A burger is a burger is a burger, right? Wrong. Simple to execute, yet easy to screw up, the following recipe is a step in the right direction to making a better burger at home.
For the meat:
2 lb. 80/20 ground beef chuck
For the burgers:
1 cup caramelized onions
Good quality mayo or homemade mayo (mix with chopped chipotle peppers in adobo if you like spicy)
6 – 1/8 inch thick slices of port salut, muenster or other soft cheese
6 toasted or grilled buns, buttered
First, divide the meat into 6 – 1/3 lb. portions and form into evenly thick patties approximately 3/4 to 1 inch larger than the width of your hamburger buns. The best way to form a patty that won’t crack is to make a smooth ball with the meat between your hands and as you roll the ball, bring your hands closer and closer together. Finally, press your thumb into the center of each patty without pressing all of the way through (this keeps the patties from turning into a ball shape.) Don’t add the salt or pepper at this point as it will dry out the meat! Place the patties in the fridge on a covered sheet pan.
Start a fire in a grill and burn the coals until the flames have subsided and the tops of the coals are mostly white. Oil the grill with a folder paper towel and some olive oil. Uncover the patties, brush the surface of the patties with olive oil, then season with the salt and pepper. Place seasoned side down on the grill and oil and season the side of the patties facing up. Cook the burgers for 2 minutes, then rotate the patties 45 degrees and cook for another 2 minutes. At this point, juice and fat should be forming on the surface of the burger. Flip the patties over and cook for another 2 minutes. At this point, add the caramelized onions to each patty and cover with a piece of cheese. Continue grilling for 1 minute and remove to a clean plate to rest for 5 minutes.
To assemble the burgers, spread mayo and dijon if using on the top and bottom pieces of the bun. Place the arugula on the bottom portion of the bun, the place the patty on top of the arugula. Top the burger with the top portion of the bun and consume.
Other variations: ground lamb with feta cheese, thinly sliced red onion and sliced pepperoncini peppers.
ground beef with smoked cheddar and sliced pickled okra.