His answer was beef fat-fried burgers, but you won’t find them on his menus at Zombie Burger, Centro, Django or Gateway Market. It’s a burger Formaro makes for friends and employees on rare occasions, and he walked us through how to make it. If the world really is ending, no one is going to care how many calories this thing has (a lot).
Formaro strains his beef fat after each cooking and reuses it each time he cooks with it. That results in a more flavorful burger whenever he makes one.
“I love the beef on beef flavor,” Formaro said. “If the world is going to end, this could be the burger that does it.”
What you’ll need:
• A cast-iron skillet
• Beef fat (ask for suet at a butcher shop)
• Hamburger (Formaro uses George’s Grind from Gateway Market)
• American cheese
• Red onion
• Kosher salt
How to make it:
1. Heat the beef fat to around 300 F in the cast iron skillet. Make sure the fat is deep enough to allow tou to submerge a burger completely.
2. Divide the meat into ¼- to 1/3-pound chunks and flatten them out until they’re about a 1/4-inch thick. They’ll look big, but they’ll shrink while cooking.
3. Formaro makes a little hole in the center of each patty to help them cook more evenly (it closes up while frying) and sprinkles kosher salt on each side of the burger for flavor.
4. Lower the patties into the fat, being careful not to splash yourself. Formaro cooks by the way the meat looks, saying “The darker the better.” It works out to about three minutes before you flip the burger to the other side. Formaro said the goal is for the meat to form a natural crust. Once it starts to float, that’s a good sign that it’s done.
5. Once the burger is done, pull it out and add the cheese. Melt it by splashing some of the beef fat up over the cheese.
6. Place on a bun and add some onion. “It doesn’t really need anything else,” Formaro said. After eating, proceed into a beef coma before the world ends.
More things to eat before the end of the world
1. Triple Tap Trailer Trash Zombie Burger. Formaro isn’t mass producing his beef fat burgers, but this is probably just as unhealthy, with its American cheese, fried pickle, chicken fried bacon, cheese curds and ranch. $10.79 at Zombie Burger, 300 E. Grand Ave.
2. 24-ounce porterhouse steak. A massive, bone-in steak for $62. Pair it with a $1,200 bottle of Plumpjack Winery cabernet sauvignon. At this point you can say “screw student loan payments!” 801 Steak & Chop, 801 Grand Ave.
3. Belly Buster Top Sirloin. A 54-ounce steak. Finish it and you get a free T-shirt (fine enough to face the rapture in) and your photo on the wall for alien archeologists to discover someday. $41.95 at Rube’s Steakhouse, 3309 Ute Ave., Waukee.
4. The High Life Man. A quarter-pound burger, Italian sausage sandwich, three strips of bacon, Swiss and American cheeses, grilled onions and jalapenos, topped with mayonnaise and barbecue sauce and served with a little powdered donuts on top. $8.95 at High Life Lounge, 200 S.W. Second St.
5. Dad’s Killer Sandwich. Roast beef, turkey breast, smoked ham, corned beef, pepper cheese, Swiss cheese, American cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, mustard, Miracle Whip and Tuscan Italian dressing, all served on a hoagie. It’s big enough to bludgeon a zombie with, if that’s how the world ends. $5.99 at B&B Grocery, 2001 S.E. Sixth St.