The Best Burger Recipe
The carnivore in all of us loves the aroma of beef burgers on the grill. It is said the original burger was created at the famous steakhouse Delmonico’s New York restaurant in 1837. The original menu lists “twice ground beef with minced onion and pepper.” So keeping it simple is key. For the best burgers, purchase best-quality freshly ground “100% beef chuck” labeled “80% lean.” Hundreds of backyard barbecue trials have proven eighty per cent lean beef make for the tastiest and juiciest burgers. I include Mr. Delmonico’s minced onion and I find a dash of Worcestershire sauce and a dollop of Dijon mustard magically season the meat. Liberal shakes of salt and pepper are necessary, too. A light hand is best when forming the patties. Loosely shape the meat into rounds (try not to pack the meat) and “dimple” the top for consistent cooking throughout.
A note about technique: when grilling, turn the burgers only once, when the juices appear on the surface and the patties lose their grip on the grill. Resist pressing the patties with a spatula. Remember, you want that fat for the moistest and juiciest burgers.
The secret to the best-tasting burger is the Worcestershire sauce—that mysterious seasoning agent. Assemble the cooked burgers with toppings of your choice. My personal favorite is lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise on one side and Dijon mustard and a thick slice of white onion on the other of a lightly toasted bun.
The Best Beef Burgers Serves 8
3 pounds 100% ground beef chuck
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
3 tablespoons minced yellow onion
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
8 hamburger buns, split
Cheddar or Swiss cheese slices
sliced beefsteak tomatoes
sliced white onion
torn lettuce leaves
mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard
1. In a large mixing bowl, break up the ground beef with your fingers. Add the Worcestershire sauce, mustard, minced onion, salt, and pepper and toss lightly with your hands to distribute the seasonings. Divide the meat into 8 equal portions (6 ounces each). With cupped hands, toss a portion of meat back and forth to form a loose ball. Pat lightly to flatten to a 1/2–inch thick patty. Using for fingertips, gently poke the patties to create a pocked surface. Repeat with the remaining portions of meat.
2. Heat the grill to high. Place the patties on the hottest part of the grill and sear until browned. Transfer the patties to a medium-high heat area on the grill and continue to cook, turning once, until the desired doneness, 4 minutes per side for medium.
3. If serving with cheese, place a slice on top of the burger for the last 2 minutes of cooking. For the last minute of cooking, toast the buns, cut side down, if desired. To serve, place a patty on a bun and garnish with accompaniments.