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“Smog” Burgers!

As Singapore remains choked by toxic haze blowing our way from the illegal slash and burn deforestation in Sumatra, we decided to host a dinner party with our friends the Cowan family. Tonight’s dish is a variant of our favorite burgers, the BOGs (Bacon, onion and Guinness) however in honour of our ridiculously polluted environment, we’ve renamed them SMOG burgers!

It’s also important to note that by way of family protest, senior Indonesian minister Agung Laksono, one of the men responsible for this environmental catastrophe, is NOT invited to dinner tonight and is hereby permanently and forevermore banned from sharing meals with us!!!!

The preparation for the patties couldn’t be easier. I made 15 medium sized (though rather thick) patties with the following ingredients:

  1. 3/4 of a pack of Danish backbacon

  2. 2 medium sized yellow onions

  3. 1 large can of Guinness Irish stout

  4. 1 kg minced beef

  5. 500 grams of minced pork

  6. 4 tbsp of your favorite bbq rub (I used my own rib rub click here for the recipe)

Start by roughly chopping up the onions frying them together over medium high heat with the bacon in a deep frying pan. Let it all fry up together until the onions start to turn a bit more translucent and the bacon starts to really sweat. I’d say about half way to what would normally be considered “done” will do it. At this point, add the can of Guinness and give it a bit of a stir. Initially it’ll foam up but after a few seconds will subside, at which point reduce to a medium heat, put a lid on the pan and let it cook for another 15 minutes. Now take the lid off and let the liquid reduce but not fully. You want a little bit of Guinness left over however it’ll thicken up into a delicious irony gravy! Once reduced, take the pan off the heat and transfer all the yumminess to a plastic bowl and let it cool down to room temperature.

When your mixture has cooled down, take a bit at time and pulse it in a food processor for about 10 short bursts. Do this for all of the mixture and set it aside. Now take your beef and pork mince and start to blend the two. Make sure you get an equal distribution of pork into the beef mince. Now as you’re mixing this (and I found that doing it by hand, wearing surgical gloves works best) sprinkle about a tablespoon of rub over the surface and continue mixing. Keep doing this until you’ve evenly mixed in the 4 tablespoons of rub. Now add your BOG mixture (your bacon, onion and Guinness) and ensure you’ve mixed it all in completely and thoroughly. You’re in for a bit of a workout to get it all blended in nicely.

Now to ensure you’ve got even sized patties, take a ring mould and place a small sheet of cling film into it. Scoop out a handful of the mixed meat and fill the ring mould 3/4 of the way in depth and press firmly to form a thick patty. Then simply lift the cling film and the patty will fall out into your hand. Place the patties on a cookie sheet lined with baking paper and then cover the sheet with cling flim. Chuck it all into the fridge until you’re ready to grill.

And now to grill! I got the BGE up to 500 degrees and made sure the grates were nicely oiled. I made sure that each of the patties was indented in the middle. That helps you get an even looking burger once grilled and not something that looks like a Jiffypop popcorn thingy. Lightly coat the patties with some olive oil and a sprinkle a pinch of Kosher salt over them and put them on the hot grid. Keep the burgers going for about four minutes then flip them over for another four minutes. USDA recommendations for burgers state that you should aim to hit an internal temperature of 160F so if you have, and you really should have a digital thermometer, give them a check once you’ve grilled both sides.

Toast your buns for about 25 seconds, add some shredded cheese and a bit of tomato, lettuce, mayo, and homemade bbq sauce and serve the masses!

Cheers and here’s praying for some fresh air soon!

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Overall “Kayan” Rating: 10/10 Kayan took over from Heather tonight. The best quote ever from our young guest was “these are the BEST things I’ve ever eaten!” He grabbed seconds an hour later!

Singapore PSI Rating at dinner time: 175 “Unhealthy”

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