RECIPES: Recipe Details
Kalbi Burger with Fresh Pickles and Sesame-Chile Mayo on a BatÃ¢rd
Kalbi gui is a wonderfully addictive Korean dish of marinated beef shortribs grilled over charcoal and served with sesame seeds, grilled green onions, and kimchi. This is my tribute to kalbi in burger form, with the kimchi replaced by pickles made on the spot. A regional specialty, dried red chiles, provide a little kick and color. In most places it's easier to find great-tasting French bread than equally good hamburger buns, so my burger is served on a loaf chopped down to optimal thickness for burgers.
1 batârd bread loaf (see comments)
4 mild red New Mexico chile pods
1/2 cup plus 1/4 cup white sugar
1 cup water
1/3 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons sesame seeds, lightly toasted
1/2 cup plus 5 tablespoons soy sauce
1 cup cider vinegar
1/2 pound Kirby cucumbers, sliced 1/8th inch thick
1 pound boneless short ribs, trimmed, cubed, and chilled
1 pound bottom round, trimmed, cubed, and chilled
1/4 pound pork fat, trimmed, finely chopped, and chilled
3 heads garlic, lightly crushed, peeled, and chopped
1/4 cup dark Asian sesame oil, plus some for brushing
6 inches fresh ginger root, peeled and finely grated
2 bunches green onions, ends trimmed
Slice the bread lengthwise at the widest point or at a height of 1 inch from the base, whichever is less. Make another lengthwise cut on the top section of the loaf to thin it to about 1/2 inch thick at the crest, discarding the middle. If the loaf is longer than your grill, trim the ends to fit. Roast the chile pods one at a time a few inches above the grill as it heats, rotating them in the heat until they soften and darken slightly all over. While the chile is hot, cut off and discard the shoulder, cut it in half, flatten it, and discard the seeds and veins. Add 1/2 cup of the sugar to 1 cup of water in a medium saucepan and bring it to a boil on the grill. Hold the roasted chile pods submerged under the boiling water for 2 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and leave the chiles to soak for at least 15 minutes. Sesame-chile mayo Remove the soaked chile pods from the soaking liquid, reserving the liquid in the saucepan. Scrape the flesh away from the husk, then mince and mash the chile flesh until it forms a smooth paste. Whisk the mayonnaise with the toasted sesame seeds and chile paste. Chill the sesame-chile mayo. Fresh pickles Add 1/2 cup of soy sauce and the vinegar to the reserved chile liquid and bring to a boil. Add the cucumber slices and cook until they just begin to darken, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool. Patty Adjust the grill for a low heat (you should be able to hold your hand a few inches above the grate for about 6 seconds). Open the grill fish basket and fold it over so that the inner surface are on the outside, and set it to preheat on the grill. Put the cubed short ribs, cubed round, chopped fat, chopped garlic, 1/4 cup sesame oil, ginger, remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and 5 tablespoons of soy sauce in a bowl and mix thoroughly so that all ingredients are evenly distributed. Lightly oil a cutting board that is long enough to hold the bread. Grind the meat mixture onto the oiled board. Form the ground meat mixture into a brick-shaped patty that is of uniform thickness and slightly narrower and shorter than the bread. Make a smooth depression of about 1/2 inch in the center for more even cooking. The thickness of the patty should be about 1 to 1-1/2 inches at the edges, depending on the dimensions of the bread. Grilling Spray or brush the preheated fish basket with some oil. Invert the meat and cutting board onto the fish basket, and remove the cutting board. Place the meat directly above the line of heat and grill for 7 minutes. While the meat is cooking, spray or lightly brush the green onions with sesame oil and grill them alongside the meat on a cooler part of the grill, placing the onions on a slight diagonal so they do not fall through. Take care not to char the green ends. Turn once, then remove when cooked enough to be soft. Cut into bite-sized pieces. Lift the fish basket and flip the meat over to the other side, taking care not to squish the patty by closing the fish basket too much. Cook for another 5 minutes, then monitor doneness by whatever method you prefer and cook until done. For the final 2 or 3 minutes of cooking, toast the bread alongside the meat until the bread is warmed and lightly browned. Assembly When the meat is done, open the basket and sprinkle the meat with the chopped green onion. Then cover with the bottom piece of bread and a cutting board or other serving surface. Invert the assembly and remove the basket. Place a layer of drained pickles on top of the meat, overlapping in a fish scale pattern. Brush the upper bread with the sesame-chile mayo and place on top. Trim and discard the ends of the bread where the meat does not cover. Skewer the burger in 6 places, and slice on a diagonal into 6 serving pieces.
You will need the following tools for this recipe: Ruler Medium saucepan Grill fish basket Meat grinder, with the head chilled in freezer Six three-inch skewers A batârd (which means “bastard” in French) is a wide short baguette, ideally about 5 by 14 inches. Your baker may call such a loaf a sicilano or simply a baguette, but do not use a narrow baguette or a loaf less than 50 square inches (5 by 10 inches) in area or the patty will be too thick to cook properly.