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The Perfect Hamburger


Watching a Ravens game is very much a sacred ritual for me. I have to have my man cave set up just right.  I have to have the right beverage and of course, I have to have the right food. So of course several times a season I fix up some hamburgers for the crowd. They're usually pretty good, and nobody complains. I told Chef Jerry Pellegrino that I could be doing better. So he came up with just a few simple hints that should really help.

Fat Content:  70/30 for burgers medium rare to medium well.  More fat for well done, less for rare

The Grind: it should be twice ground through a medium blade

The Blend: you want to use both lean muscle and fatty muscle.

Lean: chuck, round or brisket

Fatty: short rib or bacon

Shaping : it’s good to get a patty press. And let the burger fit the size of the bun, neither too small nor too big.

Cooking : grilling or cast iron skillet

Turning:  flip the burger no more than four times, and do not press down.

Serving up:  put a leaf of lettuce face up on the bottom bun. Put the burger on top of it. This keeps the burger juice from leaking into the bun, where it loses flavor.

-Al Spoler 

Al Spoler, well known to WYPR listeners as the wine-loving co-host of "Cellar Notes" has had a long-standing parallel interest in cooking as well. Al has said, the moment he started getting serious about Sunday night dinners was the same moment he started getting serious about wine. Over the years, he has benefited greatly from being a member of the Cork and Fork Society of Baltimore, a gentlemen's dining club that serves black tie meals cooked by the members themselves who are some of Baltimore's most accomplished amateur cooks.
Executive Chef Jerry Pellegrino of Corks restaurant is fascinated by food and wine, and the way they work in harmony on the palate. His understanding of the two goes all the way to the molecular level, drawing on his advanced education in molecular biology. His cuisine is simple and surprising, pairing unexpected ingredients together to work with Corks' extensive wine offerings.