Whether you like Maple & Motor's cantankerous Jack Perkins not, you must admit the man makes a great burger.
Today we move into the kitchen and take a look at how this ballyhooed burger is created. Perkins was willing to reveal some of his innermost secrets on burger-making, which starts with his well-seasoned antique flat-top griddle and his special blend of ground chuck and ground brisket.
Last I checked, the Maple & Motor burger was a six-napkin operation. Toss in my favorite ingredient, the over easy fried egg (for that self saucing effect I crave) and we are talking a possible nine napkins and a final trip to the washroom for a good scrubbing afterward.
You can try this burger at home, but it makes more sense to spring for the five and a half bucks it takes to buy one from the master. Plus you get the added enjoyment of the possible sideshow antics that make Perkins so famous.
Perkins' how-to follows on the next page.
Ingredients 8 ounces ground chuck (70/30) loosely rolled into a ball (Maple & Motor uses a 50/50 combination of chuck and lean brisket for a 70/30 fat ratio) Mrs. Baird's bun (for that homey taste that brings you back to childhood) Lettuce leaves Tomato slices Real cheddar cheese slice Red onion slices Pickle relish Grilled fresh jalapenos (optional) Fried egg (optional) Ketchup and mustard Salt and pepper to taste
Step 1: Form an 8-ounce meatball that has been loosely rolled to create pockets of air to capture fat for tiny flavor bursts. Lay the ball on the griddle to sear and create a small puddle of burger juices around the meat. After a few moments, gently press the meat flat to form the classic patty shape. Continue to grill.
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Step 2: After flipping the burger, place cheese on the burger to begin melting. Place the buns on a well-buttered flat surface to crisp (never butter the bun directly). Be sure to run the spatula across the top of the bun to add a trail of gloss for that perfect burger look.
Step 3. Prep the buttered and grilled buns by adding a full ration of relish on one side and other desired condiments on the other. Add lettuce to the bottom half of the bun.
Step 4. Place the cheesed-up burger patty onto the bottom bun and add tomato and onion. Plate burger and enjoy.
Serve with fries or onion rings and a side of cold beer or a homemade ice cream shake, like Perkins does.