I surprised Melissa with a trip to New York for her birthday. It was mostly a foodie trip, taking in the sights and smells of Lower Manhattan with notable visits to some of the Momofuku-family: Ssam Bar, Booker and Dax, and Milk Bar, the beautiful West Village restaurant August, taking a pilgrimage of sorts to Sullivan Street Bakery (whose pizza recipes we've featured on this very site), Bouchon Bakery, and a couple very good old fashioneds at the famous jazz club The Village Vanguard. One of the highlights of course was the Madison Square Park mainstay Shake Shack. After all the food we ate over the long weekend, the thought that we couldn't shake (cough cough) were the fries and burgers we ate under a clear blue sky in the shade of a tree. I'm sure the specially-brewed Brooklyn Brewery ShackMeister Ale helped.
With the help of this article on Serious Eats I was able to recreate the burger with great results. While the author of the article calls for a specific blend of meat to be ground for the patty, I just grabbed a pound of 90% Lean Ground Sirloin instead of the custom mix. Most of the Shake Shack flavor is in the sauce anyway, so I don't think you'll really notice, but feel free to comment and convince me otherwise.
Sauce1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
4 slices kosher dill pickle (I used on whole pickle quarter)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
Pinch cayenne pepper
Combine all ingredients into a food processor and blend thoroughly. Set aside.
Roll the ground sirloin into two inch thick pucks. Place the four pucks on a plate and season the top side with salt and pepper. Put the oil on the pan by rubbing it in with a paper towel (The key to a good brown crust is to use only as little oil as needed). On medium-high heat, place the one of the pucks on the pan, seasoning side down. Salt and pepper the other side of the patty, the one facing you now.
Take a spatula and place it on the puck and firmly push down (You can use another spatula or spoon for leverage) so that the puck spreads out into a proper burger size. Depending on the size of your pan, you may need to cook in batches.
Brown the patty on one side, cooking about two to three minutes, and flip it over, cooking an additional two to three minutes. Melt one cheese slice on each burger patty.
Buns and Assembly
Slice the buns in half but not all the way through. Brush melted butter on each side, and toast or broil so that they have a nice browned surface.
Apply ample amounts of the Shake Sauce to the roll's toasted surface. Place the lettuce, tomatoes and cooked patties on the roll. Serve with french fries, preferably crinkle cut for that authentic Shake Shack Feeling. I even covered a small Amazon box in wax paper to serve them outside in our yard.