So, that last post really exacerbated my longing for a Shake Shack burger (and I am glad I amused at least one of you who knows I was a long-time vegetarian). I confess that I am one of those people who, once they get an idea in their head, can’t let it go until they make it come to fruition. Which brings me to my current quest to replicate the illusive magical burger at home.
Fortunately for me, a writer for Epicurious already did the hard part – deciphering exactly how and what goes into making the perfect faux Shake Shack burger. Now, all that was left for me to do was to track down the exact ingredients and replicate the process. Okay, let’s take a time-out here – do you think I’m nuts at this point? Do rationale people go through all of this over food? Have I been permanently psychologically damaged by watching too much Food Network? In any case…
I think it’s the buns that make the burger, and fortunately, Shake Shack buys buns that anyone (anyone who lives on the East Coast) can buy at their grocery, Martin’s Potato Rolls. For those of us in New Mexico, the internet does the trick (as I write this I am tracking my buns’ trip from Pennsylvania). The rest of the ingredients are things you can find at most groceries (though be sure to buy really good quality, thick, fresh, crispy pickles; the ones I found at Sprouts are pictured below). I did have to get the butcher to grind the meat for me as you need 3/4 to 1/4 sirloin to brisket (am I sounding nuts again?) but other than that, really no sweat. (The butcher did ask me why in the world would I need ground brisket, and no, he had no clue what Shake Shack is.)
So, as soon as those buns get here, we’ll conduct the experiment, take pictures and report…. (for those of you who know I have to get my gallbladder out and that I shouldn’t be eating fatty foods, rest assured I am only going to try a bite, just to sate my taste for now; after that I’ll just watch Steve enjoy his).
[Two days later] Yay! The mail lady just delivered the buns!!! Hmmmm……..seems I accidentally ordered mini slider-sized ones (pictured below), so I guess our burgers won’t be 100% spot on, but serendipitously bite-sized – and boy do these buns feel soft! Only 2 days till the weekend and our test run. Stay tuned…
[Two more days later] Okay, today’s the day! So, I made the secret Shack sauce, Steve mixed the meats I had previously ground by the butcher, I opened the jar of pickles and got the fresh veggies ready. Then, we properly smashed and grilled the burgers, buttered and browned only the insides of the buns and lastly added cheese to Steve’s……..and………drumroll please………..voila!!!!! Do they taste like my dreams you ask?
……Almost. They were without a doubt the best homemade burgers we’ve ever made. The buns were oh so soft, the meat nice and caramelized on the outside, the pickles fresh and crisp and the secret sauce yummy. But something from my dreams was missing – the fact that the last two times we had these burgers we were on fabluous vacations and someone else made them for us!!! So, if you are asking is it worth the effort to make these burgers, the answer is an unequivocal “YES.” But, if you ever have the chance to go on a fabulous trip AND eat a Shake Shack burger – even better!
Here’s how we did it (notice my improving photo-staging techniques):