Burnt My Fingers has never published a hamburger recipe, because we tend to improvise with what is on hand and tweak as we go. But this 4th of July hamburger demonstrates a couple of basic concepts, and it’s delicious. First, onion is incorporated into the burger grind along with a hearty dose of umami so the meat is crazy good before you add the first condiment. Second, I experimented with my fellow blogger Daniel B’s predilection to serve a double cheeseburger with the cheese melted between the two patties. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed. Makes 4 individual patties or two double cheeseburgers.
1 lb ground beef, 85% lean preferred*
2 T Toné or other dried onion**
2 T beer or water**
1 T Worcestershire or fish sauce
1 t salt
½ t pepper
Panko, breadcrumbs or beaten egg as a binding component (if needed)
¼ lb cheddar cheese, sliced to fit the burger
Method: in a bowl, soak the dried onion in beer or water for 10 minutes or longer. Add other ingredients, except the binding component, and thoroughly mix with your hands. If the meat is very lean it may be crumbly; if so add breadcrumbs, panko or beaten egg to bind it. Separate into four balls and mash each into a 6 inch patty. Fry in a cast iron pan for a few minutes until bottom has shrunk and released a good amount of juice; flip and do the same with the other side. When the meat has cooked down and is crispy, add the cheese slices on two of the patties and cover with the other two patties***. Cover the pan and cook a couple more minutes till the cheese is thoroughly melted and oozing out the sides. Serve immediately on toasted bun with your favorite condiments.
*The fat content makes a big difference. 90% is too lean and tends to fall apart; 80% is greasy and gets all over your hands. 85% is the way to go.
**If dried onions aren’t available, substitute 1 medium onion and chop it VERY fine so the bits don’t fall out of the burger as it is cooking.
***Daniel claims the melted cheese between the fatty patties is a superb tasting experience, but to me it throws off the meat/vegetable balance. I prefer a single cheeseburger with the works. You decide for yourself.