Craft Burgers and Crazy Shakes
from Black Tap by Joe Isidori is a fun, modern cookbook that
brings a feeling of nostalgia home. What is more iconic when we
think of American food than a burger and shake (okay....maybe a hot
dog and apple pie)?
Black Tap restaurants are the place to be in
New York with four locations citywide. Now with this cookbook we
can create a Black Tap experience in our own kitchens. The book is
divided into two parts - burgers and accompaniments and on the flip
side (literally flip the book over) Isidori details how to
bring all the shakes to your blender.
The author first breaks down the components of a great burger
before delivering recipes for a variety of exciting burger
combinations including the Rueben Burger, Carolina Burger and a few
recipes for salads incorporating wait for it . . . burgers. Sauces,
sides, fries and onion rings are laid out as well. Then we flip the
book over and are greeted with some far out, diet-destroying
shakes: Red Velvet Shake or a Blueberry Pie Shake anyone? This is a
book for the burger (and shake) lover in all of us.
Thanks to Pam Krauss/Avery, a division of Penguin Random House
and Joe Isidori for allowing us to share a recipe for the Steak Au
Poivre burger and for our giveaway of three copies of this book to
members in the US and Canada.
Steak au Poivre Burger Serves 4
The year we opened, Zagat called this
one of the best new burgers in New York. It's an unctuous play on
the steakhouse classic and the traditional flavors of French
cuisine that I admire as a chef. The green peppercorn sauce is made
with a touch of cream and brandy to highlight the beef; you'll have
about ½ cup left over, so save the sauce to try with your next
steak dinner, too. The Steak au Poivre Burger is great with fries,
just like its original bistro inspiration.
Best Beer: Back in Black IPA, 21st
Amendment Brewery, San Francisco, California
1 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter
(1 tablespoon at room temperature)
½ medium Spanish onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons drained green peppercorns in brine
2 tablespoons Shaoxing cooking wine
½ cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Kitchen Bouquet or Gravy Master
¼ cup crumbled blue cheese
2 pounds 20% lean ground
1 tablespoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons canola or vegetable oil
Four 4-inch potato buns
½ cup crumbled blue cheese
Lettuce, tomato slices, pickle spears, for serving
Make the green
peppercorn sauce: Melt the ½ tablespoon of cold butter in a medium
saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often,
until browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the green peppercorns and
cook for 1 minute, then pour in the cooking wine and cook, stirring
often, until half the liquid has evaporated, about 1 minute. Stir
in the cream, vinegar, Worcestershire, and Kitchen Bouquet. Reduce
the heat to low and cook, stirring often, until the liquid has
reduced by half, about 5 minutes.
Turn off the heat and
set the sauce aside to cool for 10 minutes, then pour it into a
blender. Add the cheese and the butter with the motor running and
blend until the sauce is smooth, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a
small saucepan and set aside. The sauce can also be refrigerated in
an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Make the burgers: Place
the ground beef in a large bowl and gently use your fingers to
fluff the meat to loosen it (you don't want to overhandle the
meat). Set a 4 ½- to 5-inch metal ring (or make a "collar" by
folding a long piece of aluminum foil into a 1-inch strip and
taping it into a 4 ½- to 5-inch circle) on a plastic wrap-lined
cutting board. Place one-quarter of the meat in the ring, using
light pressure to create a perfectly even and not-too-packed
¾-inch-thick patty. Carefully remove the ring and repeat with the
remaining beef to make 4 patties. Mix the salt and pepper together
in a small bowl and use half of it to season the tops of the burger
Heat a cast-iron
flat-top griddle or large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat
for 2 minutes. Dip a folded paper towel in the oil and use it to
grease the pan (you won't use all the oil). Use a spatula to
carefully transfer the patties to the pan, seasoned-side down.
Sprinkle the patties with the remaining salt and pepper mixture.
Cook without pressing down or moving the burgers until the bottoms
are browned, about 5 minutes. Flip the burgers over and continue to
cook for 4½ to 5 minutes longer for medium-rare or 7 minutes more
for medium. (If, after flipping, there is a lot of rendered fat in
the pan, carefully tilt the pan and spoon or pour it out-otherwise,
the burgers will steam rather than sear.) Sprinkle each burger with
2 tablespoons of the blue cheese, then cover the pan until the
cheese has melted, about 1 minute. Transfer the burgers to a
Pour off most of the fat
from the pan and use a paper towel to wipe out the browned bits.
(Alternatively, heat a second pan or griddle and grease it lightly
with the remaining oil.) Open the buns and place the bottom halves
cut-side down in the hot pan and cook until browned and toasted, 1
to 2 minutes. Turn the buns over to toast the other side, 30
seconds to 1 minute longer. Place each bun half on a plate, then
repeat with the bun tops.
4. Transfer each
patty to a bottom bun half and cover with the top bun. Warm the
peppercorn sauce over medium heat, stirring so it doesn't burn at
the bottom. Serve the burgers with lettuce, a tomato slice, and a
pickle spear, with the peppercorn sauce on the side.
Reprinted from CRAFT BURGERS
& CRAZY SHAKES by arrangement with Pam Krauss Books/Avery, a
member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company.
Copyright © 2016, Joe Isidori