My friends at Gotham Burger Social Club have really started ramping up their presence at food festivals and charity events, offering up their delicious creations for generous revelers and hungry festival goers. If you ever get a chance to try one of their burgers, you need to do it!
They’re deceivingly simple and delicious. Lots of crispy-crusted texture from the smash on the flat top, great creamy melted cheese, perfect ratios of seasoning and toppings, and overall high quality ingredients and meat – whether it’s a Pat LaFrieda dry-aged blend, a Schweid & Son’s combo of chuck, short rib and brisket, or high end Kow domestic wagyu/angus cross.
The first time I ate one, I had the “Cafe Tappi” burger, by George “Tappi” of Booze and Burgers. It’s a double smash with dry aged beef, melted American cheese, caramelized onions and pickles on a toasted potato bun.
This has evolved a bit, sometimes showing itself as a single smash with caramelized onions, pickles, American and a special sauce.
But at most of the events where they pop up, they’re doing a delicious Oklahoma style smash, where thinly shaved onions get smushed into the burger patty and steam-cooked as the burger crisps up on the griddle. They’re topped with melted American, ketchup, mustard and pickles. Check out these videos:
They’re a delicious ode, homage and tribute to the great American roadside burgers of the past. Keep an eye out for these guys at events around NYC and even beyond. I’m hoping for a brick and mortar shop sometime in the future, since these are addictive, every day kinda burgers.
I should say up front that I initially intended this recipe to involve lamb rather than beef, so feel free to swap out the protein. Shit, you can even go with ground turkey if you want. What the fuck do I care?
Anyway, the grocery store that’s on my way home from work didn’t have ground lamb, and I wasn’t about to break out the Kitchenaid stand mixer and grind up the lamb chops that they DID have for some $20+. Also, I didn’t feel like going to Whole Foods and waiting on a line filled with granola-eating vegans to procure said ground lamb (Whole Foods has everything – it really is awesome… just always crowded with food Nazis). All that said, I went with ground beef. About half a pound of ground chuck, to be exact. Under $3.
My idea for this came to me when I was trying to decide what I wanted for dinner. I was thinking or ordering a burger from a local steakhouse, but I was also craving falafel. So I decided to combine the two desires into one. Behold, the beefalafel burger:
It’s a really simple recipe, with an incredibly delicious end-result.
What The Fuck Do You Need?
plain greek yogurt
a few cloves of garlic
olive oil (for sauce)
vegetable oil (for frying)
half pound of ground beef
various normal, everyday household cabinet spices
*Note* as I mentioned above, feel free to swap the ground beef out for something else. Also, you can play with the ratios. If you add more meat, you will have a beefier final result that leans more toward the burger side than the falafel side. This recipe ratio – with a half pound of beef to one packet of falafel – yields four burger patties that are somewhat more falafel-ish than burger-ish. However, they are WAY more juicy than your typical no-beef falafel.
How The Fuck Do You Make It?
First, I’m going to pop my time-lapse cooking demo into the post here, that way you can see for yourself how the steps unfold. It’s really fucking easy.
So now that you’ve seen it made, here’s the step-by-step:
STEP 1: Make The Sauce
Cut up a few cloves of garlic. Sautee the garlic in a pan with olive oil and lemon juice until they get softened and the mixture starts to get slightly brown. Allow this to cool. Place a few tablespoons of plain Greek yogurt into a small dipping bowl and add some spices to your taste. I like cracked black pepper, oregano and crushed red pepper. Once cooled, add your garlic, olive oil and lemon juice combo into the yogurt from your pan. Mix thoroughly and set aside for later.
STEP 2: Make The Falafel
Prepare your falafel according to the instructions on the packet. If you’re industrious, feel free to make your own falafel from scratch. I go with the packets because they are easy as fuck, and they taste perfectly delicious to me. Besides, all that’s really involved here is adding a cup of water to the falafel powder and then mixing the shit into a fucking paste.
STEP 3: Add The Ground Beef
Mix your half pound of ground beef into the falafel paste and get the meat particles evenly distributed throughout the falafel.
STEP 4: Make The Burger Patties
Form four equi-sized burger patties on some wax paper. Step four is fucking one line of text. Don’t fuck it up.
STEP 5: Fry The Burgers In Vegetable Oil
Add your vegetable oil (1 & 3/4 cups, thereabout) into a frying pan and crank the heat. Once it’s hot enough for frying, place your burgers into the pan. When the patties turn to a dark brown color on the bottom, it’s time to flip (maybe 5 minutes). When both sides are done, take them out of the oil and place them on a drying rack or a bed of paper towels.
STEP 6: Assemble The Burgers
While you’re waiting for the oil to get hot, you can slice your tomato, red onion, and feta cheese, and rinse your arugula. When you’re ready to go, smear some of your yogurt sauce onto each half of the bun. Be generous, too. This shit is actually pretty healthy. Add your burger, onions, cheese crumbles, tomato and arugula. Close that bitch up and eat! I like to slice mine in half for easy mouth-shoving.
As you can see, this leans a bit more on the falafel side than the burger side. Add more meat and you’ll see some pink in there for a nice medium.
This is a great way to stretch your supply if you’ve only got a small amount of ground beef left from an earlier meal. It’s also a smart way to cut down on the fat and red meat if you’re dieting, without sacrificing flavor. Lastly, it is really budget-friendly. For about $15 you can feed four people. Not bad! And you can make a salad with the rest of your arugula, tomato, feta and onion, if the burger itself doesn’t fill you up. Just make some extra yogurt sauce to use as a salad dressing.
Satan’s Fried Chicken Sandwich is a recipe I concocted for usage of Saint Lucifer Spice during my review of their product. If you can’t get your hands on their delicious shit, then substitute for some other pepper like cayenne powder. But I highly recommend their habanero garlic blend. It just works better.
What do you need, and how do you do it?
1) Grab a pack of thinly sliced chicken breast from the grocery store.
2) Crack a few eggs into a bowl and mix/scramble.
3) Create a breading mixture using a combination of Italian breadcrumbs, panko and a teaspoon of Saint Lucifer Spice.
4) Drag your chicken filets through the egg dredge and batter them with the spicy breadcrumbs.
5) Fry your chicken to golden brown in hot oil.
6) Hit your still-hot chicken with some more Saint Lucifer spice to lock in the seasoning after they come out of the fryer/hot oil.
7) As the chicken cools, quickly prep some lettuce, tomato, onion and sliced apple. Maybe some cooling cucumber as well, if you feel like it. As an alternative, you can do this step before you start cooking, but then the apples may bruise up and oxidize – unless you know to hit them with some lime juice to prevent that brown bullshit from happening.
Note: This step is for adding additional crunch and a little sweet juiciness to cut the spice. If you happen to have coleslaw laying around, you could simply use that. And if buying an apple is too much work for your lazy fucking ass, you can also use the pickles that have been sitting in your fridge, floating around in murky water like a shit that never got flushed.
8) Mix a few shakes of Saint Lucifer spice into some mayonnaise.
9) Apply some of that spiced mayonnaise onto each half of a potato bun. A soft, sweet bun is key, like Martin’s or King’s Hawaiian.
10) Assemble sandwich and eat.
If you’re ambitions, you can make some “conundrum fries” to go with this sandwich on the side: sweet potato french fries spiced with a few shakes of Saint Lucifer, once they come out of the oil. Do it, and then eat them with the remainder of your spicy mayo mixture from above. Why? Because fuck ketchup, that’s why.