There’s just something really special about a good hamburger. To me, there are two types of burgers that cannot be held to the same standards. There are the fast food burgers: thin and slightly oily patties of ground beef sandwiched between somewhat dry buns with wilted shredded lettuce and tomatoes.
Those burgers, while not made with the best ingredients or prepared with the same care, are still good in just the right circumstances. Maybe when you’re too tired to cook or when you just want to eat something you know will be passably good and filling; the times when you can smother that feeling of guilt after eating fast food because it’s just been that long and as much as you hate it, you were just craving it.
And then there are those burgers that are in a league of their own. Found usually at restaurants without a nationally recognized logo or catch phrase or made at home, these burgers are meaty and moist, each hand-formed patty the perfect thickness, delivering with every bite a burst of flavor and seasoning. Accompanied by crisp bacon, slowly caramelized onions, or slightly sauteed mushrooms, whatever guilt you might feel for indulging on such a decadent meal just melts away with every delicious mouthful.
1 lb ground beef, 80% lean
2 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Half an onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
Salt & freshly ground black paper, to taste
Lettuce, tomatoes, bacon, hamburger buns, and additional garnishes (caramelized onions, sauteed mushrooms, etc.)
1. Saute onions with garlic in a saucepan with a little oil.
2. Combine ground beef, soy sauce, sauteed onions & garlic, Dijon mustard, and salt & pepper in a large bowl, incorporate thoroughly but do not over mix.
3. Form into patties (about 4 inches in diameter and half an inch thick) and either grill or fry to desired doneness.
4. Layer onto buns with lettuce, tomatoes, bacon, and any other desired garnishes.
There are so many different ways to make a hamburger, I almost feel silly posting this up. The ingredients were just items I had on hand and thought would taste good in a burger. I usually get about five or six patties from 1 lb of ground beef. I form all of the patties and freeze the ones I don’t eat immediately.
Eating these burgers on a toasted english muffin with caramelized onions and peppery arugula is also a good variation I’ve tried with delicious results (inspired by Ina Garten’s recipe in her new cookbook, Back to Basics).