Succumb to food porn with Pornburger's Bao-ser's Castle Burger
Succumb to food porn with Pornburger's Bao-ser's Castle Burger

Succumb to food porn with Pornburger’s Bao-ser’s Castle Burger

Hey baby, bring those hot buns and juicy beefcakes over here. Get your mind out of the gutter sicko – we’re talking about burgers! Because they are so much more than just a beef patty between two buns. According to San Fransisco chef, food stylist and photographer Matthew Ramsay, a burger is something deeper, spiritual and naughty, a satisfaction of one’s most carnal culinary desires. Inspired by his popular blog pornburger.me, Matthew has just released his book Pornburger, featuring 80 recipes for drool-worthy burgers accompanied by some pretty saucy recipes. We’re easing ourselves in with the White Castle-inspired Bao-ser’s Castle Burger – follow the below recipes to create your own sexy stack. Bao chicka wow wow.

THE STACK
seared slow-roasted pork belly (see below)
coriander
rice vinegar cucumber pickles (see below)
sliced spring onions
1 seared onion-soup-braised beef tongue patty (see below)
hoisin mayonnaise (see below)
1 steamed bao bun (buy from your local Asian grocery store)

Slow-roasted pork belly
INGREDIENTS 
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2  tablespoons salt flakes
1  teaspoon black pepper
900 g pork belly, skin removed

TO MAKE
Combine the brown sugar, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Rub the mixture all over the pork belly, place in a sealable container, and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 230˚C.

Remove the pork belly from the fridge and discard any liquid. Place the belly, fat side up, on a rimmed baking tray and cook for one hour.

Remove the belly from the oven and brush with any accumulated juices. Drop the oven temperature down to 130˚C and continue to cook for two more hours, brushing with juices periodically.

Remove the belly from the oven and allow to cool. For clean-cut pieces, wrap the cooled belly in plastic wrap and refrigerate before slicing into 5 mm pieces.

To serve, sear each side in a skillet over medium-high heat, about two minutes per side.

Rice vinegar cucumber pickles 
INGREDIENTS
2 Lebanese cucumbers, cut into 5 mm thick rounds
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted
1/2 cup rice vinegar
3/4 cup water
1 teaspoon Szechuan peppercorns
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt flakes

TO MAKE
Put the cucumbers, garlic and sesame seeds in a 500 ml canning jar.

Combine the vinegar, water, peppercorns, sugar and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Pour the hot brine into the canning jar and seal fingertip tight. Allow to cool, then refrigerate for at least 12 hours before serving. They will keep for up to two weeks.

Onion-soup-braised beef tongue patties
INGREDIENTS
1.3 kg fresh beef tongue
2 litres beef stock
4 onions, sliced
2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon salt flakes, plus more for seasoning
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
extra-virgin olive oil, for searing
black pepper

TO MAKE
Run the tongue under cold water to rinse. Transfer the tongue to a large pot and add the beef stock, onions, celery, garlic, bay leaf, sugar, salt and peppercorns. Bring the pot to a gentle simmer, cover and cook for three hours. The tongue is done when the outer layer of skin is easily removed and the meat is fork tender. If it’s not done after three hours, simmer for another 30 minutes. Allow the tongue to cool slightly on a cutting board until you can handle it with your bare mitts. Peel off all of the outer skin and remove any extraneous fat. Slice the tongue horizontally into 8 mm thick slabs and then cut into slider-size squares, roughly 5 x 5 cm.

Preheat a cast-iron pan with a drizzle of olive oil over medium-high heat. Cook each cut of tongue for about one minute on each side, or until you get a good sear. Season the tongue with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.

Onion-soup-braised beef tongue patties
INGREDIENTS
4 egg yolks
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt flakes
3 cups safflower oil
2  tablespoons hoisin sauce

TO MAKE
Combine the yolks, vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, cayenne and salt in a stand mixer bowl and mix with the whisk attachment on a medium speed until combined. Keep the mixer on the same speed and add a few drops of oil at the time, waiting for all the oil to be incorporated before adding more. When the mixture begins to thicken and emulsify, you can start adding a more constant, but thin, steam of oil. Continue until all of the oil has emulsified. You can store the mayonnaise airtight in a refrigerator for up to three weeks – this recipe makes about three cups.

For the hoisin mayonnaise, stir 1/2 cup of the mayo with the hoisin until both ingredients are fully incorporated. Store airtight in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Images and recipes from Pornburger by Matthew Ramsey. Published by Murdoch Books.  

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