Burger, the trend of the hour

When Simon de l'Est has a project, he doesn't do it halfway.

Burger, the trend of the hour

When Simon de l'Est has a project, he doesn't do it halfway. In a few months, with the ambition of becoming nothing less than THE benchmark for burgers in Quebec, he launched the trendiest canteen of the moment, Chez Simon urban canteen, and now he is publishing a book of tempting recipes on the about this iconic American dish called Burger.

It must be said that Simon de l'Est, alias Simon Jodoin-Bouchard, has long since earned all his stripes as international champion of cooking on the grill. After making a name for himself by winning barbecue competitions in Canada and the United States, having founded his own line of condiments S.J.B. BBQ, then created the Burger Québec Facebook page, he was always hungry for new challenges.

"In life, it's not complicated, I do everything on a whim. When I wanted to buy a restaurant, not just any restaurant, that one, two weeks later it was done,” he says.

Opened in the midst of a pandemic, the Chez Simon canteen quickly became the talk of the town and people come back to line up for its smash burgers, from as far away as Dolbeau or Chibougamau. But why this success? " I do not know. It's good," Simon said.

With the collaboration of his friend François Couture, with whom he had written his first book, Le BBQ pour les Nuls Édition Québec, in 2018, Simon embarked on writing Burger, with the passion he puts into all his projects. “It was in the middle of the summer rush, when we were short of staff in the canteen. You could say that I wrote this between two burgers! It was quite a challenge. This project was close to my heart. »

A host of recipes

In addition to revealing (almost!) the sauce recipe from the Chez Simon canteen, his book contains a host of burger recipes, each more exciting than the next. Based on pork, lamb, beef, chicken or even veggie, there are different versions of the popular American sandwich on an international scale. “These are my recipes, but the burger is picked up all over the world. Even in Pakistan there are street burgers, everyone has their version of the burger. »

Simon de l'Est presents the current trend in terms of burgers, the smash burger, with a patty flattened on the plate. He reveals some of his secrets, such as the recipe for "the softest potato bread in the world", as well as several recipes for sauces and condiments, supplemented by cocktail suggestions.

We bet that after reading his book, you will have two choices: light the barbecue or run to Tétreaultville to order a smash burger at the Chez Simon canteen.

With the growing interest in barbecue and smoker cooking, the burger is more popular than ever, according to Simon de l'Est. "The burger trend, we're into it, and not gourmet burgers, that's out of it. We are in a return to basics, a return to the sources. We're talking about the really traditional burger, with ketchup, mustard, pickles, American cheese. »

You have to taste it to believe it, the smash burger does have virtues that the burger on the grill does not have. At the Chez Simon canteen, the meatballs smashed, that is to say flattened on the hot plate, are transformed into laces of meat, both crispy and juicy. “A burger that cooks in its own juices is ideal. On the other hand, the barbecue grill can give off a slight taste of smoke. It depends on what you're looking for," says Simon de L'Est.

New, the smash burger? "We're coming back to that, but I don't think it's new. I heard that at Pataterie Chez Philippe on Atataken Street, burgers were smashed 50 years ago. »

This recipe is definitely one of the first burger recipes I learned. In fact, I never really learned it, because my father always told me, "If you know my recipe, I'm going to have to kill you next!" Then he burst out laughing. But hey, I was curious, so I watched him cook. He couldn't help but stare at him!

I don't know the secret of the barbecue spices he used at the time, but I do know the secret of the sauce: the famous Heinz 57! Here is a very simple, but delicious recipe, which I have shaped over time.

Prep: 10 mins | Cook: 5-8 mins | Yield: 4 burgers


454 g (1 lb) medium-lean ground pork

60 mL (1⁄4 cup) S.J.B. All Purpose BBQ Spice

125 ml (1⁄2 cup) of Heinz 57 sauce

4 slices of American cheddar

4 classic burger buns

4 slices of red onion


For a little over a year, all of Quebec has been talking about the smash burger. This cooking method, popular in the United States for about ten years, consists of pressing the meatball against a very hot cooking surface, ideally a plancha, but it can also be a cast iron skillet. We're talking about a 125 g (1⁄4 lb) maximum pellet, about the size of a golf ball, that you can press with a bacon press, although now there are presses to smash the meat.

This technique makes it possible to have a very thin pancake, but which retains its juices and flavors thanks to the rapid caramelization of the meat (a Maillard reaction is provoked). You will see crispy edges appear, the shape of which will remind you of the old crocheted tablecloths of your grandmothers!

When it comes to ingredients, folks, one piece of advice: the fewer, the better. We direct the attention of our taste buds to the meat. Add a slice of cheese, sauce, a few onions or pickles, condiments, that's it. Now is not the time to create a gourmet burger. And we prefer a very soft potato bread.

Prep: 15 mins | Cook: 2-3 mins | Yield: 4 burgers


1 yellow onion

2 tbsp. butter

454 g (1 lb) medium-lean ground beef

4 to 6 tbsp. tablespoon Chez Simon burger sauce

2 tbsp. canola oil

Salt and pepper to taste

4 slices of American cheddar

4 potato buns

4 capicollo slices

4 slices of sweet pickles


Kefta is a preparation made from meat, spices and herbs from the Middle East. It's usually skewered and cooked over hot coals, but for this recipe, I thought: why not make a kefta patty and place it between two buns, for a good burger with Mediterranean flavors?

Prep: 25 mins | Cook: 5-8 mins | Yield: 4 burgers


1 small red onion

2 cloves garlic

225 g (1⁄2 lb) medium-lean ground lamb

225 g (1⁄2 lb) medium-lean ground beef

2 tbsp. tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1 C. tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

2 tbsp. coffee ras-el-hanout

1 C. smoked paprika

1 C. vegetable oil

1 C. maple syrup

Salt and pepper to taste

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

4 tbsp. hummus

4 tbsp. coffee harissa

4 brioche buns

4 iceberg lettuce leaves

A few pickled radish sticks

4 tbsp. teaspoon tempered goat's cheese


Here is the recipe for my famous sauce from Chez Simon urban canteen. Well almost ! I changed two, maybe three ingredients... You didn't think I was going to give you all my secrets! So don't be shy about coming to the restaurant to taste the real deal there!

Prep: 5 mins | Cooking: None | Yield: 125 ml (1⁄2 cup)


5 c. mayonnaise

4 tbsp. sweet jalapeño relish

1 C. A1 Original Steak Sauce

1 C. store-bought barbecue sauce

1 C. ground black pepper

1 pinch of garlic powder


Do you know my background as a barbecue professional? Participating in competitions allowed me to travel often to the United States. From Vermont to Texas to South Carolina, I've seen burgers!

This recipe is inspired by a burger I ate one day in Maine. I took part in a "family" meal with all the Canadians participating in a competition and, as usual, my choice fell on a burger which intrigued me: it contained kimchi, BBQ sauce asian and pork belly. It was so good that, back home, I decided to create my own version.

Prep: 1 hr 30 mins | Cook: 5-8 mins | Yield: 4 burgers


For the braised pork belly

3 green onions chopped

125 ml (1⁄2 cup) mirin sauce

60 ml (1⁄4 tasse) de sauce soy legère

60 ml (1⁄4 cup) brown sugar

125 ml (1⁄2 cup) chicken broth

4 slices of 5 cm (1⁄4 in.) pork belly

For the rub

1⁄2 tsp. teaspoon Chinese five-spice

1 C. salt

1⁄2 tsp. teaspoon Sichuan pepper

1⁄2 tsp. garlic powder

1⁄2 tsp. cayenne pepper

For the sauce

125 ml (1⁄2 cup) hoisin sauce

125 ml (1⁄2 cup) mayonnaise

60 ml (1⁄4 cup) Sriracha

60 ml (1⁄4 cup) Dijon mustard

For the fried onions

500 ml (2 cups) canola oil

1 large yellow onion

4 beaten egg yolks

250 ml (1 cup) panko breadcrumbs

For the burgers

454 g (1 lb) medium-lean ground pork

4 good slices of halloumi cheese

4 store-bought brioche breads

250 ml (1 cup) kimchi


For the braised pork belly

1 In a saucepan, combine all the ingredients for braising the pork belly.

2 Then add all the ingredients. Simmer gently over low heat for 15 minutes. Reserve.

For the rub

3 In a large bowl, mix all the spices for the rub.

For the sauce

4 In a bowl, combine all the sauce ingredients.

For the fried onions

5 Pour the oil into a saucepan and bring it to 180°C (350°F).

6 Slice your onion into rings. Next, dip each slice in egg yolks, then in breadcrumbs, and fry for 30 to 45 seconds.

For the burgers

7 Preheat your barbecue to medium heat (180-200°C/350-400°F).

8 Divide the minced meat into 4 patties and apply the rub.

9 Grill them on your barbecue until the internal temperature reaches 68°C (154°F).

10 Grill the pork belly, halloumi cheese and buns for about 30 seconds on each side.

11 Assemble the burger this way: put a patty on the bottom bun, add the pork belly, cheese, kimchi and fried onions, then brush the top bun with a generous amount of sauce and close .


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