I used to be solely tangentially conscious of this recipe. I’d examine it right here and there however actually didn’t know greater than it was a hamburger that Hemingway most well-liked to make whereas residing in Cuba. I made a decision to rectify that scenario and really make the damned factor. However first, let’s get slightly background.
It is a actual recipe from Hemingway himself. It was a part of the author’s “papers” from his time in Cuba which had been donated to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston. The papers included correspondence with Hemingway’s editors, private letters, and even procuring lists with handwritten notes and recipes, together with the scribe’s well-known hamburger recipe.
The recipe’s gist is two-fold. One, it’s meant to be a hamburger that’s filled with taste and texture contained in the patty. Two, it’s meant to be tremendous “juicy” and meaty. Hemingway’s recipe was additionally very actual. He provides recommendations on how lengthy to let the meat relaxation, marinate, sear, and cook dinner in exact minutes. I attempted to comply with these as precisely as they had been written.
I wasn’t trailblazing any new paths right here. This highway has been walked earlier than by Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan for the Paris Review. Tan provides very useful directions and in addition helped with sourcing a few elements I couldn’t get my fingers on. After I adopted Hemingway’s directions by way of Tan’s steerage, I made a decision to see what would occur if I add my very own aptitude to the hamburger with a number of the issues I like on my burger.
Okay, that’s sufficient preamble. I really like making recreation hamburgers. So, let’s get into the Hemingway Hamburger and see if it stands the take a look at of time.
The Hemingway Hamburger
- 1 lb. floor beef (85/15 lean/fats)
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 inexperienced onion finely chopped
- 1 heaping tsp. India relish*
- 2 tbsp. capers
- 1 heaping tsp. Spice Islands Sage
- 1/2 tsp. Spice Islands Beau Monde Seasoning**
- 1/2 tsp. Spice Islands Mei Yen Powder***
- 1 egg, overwhelmed
- 1/3 cup dry white wine
- 1 tbsp. impartial cooking oil
*That is seemingly simply the common Heinz India Relish from the late nineteenth century. The recipe on the jar is identical to Heinz Candy Relish. Sot that’s what I used since that’s what I might get.
**I can’t get Spice Islands Beau Monde Seasoning. So I seemed it up and recreated it from scratch utilizing Spruce Eats’ recipe. It’s a mixture of one tablespoon every floor clove, onion powder, salt, floor bay leaf, allspice, black pepper, and one teaspoon every white pepper, nutmeg, mace, and floor celery seed. I mixed every little thing right into a small bowl and blended it collectively
***Spice Islands Mei Yen Powder has been discontinued. So I used the directions Tan gives in the Paris Assessment information. It’s a mixture of 9 components salt to 9 components sugar to 2 components MSG. I mixed 4 1/2 teaspoons salt, 4 1/2 teaspoons white sugar, and 1 teaspoon MSG in a small bowl and blended it collectively.
So, Papa described step one of the burger-making course of as such: “Break up the meat with a fork and scatter the garlic, onion, and dry seasonings over it, then mix them into the meat with a fork or your fingers.”
And yeah, I can see the purpose of giving the spices and salts an opportunity to marry to the meat. Subsequent, I added the remainder of the elements. I used to be slightly incredulous although. I’ve added an egg to a patty previously (I lived by the early 2000s in any case). Nevertheless it usually isn’t needed. And I actually couldn’t see a whole one-third cup of white wine not making this all slightly sloppy. Anyway, I trudged on diligently, trusting in Papa’s gourmand methods.
So, I added within the overwhelmed egg, minced capers, relish, and white wine. I labored within the moist elements with my fingers. It was at first slightly sloppy however did begin to come collectively right into a super-soft meatloaf after a few minute of kneading.
I then let that meat remainder of ten minutes to “marinate.” Lastly, I fashioned 4, equal-sized patties very gingerly. The meat was very gentle and wanted plenty of coaxing to remain collectively. However, I used to be in a position to make 4 thickish patties that met Hemingway’s requirement of “an inch thick, and soft in texture but not runny.”
I acquired my forged iron on a excessive flame and added some Canola oil — one tablespoon as per the recipe.
Papa then says to “take the pan off the burner and turn the heat high again. Flip the burgers over, put the pan back on the hot fire, then after one minute, turn the heat down again, and cook another three minutes.” So, I did precisely that. Settle for one factor — I added two slices of aged Irish Cheddar to one of many patties for my experimental replace. It’s additionally necessary to notice that I by no means pressed down on the patties.
Within the meantime, I toasted off two potato buns with butter and garlic powder in one other pan. As soon as, these had been prepared, the three minutes had handed on the second aspect of the patties and we had been able to plate up.
As you possibly can see beneath, the patties shrunk slightly bit however maintained their girth. I hoped in addition they maintained their juices as a result of there’s nothing worse than a thick patty that’s additionally dry.
Taking a look at this crosssection of the burger, it’s fairly clear Papa knew what he was doing when it got here to thick and juicy burgers. The look of this burger was very attractive with the speckles of relish, capers, and onions including a pleasant nuance. However how did it style?
The rattling factor was dripping with juices filled with taste too. It was barely funky with all of the capers and relish alongside an actual meatiness. It was additionally an umami bomb of a burger. The relish and capers did add slightly little bit of a textural factor that I’d say is a step again from a crunch however you realize it’s there. It’s actually all concerning the flavors and this burger was filled with them.
And yeah, this was nice. However about two bites in, I spotted it was a terrific burger not as a result of what I placed on it however as a result of that god rattling patty was so god rattling good. In actual fact, I’d argue the cheese smothered slightly sharpness of the burger patty which I didn’t need occurring in any respect.
This hamburger was actually higher with the much less it had on it. If I made this once more, I’d go full Ron Swanson and easily serve you this patty on a well-toasted bun. I’d watch as your doubts turned to bliss as you took your first chew and realized you possibly can have an ideal hamburger with merely a patty and a bun and nothing else. I do know it sounds loopy. However alas, it’s as true because the solar rising once more tomorrow.