Burger recipe: I call it the James May Burger

It was inspired by James May and Cursed Beans. And it tasted brilliant!

27w ago

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It was inspired by James May and Cursed Beans. And it tasted brilliant!

I was very excited as I laid out the ingredients on the kitchen island to prepare our dinner. The theme of many a meal in our home since the COVID-19 apocalypse started has been to make what we can with what we find in our fridge, freezer, and pantry. My wife had dug up a can of baked beans. A plan formed in my head.

Ignore the vegetarian aspect of these beans. I fix that!

Ignore the vegetarian aspect of these beans. I fix that!

So far I've stuffed burgers with cheese and Spam. But what if there was a better ingredient to stuff in a cheeseburger? There is, of course: THE BEANS! I started with a pound of ground beef, garlic salt, fresh ground pepper, and crushed red pepper. This was all mixed by hand and portioned out to be formed into burger patties.

The parts of the James May Burger gathered together

The parts of the James May Burger gathered together

I pressed some of the meat into the lower half of a burger press to form a shallow bowl. Of course, this was to hold the awesome beans that would be hidden away inside of the patties, which I spooned into the meat bowl. A cap of meat was laid over the top and each patty was formed up for cooking.

At this point I was wondering if I was flying too close to the sun. The patties were a bit loose in texture and seemed to want to fall apart. But I carefully handled them and managed to get them into vacuum sealer bags to be sealed up for immersion cooking (sous vide).

Ground beef waiting for beans!

Ground beef waiting for beans!

Is this not a beautiful sight!?

Is this not a beautiful sight!?

Formed up into patties...

Formed up into patties...

...and then sealed up for immersion cooking!

...and then sealed up for immersion cooking!

Cooking The James May Burger, or any stuffed burger for that manner, is made easier when using the immersion cooking method. Sealing the burger patties up in the vacuum bags helps form them and makes sure they hold their shape during cooking. Cooking them with the water immersion method also allows the meat to firm up around your filler ingredient as it cooks, ensuring that there will be minimal to zero leakage on the grill. My burgers went into a 140°F water bath for one hour before being transferred to the grill for finishing (and cheese).

The water bath is hot!

The water bath is hot!

Onto the grill for finishing

Onto the grill for finishing

So how was The James May Burger? Messy. Very messy! Not because of the beans stuffed inside, but because of the load of toppings I piled on top. Oh, and there were pickle slices in that pile of toppings!

The flavors of the burger patties were perfect; beefiness with a hint of saltiness, and then the sweet flavor of baked beans upon that second, deeper bite into the patty. The mayo, ketchup, mustard, and pickle slices added that nice little bit of tanginess that I like on a burger. And of course, there was melted cheese. Beautiful melted cheese on a beautiful burger patty filled with baked beans. I felt brilliant. I pimped a burger. With beans.

The James May Burger, loaded with toppings

The James May Burger, loaded with toppings

If you couldn't tell, this beast was a mess.

If you couldn't tell, this beast was a mess.

Beans in The James May Burger

Beans in The James May Burger

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Comments (15)

  • Outstanding, Battersby.

      6 months ago
  • That is interesting. I would try it through

      6 months ago
    • It was actually pretty good! The flavors went very well together.

        6 months ago
  • I would definitely want one of those right about now, James May burger or not.

      6 months ago
  • I might have to try that

      6 months ago
  • I don't know whether to be amazed or horrified. Mostly the first one. I'd definitely try it.

      6 months ago
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