help us create the beefiest, juiciest, most delicious patty possible.

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[MUSIC] I am Pat LaFrieda of Pat LaFrieda Meat Purveyors. We are in my facility in North [UNKNOWN], New Jersey. [MUSIC] I am going to help Food & Wine make the perfect burger blend for people to make at home for themselves. [MUSIC] The ultimate food and wine burger has to be beefy, resilient, stay juicy, hold together on a grill, it has to have the following cuts and all of these cuts need to be accessible. So that would be two piece chuck, the clod Which would have to have a piece of the flack iron in it, which gives us some New York strip steak qualities. Boneless short rib or hanger will determine which of those two, and they're both very accessible. And it has to have that buttery flavor of a brisket. [MUSIC] When it comes to selecting cuts to make a blend that's universal, something that all of your guests are going to like and expect out of a great burger blend, we revert back to the original blend, which was my grandfather's. And that's two-piece chuck and boneless short rib. The key, though, is that we're using whole cuts. Not using trimmings from those cuts, which would have a lot of sinew and connective tissue, that have and offer really no flavor profile at all. When it comes to grinding the meat itself, what you want to do is bring the temperature down as much as you can. As the meat passes through a knife and a plate, and then gets mixed, and then gets put through the same knife and plate. If the meat was 40 degrees, what you would get is a very pasty composition and texture. That's the opposite of what we preach and what we make. So we really want to see particle definition, so we want to see individual fats and proteins as they come out of the grinder. So the only way to make that happen, and to keep the integrity of those cuts, is to bring the meat down to about 30 degrees. When it comes to cutting our meat for the grinder, what is ideal is to cut the longest strips possible that will fit into the grinder apparatus. So, you're not going to damage your grinder attachment for, The food processor or whatever grinder you're gonna use at home. It will put a little bit more stress on it, but what comes out is a product that still has that integrity. [MUSIC] Anything I make I wanna eat well done because meat really tastes best when you can eat it at its most rare temperature that The consumer likes. Now I've been at many dinners where someone's whispered Pat, I have to admit something to you. And like I don't care if you're a vegetarian. No, no, no, I'm not a vegetarian, I eat my meat well done. And I'm like, so eat your meat well done, but if you really want to taste those flavors and you really get into that, you really want They eat it as rare as possible. Goes without saying, I eat mostly my own product. [LAUGH] [MUSIC]
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The Perfect Burger Blend