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Dog-gone-good Hamburger patties

January 14, 2009

, originally uploaded by woofwoofwoof.

To me (J.), much has been made of what makes a hamburger “great”. Be it the bun, the toppings, the way its grilled or the obscure or expensive cheese used. All of these things can make a great burger sandwich, but I believe that too often these burgers are still made with ho-hum tasting patties. I propose the following when it comes to burgers: great hamburgers should start with a great tasting burger patty.

This weekend, N. and I decided to eat up some of our freezer reserves, including some ground beef that’s been around for a few weeks. So we settled on burgers, as we sometimes do. The meat was nothing too special, but it did come from one of the local Amish meat vendors, so we believe that it probably came from pretty well-fed, and well cared for animals. It didn’t have a specific fat to lean protein content ratio listed, just a bag of very good looking meat. Nor were the buns anything too special, just the recipe we’ve been using for about a year or so.

What made them “great” (at least to me)? It certainly wasn’t anything that many people haven’t already done before, but something that I believe more people could do to make satisfying burgers: simple seasoning, aromatic flavors and good meat. This is pretty much what we did:

1 to 1.5 lbs of very good quality ground beef
1 egg
1/2 of a white onion, finely diced
1 tsp of salt
1 tbsp of italian seasoning
1/2 cup of bread crumbs
1/4 tsp cracked pepper

Mix everything together. Snag up about 1/3 to 1/2 lbs of the burger mixture, shape into a patty about 1/2 inch thick.
Grill or pan-fry on a very hot surface, and cook until its no longer pink or the internal temperature of the patty reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Many sources will say that you don’t need to worry about the inner patty being pink if the temperature is 160 degrees F. I still take the pink out of mine, though I try to ensure that their still juicy.

We did use Munster cheese, but I really don’t think that over-shadowed the patty at all. Quite on the contrary; I think these patties could have been stand alone.

It you’re having burgers this week, give these a try, and let us know what you think. If your experience was anything like ours, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

One Comment leave one →
  1. January 14, 2009 10:55 am

    I like mine with a little beer mixed in with the meat and a bit of pepperjack cheese stuffed inside each patty – MMMMMM.

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