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The Perfect Burger
July 2nd, 2009 by

I didn't have time to take a photo of my own hamburgers, but I found this picture which looks about right.

I didn't have time to take a photo of my own hamburgers, but I found this picture which looks about right.

Happy Fourth of July Weekend. And if it ever stops raining (in Boston, it’s been raining almost every day since the beginning of June) you may have a chance to cook out on the holiday.

Hamburgers are best kept simple. They’re the easiest thing to make, and yet most backyard chefs either go the ultra-easy root (buying pre-made patties — yech!) or go overboard trying to jazz up the all-American favorite by adding too many ingredients to the meat and then pounding it into oblivion while trying to shape the patty.

A few years ago, an article in Gourmet Magazine brought me back to my hamburger roots. This is the simplest and best way to make a tasty, juicy hamburger:

Ingredients:

Ground beef (Get chuck or meat with a high fat content. Seventy-five or 80 percent lean is good.)

Kosher salt

What I did:

Put ground beef in a bowl. Sprinkle liberally with Kosher salt.

Take a 1/4 pound or so of the ground beef and very gently form a patty in your hands. Do not pack it with your hands. This is very important. Just stick it together so that it remains a little crumbly but won’t fall apart.

Place patties on the grill. Turn them over once. Do not press them down with a spatula or touch them again in any way. When you see some blood forming on the top of the burger turn it over. Add cheese if you like. Cook until done and serve on a hamburger bun (grilled if you like).

And if it’s raining where you are, you can always cook them inside on a stovetop the same way. Or if you want to give them a little Tuscan sun, try making “Italian Burgers and Fries.” Ciao. Happy 4th!!

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