Intro: Zombie Burgers!
When you're in need of a fix of braaaains (or just a big pile of good-tasting meat), Zombie Burgers are the way to go. Made from a special blend of meats, sauces, cheese, and what-have-you, Zombie Burgers will fill you up for hours of shoot-for-the-head action.
Step 1: Ingredients
For this amazingly unforgettable recipe, you'll need:
(in no particular order)
Bread (potato works best, hamburger buns are too small)
"Boring" barbecue sauce
"Exciting" barbecue sauce (I'll get into these two)
Sharp/ Extra Sharp cheddar cheese (8 oz)
A medium-large bowl
Whole lotta paper towels.
Vanilla (cinnamon, oil and vanilla make the best bacon ever)
Ability to play with fire safely
Ability to cook (to some extent)
Not be squeamish when mushing up ground beef
A strong will to not eat up all the bacon before it's cooking time
Step 2: Cinnamon Vanilla Fried Bacon
As we all know, Bacon is the best thing ever invented. It serves our primal instinct to domesticate animals for the sole purpose of eating parts of them. Bacon affects a certain portion of the population (namely, males) in a way that cannot be described. The smell of bacon can cheer up a depressed person, and the feeling of biting into a crisp strip is rivaled by few other experiences in life.
For this step, you'll need four strips of bacon, cut into "chips" about 3/4" across.
I find the easiest way to do this is to lay the bacon strips on top of each other and cut all four at once.
You don't really have to pull them apart, just throw them into a COOL frying pan and turn the burner on high. If you have an electric stove, you're going to have to improvise.
Stir the bacon with a wooden spoon or tongs, until smoke/steam starts coming out.
Once that happens, pour in your cooking oil, just enough to cover the bottom of the pan, then add a few more swigs. Stir frequently, and add in about three shakes of cinnamon (from the spout with the holes)
Your kitchen should start smelling pretty damn good by now, so pour in a bit more oil to coat the bacon, but NOT drown it.
Next up is the vanilla. pour in about a half a shot glass' worth of vanilla extract (really, it's a matter of taste, and most of the vanilla gets burnt off, so do whatever you feel like), and get ready with the wooden spoon to stir FAST. the vanilla's going to want to burn up, so stir it quickly.
The bacon's done when it starts to look like Cinnamon Toast Crunch. look at the pictures to see what I mean.
Drain your oil into an appropriate container, and set your bacon on a paper towel.
IMPORTANT. LET YOUR FRYING PAN COOL A LITTLE, BUT WASH IT ASAP.
By the way, your kitchen will smell like this for days, and it is the most amazing thing to wake up to in the morning.
Step 3: Meat, Sauce, Braaaaaaaains.
I personally love ground beef. It can be incorporated into almost any dish, is inexpensive, tastes good, and is therefore a versatile meat. Having the appearance (and apparent consistency) of brains led me to name this adventure of the taste buds, and is a favorite among my friends.
Open your package of Brains, and (using your hand) scoop about half of it into the bowl.
Now, your sauces. Zombie Burgers require three types of sauces:
Ketchup, which is easy enough.
"Boring" Barbecue Sauce, which is the kind you got with chicken nuggets in high school. It's dark brown and doesn't really smell like anything, but tastes like barbecue sauce.
"Exciting" Barbecue Sauce. This is mainly a regional thing. I'm an upstate New Yorker, so my Exciting of choice is Dinosaur Barbecue sauce, but you can use whatever you want, as long as it:
Looks tasty, and isn't just one solid color. chunky is better.
Is spicy as all hell, and burns your eyes when you get too close.
Okay, so with your half pound of brain in the bowl, add in a bit of ketchup, a blob maybe the size of your thumb (Seriously, you should never measure things unless you're baking. this whole recipe uses eyeballs).
The Exciting should be about 2-3 times as much as the ketchup, and the boring about 2 times.
On top of that, throw on half of the meat you have left (~1/4 pound). Wash your hands well, and make SURE you don't have any open cuts, because the exciting sauce is spicy.
With your hands, squish the whole mess together until it's all the same color, then add the rest of the meat and repeat. move the bowl to the side, wash your hands, cap the bottles, and clean up your mess so far.
Step 4: Chop Chop, That's GRATE!
Cheese, Cheese, Cheese. What's a burger without cheese? well, technically, it's still a burger, but a tree is still a tree even if it's dead and on its side, or a battery's still a battery even if it has no power in it. What I'm trying to say is that cheese is a necessary component in burgers. Every burger but one (the standard dollar-menu hamburger) at any given fast food restaurant has cheese on it, and the more cheddar, the more better.
Start by shredding about 3/4 of your cheese. save the rest for later. Take amusing pictures with the cheese. Tell it to say itself.
Pour the cheese on top of the meat.
Pepperoni isn't totally necessary, but it adds a little bit of spicy peppery flavor, and I can't say no.
Take a stack of pepperoni (about 15-20) Chop the stack into quarters, and into the bowl they go.
Add the bacon, if you have any left from picking at it the whole time (I know you were, don't lie)
Mix it all up like before, until you get the consistency of... Raw hamburger with bacon in it. The cheese absorbs some of the sauce, and the final consistency is about what you started with.
Step 5: Circle Circle Dot Dot
Keep mixing the concoction. Wash your hands. Lay down some parchment paper (or just have a really clean countertop).
Grab a handful of the blobby meat blob, and plop it onto whatever your rolling surface is.
Push down and flatten it out, to about the thickness of your hand. Perfection isn't important here.
Grab your saucer, it should be roughly the size of a slice of bread. If not, go smaller (but not TOO small). Put the saucer in the middle of your meat pancake and push down hard. The ground beef has a tendency to be flatulent at this stage and is quite enjoyable. With one hand on the saucer, trace a finger around the outside, separating the saucer from the meat. you might have bacon or pepperoni sticking out, but it's cool. the hard part here is lifting the saucer up, because you pushed out all the air, too. You'll get it, though.
Finally, re-form the edges of your burger patty, and "rounden" the whole thing up. 4 inches is a good diameter for a patty.
Step 6: Meat Into Burger
For some reason, the sound and smell of ground beef being chemically transformed into a hamburger makes me extremely happy, and makes me forget about all the things I have to worry about. This is totally no exception to this rule. Add the smell of cooking Zombie Burger to the smell of Cinnamon Vanilla Fried Bacon, and I'm in heaven.
You have a burger patty now. Your frying pan should be cool, as before. Pick up the patty and put it in the pan. This is the hardest part. Turn on the gas to full. (light it, duh) Watch your burger. when it starts to have those first few tendrils of smoke, shake the pan, move it around, get your burger in its own juices. Now comes the hardest part. Walk away. Go in the other room for a minute or two. (But don't start playing Paper Mario or something. just read an instructable. or skim one, if you're impatient) Get your spatula and flip it. The bottom should be blackened in a broken ring around the outside, with black spots in the middle.
This time, don't leave the room. Get your three slices of bread out (2 for the bottom, one for the top), get your plate, a drink, whatever.
The top of your burger should only have black spots. and few.
Spatula that baby onto your bread. Shred some cheese right onto the top, add a ring of ketchup, and garnish with a slice of pepperoni.
Celebrate your achievement.
Step 7: Enjoy.
Your Zombie Burger should be very crispy on the outside (seared) and extremely juicy on the inside. A bit spicy, but you can pick up on the cinnamon vanilla bacon. It really is a bouquet of flavors, textures, and pure amazing wrapped up into a single bun. or three pieces of bread, rather. Feel free to use this recipe at your next family cookout, for work, or even as a midnight snack.
As an added bonus, the Zombie Burger Mix, if stored in an airtight container, can stay in your refrigerator for up to two weeks, but should NEVER EVER be frozen. Freezing messes up all the sauces and the cheeses and the fats and oils, and when you thaw it out, you get a stratified glob of protein mass. Not appetizing.
Long story short, Have fun, Eat well, and prepare yourself for the coming Zombpocalypse.