The Fake Shack (or the Shack Burger at Home) Recipe
J. KENJI LÓPEZ-ALT
YIELD: 4 Burgers
- 8 ounces beef sirloin, trimmed of gristle, and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 4 ounces well-marbled beef chuck, trimmed of gristle, and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 4 ounces well-marbled beef brisket, fat cap intact, trimmed of gristle, and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 4 Martin’s Sandwich Rolls
- 4 tablespoons Shack Sauce (recipe follows)
- 4 leaves of green-leaf lettuce, clipped
- 8 center-cut slices ripe plum tomatoes
- 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
- Kosher salt and fresh-ground black pepper
- 4 slices yellow American cheese
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon ketchup
- 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
- 4 slices kosher dill pickle [the Shack’s regular dill pickle]
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- Place feed shaft, blade, and 1/4-inch die of meat grinder in freezer until well-chilled. Meanwhile, place meat chunks on rimmed baking sheet, leaving space between each piece and place in freezer for 10 minutes until meat is firm, but not frozen.
- Combine meat in large bowl and toss to combine. Pass meat through grinder twice. Form into four disks, about 2-inches tall, and 2.5-inches wide. Refrigerate until ready for use.
- Open buns but do not split hinge. Brush lightly with butter, then place under broiler or in toaster oven until golden brown, about 1 minute. Spread 1 tablespoon Shack Sauce on top half of each bun (for true authenticity, squirt out of squeeze bottle into three lines, three passes on each line). Place 1 leaf lettuce and 2 slices tomato on top half of each bun.
- Using wadded-up paper towel, rub inside of heavy-bottomed 12-inch skillet with vegetable oil, then place over medium-high heat until just beginning to smoke. Season beef pucks on top side with salt and pepper, then place, seasoned side down, in skillet. Using back of heavy, flat spatula, press down on beef pucks firmly to form 4-inch round patties, being careful not to let it stick to bottom of spatula. Season top side with salt and pepper. Cook until crisp brown crust has formed, about 2-minutes.
- Carefully scrape patties from skillet, and flip. Top each patty with 1 slice American cheese. Cook until cheese is melted, about 1 minute longer. Transfer patties to burger bun bottoms, close sandwiches, and serve.
- Shack Sauce: Combine all ingredients in blender until smooth, scraping down sides of blender with rubber spatula as necessary. Makes about 3/4 cup sauce.
- Final phase of construction: place patty with cheese on toasted bun bottom. Close bun to encase patty, cheese, tomato, lettuce, and sauce. Slip into a wax-paper sleeve (or in this case, a jury-rigged parchment paper sleeve), wait 30 seconds for steam from patty to penetrate and soften bun, then consume.