Shake Shack, the popular, fast- growing burger chain, has just released a cookbook, and, yes, it includes directions for preparing its signature burger.
Well, sort of.
In Shake Shack: Recipes & Stories (Clarkson Potter, $26), authors Randy Garutti and Mark Rosati (the company’s chief executive officer and culinary director, respectively), in collaboration with James Beard award-winning editor Dorothy Kalins, offer a reasonable home-cook facsimile of the famous ShackBurger, along with nearly 70 recipes that approximate Shake Shack classics, including crinkle fries, corn dogs, the Chick’n Shack sandwich and frozen custard shakes.
The “stories” side of the book tells tales of Shake Shack history, profiles key collaborators and suppliers, discusses methodologies, provides recipe-related commentary and illuminates the company’s key- to- success business practices. Anyone
with an interest in all-American fare will find it helpful and readable.
When it comes to preparing the burger, here are a few notes: Shake Shack prefers potato rolls from Martin’s Famous Pastry Shoppe in Chambersburg, Pa. Unfortunately, the mega- bakery
doesn’t supply supermarkets nationwide with its milk- and potato-enriched buns. However, any potato-based roll will work.
The Shake Shack’s exact beef formula — created by butcher Pat LaFrieda — isn’t revealed, but the book does say the formula follows a mix of brisket, chuck and short rib (the percentages aren’t mentioned). The beef is fresh, not frozen, and it’s all-natural An-
gus, raised without hormones or antibiotics.
For home cooks with a meat grinder (or a friendly butcher), here’s the recommendation: Cut the meat into small pieces, and chill the beef; do not bring it to room temperature. On the first grind, use the coarse plate, and on the second grind, use a finer plate.
ShakeShack prefers Roma tomatoes because “they are firm enough to hold their shape and color and add a sweet note to balance the salty crust of the burger,” the authors say.
And why American cheese? “It is quite simply the creamiest, meltingest cheese there is, bringing its special tang to a cheeseburger,” they say. “Buy it sliced; it’s easier to drape on a hot burger.” — Rick Nelson (Star Tribune/ TNS)-