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Grillin' and Chillin': Smashing Memphis and Murray State with smash burgers

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The Rebs left the yard three times in Memphis on Tuesday, so we followed up with Handy Andy-inspired smash burgers on Wednesday night against Murray State.

POP QUIZ! You cannot use Wikipedia, Google Maps or phone a friend.

1) Where is Memphis?

Ok maybe this one is a bit too easy considering it's the biggest city hub closest to Oxford and with the upcoming NFL Draft you are probably reminded of the utter embarrassment Ole Miss suffered this past football season at the hands of Paxton Lynch. Well the Diamondbearz made a point to not let the Memphis hangover affect them on Tuesday night, completing the series sweep against the Tigers with a 7-0 win at AutoZone Park. The Rebs blasted the Tigers with 10 hits, including a dinger each by Will Golsan, Michael Fitzsimmons (BACK-2-BACK, lol Bama umad?) and Colby Bortles. You can throw all your accolades for the Memphis goose-egg to James McArthur and Brady "The Human Torch" Feigl as the dynamic duo held the Tigers to six hits while striking out ten.

2) Where is Murray State?

Ummmm, Murraysboro, Tennesseee? NOPE! That's Murfreesboro you dumb goof. Here's a hint... their mascot is the Racers. Well there are tons of things you can race. Buses, jet skis, motorcycles, cars... something with a motor. A suburb of Detroit? WRONG again! They race HORSES, thus they are from somewhere in Kentucky. Why not just call them the Murray State Coopers (Educational Moment: a cooper is ax expert in wooden barrel making)? Making barrels for bourbon is all Kentucky is good for anyway amirite? The Rebs notched their second straight double-digit hit game as Ole Miss cruised past the Racers 8-3 on Wednesday night.

Swayze Swag levels

RISING

James "Big Tex" McArthur: Big Tex Mac Daddy keeps looking better and better as he went seven complete innings with seven strikeouts and only four hits. McArthur's seven innings were a career-high while his seven Ks also tied a career-high. It's really exciting to see another consistent outing by Big Tex and I expect he'll get consideration for next season's weekend rotation. Hell, he could even make a push for this season.

Tate "Tater aka Tater Salad aka Taternator" Blackman: Home boy has reached base in 23 of his last 24 games. While his glove is still a bit shaky at times, you can't take his keen eye and hot bat out of the lineup. He leads the team with 44 hits and is second on the team with a .328 average.

HOLDING STEADY

The Rebels bats: So we lit up Memphis and Murray State's pitchers. Does that mean anything at all? Not really IMHO. It just shows how much the SEC is an entirely different level of competition compared to some of our midweek competition. How else do you go from the offensive dumpster fire we saw this past weekend to semi batting practice during the midweek? The only starter to not record a base against Murray State was J.B. Woodman, who went 2-for-4 the night previous.

FALLING

Ray Alejo: Ray-Ray had two at-bats this midweek and went oh-for. SHAME. No not really, but the freshman still doesn't have a base hit on the season. WE BELIEVE IN YOU RAY-RAY!

GRILLIN' AND CHILLIN'

It all started with this video that I happened upon yesterday morning.

This made me crave a Five Guys burger. I must confess, I've always looked down upon the thin, diner style burger. Why eat a greasy quarter-pounder when I can make a 6-8 oz burger from quality cuts of meat? Well the short answer is Handy Andy. While I'm not a fan of their pulled pork (if you rely on your sauce to make and save your pork sammich, you're doing it wrong), their burgers are on point. I swung by Handy Andy yesterday to ask a connection of mine what their secret was to a divine greasy spoon-style burger.

His answer?

  1. No oil/grease needed, let the burger's fat do the work.
  2. Squish the burger super thin when you put it on the flat top. It will shrink in a bit.
  3. After you flip, grill the second side a bit shorter. The burger's already cooked, you just want that brown crispy goodness.
Here's my take, enjoy!

Handy Andy smash-style burgers

  • 2 lbs of beef, half 80/20, half 73/27
  • American cheese
  • white bread buns, butter for browning
  • thinly-sliced onion
  • lettuce
  • ketchup and mustard
  • salt and pepper
I thought a mixture of a semi-fatty and extra-fatty beef would serve me best. After mixing, roll a quarter pound (4 oz.) into a small ball. Do not flatten into patties. As a side note, if you plan on working with meat for the rest of your life, invest in a digital scale, it will change your life.


Upon arrival at Swayze, I fired up the grill and heated up the cast iron skillet for toasting my buns. Pop in some butter and toast middle side of each bun on the skillet. Smoosh the buns with a plate.


Once your buns are toasted, turn up the heat on your grill for the burgers. I personally added some bacon grease to the skillet but I'd wager the patties would be just fine without. it. Place your balls of meat in the skillet but don't crowd them. With each ball, smash each with a non-slotted spatula to about 1/4" to 1/2" thickness. I'm generally a staunch opponent of smooshing a burger, but this brand of beef requires it. Season each side with salt and pepper. As sweet as it would have been, my Ole Miss spatula did NOT leave an Ole Miss engraving on the burgers.


Grill your burgers for about 4-5 minutes on the first side, ensuring there is a brown crispy texture before you flip them. Don't worry about them being cooked through; with the thin patties you are working with, they will be fine. Cook them for about 2-3 minutes after flipping, again ensuring brown crispy goodness.


Once they are near finished, slap some American cheese on there for the final minute so that you reach pure cheesy, bubbly nirvana. Assemble your buns with all the fixin's and grab a napkin because your first bite will assuredly result in some greasy drippings.


Have you ever cooked a super thin diner style burger? I'm always looking for tips in the comments.

Next up

The Rebs host a sub-.500 Auburn ball club this weekend that will surely be jammed packed thanks to the Double Decker festivities. If you haven't made plans to be in Oxford this weekend, you might want to rethink your plans because the weather will be beautiful and the Diamondbearz should (!!!) sweep the conference cellar dwelling Tigers. With a sweep of Auburn, the Rebs would be two games over .500 in SEC play (10-8) heading into a final month that includes LSU, UGA (meh), Kentucky and A&M. There's still lots of room for Ole Miss to prove they are a legitimate candidate for a host site or at least a strong two-seed in a non-national seed's regional. Time will tell. See y'all at Swayze!