Updated: Mar 3
Making a VEGAN SMASHBURGER like SHAKE SHACK is easy with a few simple tips!
Today we are VEGANIZING the famous Shack Burger! It's a pretty simple cheeseburger with a couple of cool components. First is that Shack Sauce! It's a pretty solid burger sauce, however I'm using the recipe from the Shack Shack book. They make the caveat that the recipes in the book are not EXACTLY like the ones in the restaurant, but "close enough" which I think is fair to be honest. That being said, when making the Shack Sauce like the book, I found it lacking in flavor, so I naturally added a few things!
The second cool component that makes a Shack Burger great is the fact that it's a SMASH BURGER! If you don't know what that means, it's literally what it sounds like! Instead of forming a patty and throwing it on the grill, we are gonna throw a ball o' meat on there, and then SMASH it with our spatula! What this does is it puts the maximum amount of meat in contact with the grill. We also want the grill or pan to be pretty dang hot, like literally smoking hot. The contact combined with the heat will give our burger a deep brown caramelized crust. The flavor and texture takes a simple burger to the next level!
In the past when I've made Smash Burgers with Beyond or Impossible, I found that the patties dry out. This is for 2 main reasons. The first is that the fat in these burgers burns off faster than the fat in animal based burgers. The second reason is because I was smashing them too thin. I would usually use 2 or 3 oz. to get that real flat burger patty. This recipe calls for 4 oz., and I smashed it so it was the same thickness as a normal 1/4 pound patty (about 1/2 inch thick). I'll repeat that (since it's important) and add some more tips below!
A few tips for SMASH BURGER SUCCESS!
Use a cast iron, or something that can handle high heat. This is necessary to achieve that golden brown crust!
Don't over heat the pan though as this can burn the burger.
Add some high smoke point oil to the pan and spread it around with your spatula.
Use 4 oz. of plant-based meat and don't smash it too thin (about 1/2 inch is good)
To smash, use a burger iron or sturdy, flat, metal spatula.
Cook for 2 minutes (or less), you should see a deep brown layer at the bottom where the patty is touching the pan, that's a good time to flip, so use your spatula to carefully, but confidently remove it from the pan and flip.
Add Vegan American cheese, a few squirts of water, and then cover to steam and melt the cheese.
Always toast your buns!
Check out the VIDEO below for a full run down!
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(adapted from the Shake Shack's Cookbook)
Makes 1 Burger with extra Sauce!
1 burger bun (potato if possible!)
4 oz. plant based meat (like Beyond or Impossible)
Roma tomato (sliced)
1 leaf of green lettuce
1 slice vegan cheese (American if possible)
1 cup vegan mayo
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 - 2 Tbsp ketchup
1 1/2 tsp pickle brine
1 tsp Worcestershire (vegan!)
Few shakes onion powder
Few shakes garlic powder
Few shakes cayenne
To make the Shack Sauce, combine everything in a bowl and refrigerate.
Next get a cast iron (or pan capable of high heat) pan up to medium heat. Brush some vegan butter or oil on your buns and then toast them until golden brown. Remove from pan and let them rest on a wire rack so they don't steam.
Next, get the pan smoking hot, add a little bit of oil to the pan, spread it around with your spatula, then add a 4 oz. ball of plant-based meat. Smash it with a sturdy metal spatula or burger iron to about 1/2 inch thick.
Cook for around 2 minutes. You can check and see if there's a deep brown crust forming where the patty is touching the pan, once you see that, use your spatula to free it from the pan. It will wanna stick, but if your cast iron is seasoned well, it'll let go with enough coaxing.
Flip the patty, add a piece of vegan cheese, squirt a few drops of water, and then cover the pan immediately to steam and melt the cheese. Cook until the cheese has melted, about 1 minute. Remove from the pan.
Dress the bottom bun with Shack Sauce, add the smashed cheeseburger, a few slices of tomato, season the tomatoes with salt and pepper, then some green lettuce, more sauce on the top bun, and ENJOY!