Talking Burgers

by Ben Miller

Its very hard to find a hamburger picture that doesnt look gross

It's very hard to find a hamburger picture that doesn't look gross

We all know how a burger should be cooked, but what about the ingredients that go into preparing those delicious patties? I for one, am a firm believer in always having a go-to burger recipe, one that you know works well, produces delicious and flavorful burgers that also don’t fall apart on the grill (an incredibly important point that people don’t always consider.)

The burger recipe I always turn to is the Cafe Salle Pleyel Burger that I found last year in the New York Times dining section. I don’t bother with the red onion relish and have found that serving provolone or other cheeses like that works just as well as parmesean. I also often just go for ground chuck instead of springing for sirloin.

The recipe works well on several levels. It sounds complicated, invovles ingredients you wouldn’t generally think to put in a burger, all while staying moist and not falling apart after cooking.

There’s just one complaint I have: price. The pickles and capers aren’t bad, but sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil can run up a pretty hefty tab, especially if scaling up (the last jar I bought was $5 versus about $8-$10 for the meat to produce 8 burgers). Finding fresh tarragon can also be strangely difficult at times.

Because of this I’m looking for a second go-to burger option. Does anyone else have a go-to burger recipe they really like that may be a bit easier on the wallet?

Image used under a creative commons license from flickr user Marco Veringa

7 responses to “Talking Burgers

  1. Sundried tomatoes are much cheaper if you buy the dried kind then rehydrate them (either with boiling water–the quick way, takes 20ish minutes–or in olive oil–which I’ve never tried but I hear is possible).

  2. I only have one word for you my boy – garlic. Large chunks of it throughout the burger. The grill will wring away most of the flavor, but the remaining usually cooks pretty well. It also adds a spice and a little heat because some garlic will inevitably remain raw. Italian breadcrumbs and NO salt – soy sauce. Can be eaten without condiments.

  3. If you’re putting sun-dried tomatoes and capers in your burger patties, you’re doing it wrong. Burger patty purism is where it’s at: ground chuck, black pepper, perhaps some garlic mixed with the meat, liberally coat the finished patties with kosher salt, grill or pan fry, serve with whatever fancy toppings you like.

  4. I agree with Zach. I’m a beef patty purist. However, I am perfectly willing to mess with turkey burgers. My turkey go-to is chopped scallions, a generous handful of Ranch Gordo Chili powder and an equally sized handful of Bacon Salt. Simple, but good.

  5. I didn’t manage to get one of your burgers at the bbq, Ben, so I’m speaking from a position of ignorance, but my instinct is to lean toward burger simplicity. Salt, pepper, a little worcestershire, and if I’m worried about the grilling implements available or the level of attention I’m going to be able to pay while cooking, an egg white or two to hold everything together. But perhaps I need to expand my horizons.

  6. Midwest Product

    If you’re taking 45 minutes to prepare your patties to the point where they’re ready to finally be cooked, you’re not making burgers, you’re just masturbating.

  7. Grate some onion into that beef, salt and freshly ground pepper and you will be a happy man.

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