Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Burger Madness

In addition the commencement of the months-long process of perfecting my summer bronze (I'm sorry, okay? I can't help it), Memorial Day signals to me the beginning of Grill Season. During Grill Season, I make a habit of trying to use my oven and stove as little as possible, and cook most of our meals outdoors on the grill (while simultaneously working on my tan- see how that works?). And lately, nothing is tempting me to fire up the grill quite as much as my famous insanely-delicious inch-thick die-and-go-to-heaven Hamburgers. In the past, I have been guarded about sharing this recipe out of pure selfish proprietary-ness, but you know I don't have any secrets from you, my dearest darling readers.

Please note that these burgers are what the Cookie Monster would refer to as a "sometimes food". If you eat one of these suckers every day, they will, eventually, kill you. Luckily, the suntan does wonders to disguise the cellulite.

Here's what you need
(for 4 big ol' burgers):
1 lb ground beef chuck (with at least 15% fat content- don't go "lean." Come on, who are you kidding, anyway?)
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon(ish) fresh ground pepper
4 tablespoons dried onion flakes (from the spice section at your supermarket)
2 tablespoons butter, sliced into 4 1/2-tablespoon pieces.
Medium-sharp cheddar cheese, sliced 1/4-inch thick (optional).
4 good-quality hamburger buns or English muffins, inside faces buttered
Olive oil cooking spray or 1 tablespoon olive oil

Here's what you do:

1. Turn on your grill and preheat it to medium heat (if you are working with charcoal, just make sure the high flames have died down before you attempt any cooking).
2. Dump all the ingredients (except the butter, cheese, buns, and spray, duh) into a large mixing bowl, and mix them together with your (freshly-washed) hands. Don't overwork it- it shouldn't get mushy and playdoh-y.
3. Divide the mixture into 4 equal-ish parts and form into nice, thick rounded patties, surrounding a piece of the butter (just roll with it). They should hold together, but again, not be overly mashed together.
4. Spray or rub grill with olive oil, and place patties on grill. Cover and cook for 2-4 minutes. When the bottoms are well browned, but the top of the patties are still quite pink, flip them, and cook for another 2-4 minutes. For the last minute, you can add slices of the cheese to the top, so they melt. The trick here is that you should have it in your mind to undercook the burgers, and pull them off the grill when they are still fairly rare on the inside. They will continue to cook once removed from the grill. The worst thing you can do to my burgers (and thus, me) is to cook them into a charred, dry, gray oblivion.
5. Place the buns or English muffins face down on the grill and cook until lightly toasted, about 30 seconds. Stack the burgers on the buns with lettuce, juicy tomatoes, sliced avocado... anything your heart desires. Just try to serve a salad or something on the side.
6. Grab about six napkins, sink your teeth into that burg, and watch your world change.

Note: If you don't have a grill you can buy a grill pan and use it right on your stove. However, you may need to also buy an indoor tanning light for your kitchen, if you want to simulate the whole process.

photo credit: Gourmet


Anonymous said...

Oh Lord, heart attack in a bun.

Lily said...

Correction: Delicious heart attack in a bun.