When I bring George Motz over the line the first thing I do is hit him with his hot take – that the best burgers in the world are found in Ireland. He looks puzzled — we’re talking Zoom, so I’m looking at a screen in his New York living room — and asks: “Why would you say that?”
To be fair, that’s a big statement for Emmy-award-winning filmmaker and TV personality Motz, who has been called the world’s ‘most prominent authority on hamburgers. the new York Times,
He has made documentaries about the history of burgers and a whole series of burger-themed TV shows; He has written books on burger culture, and toured the world looking at regional variations on burgers. So when it comes to this fast-food staple, this guy doesn’t know much. But when I reach the end of my argument, he looks surprised and says: “Yeah, you’re right.”
Here’s my theory. The hamburger is a European dish that is exported and perfected in the Americas, and confusingly, is made not with ham but with beef. But beef in America is not the same as beef in Ireland. In the US, most beef is made from grain, which produces a different—and many would say—lower product than grass-fed beef.
Ireland has one of the best climates in the world for beef production and therefore there is a strong argument that high quality Irish beef is the best in the world. Yes, the Japanese have Wagyu and the Argentines have many more breeds of cattle than we do, but if you go to a high-end American steakhouse, you’ll find that a premium is charged for grass-fed beef. . Here it is the norm, so a properly made burger with Irish beef has a good claim to be the best in the world.
“Irish beef is fantastic because you guys care about your raw ingredients. You have a deep understanding of the true agricultural model, I think – unfortunately better than in the United States. We have great beef here but the problem is this That it’s expensive and a lot of hamburger places don’t consider hamburgers to be something people would spend money on,” Motz says.
When Motz talks about a good quality hamburger, he is not talking about the kind sold at fast-food joints. He’s talking about the real thing, what kind of burger comes to mind when you imagine the perfect burger. What does he consider that perfect burger?
“Undoubtedly, a good burger is made from nothing more than beef, a bun, and maybe one or two other ingredients. That’s it. Simplicity is the key. People make a big mistake when they stack a lot of different materials.
“All those ingredients and extra spices have to compete with each other. If you understand the scientific balance in food you can get away with it, but most people don’t. That’s why I always sway people on the side of simplicity. I tell you to make a mistake, and your burger will always be a success.”
Motz will share his secrets to success – and serve up his iconic ‘Smash Burger’ – this week in Dublin. It is the final stop of the Georg Motz Pop-Up World Tour, which also visited London, Paris and Copenhagen.
She is being brought to Dublin by independent burger joint Dash Burger, which has two locations in Dublin. It describes its ‘crunchy, caramelized smash burger’ as something directly inspired by Motz’s heritage. But just what is a smash burger and how is it different from the average burger Irish punters are familiar with?
“Some people think a smash burger is a trendy new thing but it’s actually a Native American hamburger. The smash burger existed before any other burger because, in the beginning, the hamburger was actually a meatball or a ball of ground beef.
“We’re talking around the turn of the 20th century—1910 to 1930. There were no patty formers or buns or anything. To make a beef patty, you really had to break a meatball flat. And so on with the Smash Burger. was borned.”
At that time, burgers were cooked in a frying pan and as they cooked, the fat in the burgers naturally evaporated. But because it had nowhere to go, it stayed in the pan and as more burgers cooked, grease would accumulate in the pan.
“The Native American hamburger method was to simply place meatballs in these frying pans and then pound them down to form patties that were basically deep-frying in beef fat. But then invented to hold the grease on a flat-top cooking surface Gaya is the one that allowed the grease to run, and that changed everything. Now, you had burger chefs breaking patties on flat tops and getting a crunchy edge on their burgers — and that was the American hamburger.
So what changed? Why was the Smash Burger overtaken by the typical hamburger served by McDonald’s, Burger King, and countless chip and burger vans around the world? The answer is commoditization.
“When fast food was invented and then the franchise took out, the way cooking changed. They had to find a way to cook burgers more efficiently and faster, and break down burgers more in order to cook them faster. Did not fall
“Unfortunately, American fast-food culture spread around the world faster than the original cuisine on which it was based. The downside is that places like Ireland didn’t get to see beautiful cheeses that were an authentic, properly made The Gaya Burger is a rather watered-down, commoditized and cheesy fast-food version.
Motz argues that places like Ireland got to phase two of burger culture without actually coming into contact with phase one, and is trying to rectify that wrong by sharing authentic burger culture wherever he goes.
“The original burger was a beautiful food item, made with love and with the freshest ingredients in mom-and-pop-type establishments. But the version the U.S. exported was mass-produced, deep-frozen, and a low version, which still stands today.
“There’s a place for McDonald’s, for Burger King and Wendy’s, they’re very popular and they make a lot of money, but it’s important that people realize there’s a better burger out there.”
The George Motz Pop-Up World Tour takes place on Thursday, May 19 at Urban Brewing, Dublin 1. Tickets cost €20 plus booking fee and include a burger and drink. View Dashburger.ie