- The Meat. Look for top-quality meat with a high fat ratio for juicy patties with plenty of flavor. A 70/30 ratio is best. Better yet, grind your own with premium cuts of meat for maximum freshness and to customize the perfect blend. A good start is 50% brisket, 30% chuck, and 20% short rib. Don't forget to season liberally with salt and pepper before you cook 'em up!
- The Bun. Don't skimp! Go for fresh homemade if you've got baking skills, or seek out pillowy artisan buns from the most skillful baker in town (we use Slow Dough Bread Co.), preferably baked that morning. Trust us, it makes a big difference!
- The Cheese. Use high-quality cheese! Noticing a trend? Top-notch ingredients will definitely yield a top-notch burger. I love an amazing bleu cheese like a Maytag, but any flavorful, interesting favorite that melts well will do.
- The Toppings (+ Caramelized Onions) Dress it up! Creative or just plain delicious toppings will make your burgers sing. Personally, I love good caramelized onions, which are easy to do at home. Cook sliced onions in a skillet over low heat in a combination of olive oil and butter with a little salt and pepper and a lot of time. These slow-cooking sweet bundles of joy will take about 45 minutes, but they're worth it - and good on just about anything.
- The Condiments Epic condiments are a must! At Bernie's, we make them from scratch in small batches and even sell them to take home. Chipotle aioli is a customer favorite (recipe below). However, if you're buying just make sure you select the best mustard, mayonnaise, ketchup and pickles you can find to bring it all together.
Bernie's Burger Bus Chipotle Aioli
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 c. olive or canola oil
- 1 1/2 T. white vinegar
- 1 1/2 T. lemon juice
- 2 T. chipotle in adobo
- 1 t. dry mustard
- 1 T. honey
- salt and pepper to taste
Blend all ingredients except oil together. Whip at high speed (with blender or by hand) for 90 seconds. Add oil. Blend well until combined. Will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week.
RELATED: Burger so spicy it comes with a waiver
RELATED: Houston chef creates award-winning burger