Recipe FAIL: Mashed Potato-Stuffed Hamburgers

“Thank goodness all recipe development goes off without a hitch.”

– No One Ever

One of my staycation goals has to work on some recipes. In my previous post, I made a lovely galette. I have a s’mores pound cake recipe in the works. In addition, I wanted to make something savory. While sitting at the beau’s apartment on a Thursday afternoon, we lazily contemplated ideas for dinner as we watching repeats of “Futurama” circa 2001.

“I bought chicken, chopped meat…potatoes…,” he rattled off as I paid more attention to Bender’s antics on-screen. I suddenly had a very dim lightbulb pop up in my head.

“What if we stuffed the burgers with mashed potatoes?” I queried, not entirely seriously. His eyebrows raised in curiosity.

The next thing we know…

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(Forgive the onslaught of mediocre-quality iPhone 5S photos in bad lighting that you’re about to scroll through…heh…) 

In my mind, this seemed like a borderline genius and doable idea. The goal in mind was to make three hamburger patties, each stuff with a small amount of garlic mashed potatoes and a few thin slices of Cabot cheddar. In execution, it went pretty smoothly. The mashed potatoes were easy to whip up, and one average-sized potato really is enough for three patties. We divided the meat into six patties, put small divots in three of them, placed down a layer or cheese followed by potato followed by more cheese, and we topped that with an additional patty. We sealed up the sides, and voilà!

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While cooking, we estimated about 5 – 7 minutes per side per patty. However, after seven minutes, the meat had barely cooked up the sides of the patties. These babies were pretty damn thick, but we absolutely underestimated the cooking time. Upon checking doneness, a slice into the middle of one patty caused Adam to find pink meat and pink potatoes! Juice from the raw meat had seeped into the potatoes. We definitely questioned the doneness of the meat, as we couldn’t quite distinguish if it was raw or rare. We were also a little concerned that the raw meat juice that had seeped into the potatoes remained raw. I’m immunocompromised, so I didn’t want raw hamburger juice in my potato center killing’ my vibe.

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What we ended up with were burgers that were well-done on the outsides, a little too pink on the insides, and bursting at the seems with potatoes and cheese.

Taste-wise, not too shabby, but they were a hot mess, literally and figuratively.

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Time to do a Root Cause Analysis! (Because that’s the kind of stuff people with Master’s degrees do, such as myself. *groan*)

Porous and relatively liquidly mashed root vegetables tend to absorb the raw juices of any meat that it’s surround by, causing possible exposure to undercooked meats. Exposure to a more direct heat source, such as the flame below a frying pan, does not work as well to throughly cook meat as being surrounded by an indirect heat source, such as an oven, does.

Solutions?

  • Bake them in the oven next time, which may promote more throughout cooking throughout.
  • Stuff with a different preparation of potatoes, such as hash browns, potato chips, et al.
  • Make the patties as thin as possible while maintaining the integrity of said patties.

It was a gloriously delicious fail; at the time of this post, I am about 18 hours post-consumption and I am not exhibiting any signs of food poisoning. Yay!

Let’s hope that preceding statement didn’t jinx me.

Bye, Felicia!

Bye, Felicia!

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