This monstrosity of a dish could only be dreamed up and created in a place like Brooklyn – a beautifully diverse, yet incredibly schizophrenic borough of New York City which itself would rank as the 4th largest city in the United States were it classified as its own municipality. For our first foray into the world of Epic Nomz, we wanted to make something that would essentially represent the food version of this place we call home in terms of magnitude, creative nature, and sheer awesomeness.
As chefs, we are amateurs (incidentally, one is a recovering vegetarian who jumped back into carnivorous nomming a mere two months ago). Nevertheless, we are not letting our lack of culinary training hold us back from tirelessly testing recipes in pursuit of the most innovative, richest, and exceedingly gluttonous dishes we can think up. The plan for our first installment: to create a hamburger of such decadent and epic proportion that it would literally make women weep, men question their faith in God, and angels leap out of the clouds and sing. Mostly, we wanted it to be crazy delicious.
The general blueprint for the Brooklynite, our trial creation, is simple in that it is based around high quality beef, cheese, lettuce and buns. Of course, to really raise this dish to the level of true Epicness, we added a small, but significant twist: the burger would be topped with chocolate-covered crispy bacon. Many will initially scoff at the idea of adulterating strips of salty bacon with a sweet and creamy coat of milk chocolate (indeed, we had our initial doubts), but we believe that after reading our notes and seeing these mouth-watering culinary treasures, you will be convinced to garnish your next burger similarly.
Now that we have emerged from our bacon-induced comas, we are prepared to share our flavorful findings. What follows is a general synopsis of the steps that were taken to create this burger-of-the-gods, documented in pictographic splendor courtesy of a Nikon DSLR .
Step 1: Bacon Dipped in Chocolate (Rain)
We spared no expense on this one: wild boar bacon and Ghirardelli milk chocolate. You can cook the bacon like you would for any other dish, according to your preferences. We went for a crispier texture that would really give the chocolate something to hold onto.
After letting the bacon dry off a bit, we began dipping the strips into chocolate that was melted in a makeshift double-boiler (read: two shallow pots stacked on top of each other). The key is to fully submerge the bacon into the chocolaty goodness so that it really seeps into the ridges. Once you’ve got all your bacon smothered, set it on a plate in the freezer for about 20 minutes to let the chocolate solidify.
NB: It was our original plan to drizzle melted white chocolate over the chocolate-coated bacon, but it was fairly uncooperative so we abandoned that ambition fairly quickly. Kudos to those to achieve the white chocolate drizzle effect.
Step 2: Prepping the Patties
With one pound of vegetarian-fed ground beef on hand, we began sculpting the foundation of our meal – the rock on which our Church of Nomz is built. Since the quality and freshness of the meat was so high, we felt it unnecessary to add any spices or additional flavoring to the patties. We did, however, chop up some Armenian string cheese, and carefully fold it into the meat. You can really add in any kind of cheese you want (or omit it completely if you want your burger to be not as epic), but if you haven’t tried string cheese of the Armenian variety, you may find yourself surprised by its mild flavor, smooth texture, and well, stringy goodness.
Step 3: Baking Buns, Cooking Cow
We went with a traditional white bread sesame seed bun, applied a layer of pepperjack cheese, and laid each half open-faced on a baking rack. We advise to let bake for about 5-7 minutes, or until buns reach the proverbial golden-brown hue.
Concurrently, we began cooking the patties on the stovetop in a pan greased in butter (as the bacon grease was busy cooking our fries). For best results, keep the burger-flipping to a minimum. Too much man-handling of the beef makes it tough and dry. You want to be able to see the juices dripping from your burger when you take your first glorious bite. Total cooking time on the two 8 oz. burgers for us were about 15 minutes, and the result was tender, juicy, savory patties of perfection.
You can also wash and prep the lettuce at this point. We used a head of organic lettuce, but let’s be honest, leafy greens are not to be emphasized in this dish. As long as you have something to add a little crispy crunch, we think you’re covered.
Step 4: Put It Together, Admire Your Edible Artwork, and Nom Epically
Now, just look at that beautiful thing that is just sitting in front of you, begging to be devoured. Notice how the chocolate, warmed by the heat emitted from the burger, begins to melt onto the patty. It is truly love at first sight - beef and pork making sweet love on your hot buns.
As you attempt to wrap your mouth around this beastly creation, reflect on the savory aroma, mixed textures, and downright weightiness of the sandwich. If you made the Brooklynite correctly, it will be massive. When you finally take that first bite, the dichotomous flavor dynamic between the chocolate and bacon may be initially strange and confusing, but as your taste buds familiarize themselves with this new combination, you will begin to appreciate this unique, delectable taste.
Feel free to pair with your drink of choice. We accompanied the Brooklynite with Stone Pale Ale.
Step 5: Reflect on What a Badass You Are
As digestion sets in and you find yourself slipping into a divine state of unconsciousness, think about what a great thing you did for yourself and for humanity. Rub that belly… you are a Hero. Hells yeah, that was Epic.
If you tried the Brooklynite, or some variation of it, let us know what you think! We are always interested in hearing different opinions and approaches. Together, we can reach levels of Epicness never before imagined.