For the better part of three months, I have been a vegan.. What started out as a quest to make the perfect cheeseburger, left me vegan and now eating these sort of things...
Without doing a book report about it, there are two major "plant based meat" companies that are extremely well funded and trying to create a synthetic ground beef.. The beyond burger and the impossible burger.. While Beyond has been relatively accessible, impossible burger has been extremely limited.. I believe Momofuku was the first restaurant, then this horrific burger chain called Bareburger was one of the first places one could go and eat one of these burgers at an approachable price point. Unfortunately, the two times I went to bareburger, they cooked the shit out of the burger and it was rendered tasteless and dry..
Within the last week, i received an email stating that Pat Lafrieda will be distributing this item.. I was also told that Sysco and Chef's Warehouse will now be distributing the Impossible Burger.. Super excited, i ordered a sample in order to see what was doing..
I was given them in preformed patties.
They certainly looked real enough.. And the initial raw taste, well, I think I actually like it better than when it's cooked.. Not that it's bad when it's cooked but, the umami, the mushroom, the richness sort of fades away once it is cooked.. My next attempt with be a tartare of some sort.. The texture, the taste, it is all much more like beef when it is raw, as opposed to being cooked..
I turned on my griddle and threw down some oil and onions in order to give it some onion taste and some steam...
This was the patty taken off the griddle
Simply dressed, i wanted to taste the flavor..
Unfortunately, i over cooked it and it was rather dry the flavor muted.
My next idea was to do the smash burger method.. However, I kept it thicker and made it a square shape.. I cooked it at a higher temp with less time.. I built the char and kept it medium rare in the center..
Got the char on the one side and moderate on the other..
Since I am vegan, i didn't add cheese.. I added a spicy hummus, raw onions, tomato and arugula. But, impossible burger definitely needs accouterments.. I think a spicy carrot hummus would be ideal.
As you can see, it has a medium rare texture and more of the taste.. Still not as much as when it was raw.. But, certainly a satisfying sandwich... The first time I ate a veggie burger in a long time and didn't feel like I was eating a poor version of a falafel.
All in all, i was very impressed.. Again, the fondest memory of meat I had was when I ate it raw.. I will most likely make a tartar tonight.. to serve it on crostini, it's exciting to think about.. To have a hot fresh sandwich alternative as a vegan, it's also exciting.. It blows morning star and all of the pre-frozen patties out of the water..
With just two passes at it, I am excited to see how else it can be improved upon or what it can be turned into.. Meatballs sound good, so do a few other ideas... Looking forward to adding soy sauce and cumin or curry, or a whole host of spices and toppings to the sandwich..