In LA Umami Burger has changed the landscape of the burger with their savory blend of quality meat, gourmet toppings and soft buttery buns. Haute couture of the basic burger, upgraded to satiate the most mature taste buds.
The wiki definition of Umami /uːˈmɑːmi/, popularly referred to as savoriness, is one of the five basic tastes together with sweet, sour, bitter, and salty. Umami is a loanword from the Japanese umami (うま味?) meaning "pleasant savory taste".
So with that in mind we've started a tradition of making our own Umami burgers at home. So far we've delighted in a Hawaiian burger, Truffle burger, California burger and our favorite, the Manly consisting of homemade cheese sauce and crispy panchetta/onion toppings. It is SO good!
Here how to do it:
First I started with meat from Trader Joe's because I like there grass fed blend (fat is 85/15% blend). You can buy them already in patty form. I like to salt & pepper them before throwing on BBQ.
Get a pan heating with olive oil & butter to which you add chopped red onions. The goal is to caramelize them so have the heat on medium and keep them moving around the pan. After about 5 minutes add chopped panchetta.
In a saucepan make a rue (equal amounts of melted butter & flour). Whisk them together until the color deepens to a golden brown making sure that you don't burn it, whisk whisk whisk! Then add to that some 1/2 & 1/2 or milk, about a quarter of a cup at a time while also adding grated cheddar. The cheese we used was a sharp cheddar that I actually didn't like the flavor of on its own but it lended itself amazingly to a cheese sauce. Keep stirring those together till you get your desired amount, adding more of each as you see needed. You'll want a little less than a quarter of a cup for each burger.
When the burgers are almost finished throw your BUTTERED buns on the grill to infuse more of the BBQ flavor into the burger and warm them up.
This burger is so full of flavor that the only thing I added was some wasabi mayo on the bottom bun then put the burger on, then a heaping spoonfull of the now crispy panchetta/onion mixture then top it with the cheese sauce then top bun and you're in business!
Serve with crudite or salad!