The Burger. It’s been done before, and seemingly every which way. From how it’s cooked and the meat temperature, to the innumerable combinations of toppings and condiments, hamburgers have been there, done that. We all have our favorites and stand by them staunchly, whether it be from a restaurant or your own backyard poolside grill. I come before you today, not insisting what I’m presenting is the best burger you will ever taste, nor the most ridiculously decked out behemoth. Rather, it’s a simple and solid entry in the novel of burger recipes already out there, and it is that pure simplicity that astonishes with flavor and juiciness (all that makes a burger good) which makes this so attractive.
There’s no reason something like “just a burger” needs to carry that ominous and boring connotation of “just”. While I, like most anyone else, enjoy my avocado-bacon-chili-and-cheese (3 different kinds, no less) topped with onion rings and choice of ranch/bbq/mustard/ketchup/etc burger, why not take a step back and enjoy the simpler things in life? I’ve taken the liberty of adding some wonderful Fontina cheese and dressing it up for appearances with traditional fresh-cut veggies, but this burger is great on its own, or ready for whatever you choose to put on it. By itself, it does no less than make your mouth water as your eyes and nostrils take everything in.
There’s no reason something like ‘just a burger’ needs to carry that ominous and boring connotation of ‘just’.
Seasoned Burger with Fontina
1 lb fresh ground beef, 80/20 fat ratio
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1.5 tbsp butter, melted
1 tbsp A-1 or similar steak sauce
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp kosher sea salt
2 tsp thyme
1 tsp cinnamon
2 slices Fontina cheese
2 sets of buns
In a bowl, mix/knead together the beef with the Worcestershire and A-1 sauces. Then add garlic powder, pepper, salt, thyme, cinnamon, and melted butter. Mix well. Separate beef mixture into two equal portions. Ball up the first portion and continue to roll around in your hands, forming the ball well. Flatten ball on sheet of wax paper, and shape into patty. Build up the edges of the patty to form a wall, and be sure to close any cracks on the edge. The built-up rim will preserve the shape of the patty as it is grilled, and helps it from breaking apart. Refrigerate covered for about an hour to let settle. When ready, let patties sit out while you prep the grill so they can acclimate closer to room temperature. Place over high heat initially to create a nice char on both sides, then turn down heat or place on higher rack. Done right, burger can be cooked well-done yet remain plenty juicy. When burger is almost finished, place cheese on top of patty and let melt. Now you’re ready to place them on buns with anything else you like!