Recipe: the explosively juicy burger from The Harbord Room’s Cory Vitiello
By Cory Vitiello
The Harbord Room
PREP TIME: 15 minutes
COOK TIME: 8 minutes
Makes 8 burgers and 3 cups of aïoli
4 fresh large egg yolks
2 tbsp each grainy mustard, lemon juice and sherry vinegar
1 tbsp each thyme leaves and kosher salt
6 garlic cloves, chopped
2 cups canola oil
¾ cup olive oil
3 lbs ground beef brisket
2 tsp salt and freshly ground black pepper
8–16 slices aged cheddar
8 fresh, soft but sturdy buns or large brioche buns
1. Place all aïoli ingredients except oils in a food processor. Whirl until mixed. While machine is running, slowly pour in both oils until emulsified. Add salt and pepper to taste.
2. Just before cooking patties, place meat in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Using your hands, mix just until combined, then loosely form into 8 patties.
3. Coat a cast iron pan or skillet with a little oil and set over medium-high. Cook 4 patties until browned, about 4 minutes, then flip. Top with cheese. Continue cooking for 4 more minutes (for medium-rare) until browned. Repeat with remaining patties. Serve on buns with aïoli.
A meat grinder yields the freshest results. Use a hand-cranked stainless steel large dice grinder and grind a second time to remove any sinew.
THE HARBORD ROOM
Cory Vitiello began his culinary adventures as a 16-year-old running a catering business out of his parents’ kitchen in Brantford. He eventually trained at the Stratford Chefs School before moving to Toronto to apprentice at Scaramouche. As the chef-owner of the Annex’s pink-painted Harbord Room, Vitiello creates the kind of food that tickles his own palate. A burger, as it happens, is the dish he always orders when he dines out alone. His much-lauded version—juicy, easy to make and zinged with aïoli—beat out 24 competitors when Toronto Life published a burger face-off in spring 2012.