Food makes me happy. And cooking for friends, gardening (on a little piece of a Brooklyn deck right now), and sharing tasty ideas makes me even happier. So I figured what better way to spread some of this happiness than to start sharing my food, recipes and tips with friends -- some of whom I haven’t met yet. I hope you enjoy...

Friday, October 7, 2011

Kobe Beef Sliders on (almost) Scarborough Fair Buns

Suggested listening while reading this post: 

Kobe beef sliders topped with port-salut on homemade herbed buns... pretty perfect cook-out food if you ask me.  We whipped these up for our Labor Day weekend barbecue (  The burgers were easy as pie and the buns were fun to make. 
I'm a purest when it comes to burgers -- I like to cook mine with a little grey sea salt (a really course grind gives the outside a bit of crunch) and nothing else except maybe some chopped herbs from the garden pressed into the center.  And since this kobe beef was especially good, we didn't want to take away from its flavor by adding anything but salt.  So we decided to incorporate the herbs into the buns instead.

A day or two before the barbecue we baked up a test batch of buns, following a recipe with great reviews.  They were good, but could use some tweaking.  So we adjusted the ingredients and measurements (a bit less flour, only milk - no water), kneaded it a little less and only punched it down once (we had fun amateur boxing and beating it up a little too much the night before).  Voila, tasty and soft, but still dense-enough-to-soak-up-the-juice buns:

Kobe Beef Sliders on (almost) Scarborough Fair Buns
You'll want figure on 2 sliders per person; this recipe is enough for 24 burgers & buns


For the sliders:
- 4 pounds of kobe beef (one pound gave us about 6 burgers)
- 1 pound of port salut (or any good melting cheese), sliced for topping

For the buns:
- Dried chopped herbs (we used sage, rosemary and thyme; if you're using fresh herbs like we did, finely chop them the night before and let them dry in a cool dark place)
- 2 cups of whole milk
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 1 tablespoon of suger
- 2 teaspoons of salt
- 4 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 (.25 ounce) envelope of active dry yeast
... And 1 egg yolk mixed with 1 tablespoon of water for the egg wash

1) Mix together your milk, butter, sugar and salt in a saucepan and bring it to a boil; then remove the liquid from the heat and let stand until it's lukewarm

2) Stir your flour and yeast together in a big bowl (using your stand mixer bowl, if you have one), and then add the wet ingredients, dried herbs and combine until everything is mixed together well;  If you have a stand mixer, use the dough hook to mix, and if not knead the dough on a floured surface until it's smooth

3) Place the dough in a greased bowl and turn it to coat the entire ball; cover the dough and let it stand until it doubles in size (about an hour or so)

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees, and punch down the dough; divide it into 24 balls (make the less smooth side into your bun bottoms), and place them on 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper or non-stick foil; flatten each ball with the palm of your hand and set the buns aside for about 20 minutes 
5) Mix together your egg yolk and water to form an egg wash, and brush it onto the tops of your buns

6) Bake your buns for 7 minutes
-- making sure neither baking sheet is too close to the top or bottom of the oven -- and then switch the baking sheets and cook for 7 minutes more (so all the buns have time on the top rack)

7) Once your buns are lightly browned, they're ready to go
; now it's time to patty-up your sliders (1 pound of beef will give you about 6 burgers); I usually wet my hands when making patties to help seal the meat to keep in juices but this isn't necessary with the supple kobe, just  sprinkle them with a course salt, grill to your liking (about 3 minutes each side for medium-rare), top with cheese and enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. These were amazing! The burger literally exploded into a spray of juicy Kobe goodness in my mouth when I chomped into it.