The All American Burger
January 26, 2005
Now, at the risk of coming off looking like a sexist pig, i’m gonna admit that this one’s really for the fellas (no worries ladies, i got a recipe for yall too later on…). So, guys, when you step into the serious ring of Ultimate Burger making, it’s a good idea to send the little lady out shopping, as she’ll ask you annoying questions like “isnt that bad for you?”. After you perfect your burger, then AND ONLY THEN, can she be allowed to witness all that is Burger making.
Now, many countries sell hamburgers – you can go anywhere and find one – but none of these ‘foreign’ places really know how to do a burger justice. Now, I do realize everyone has THEIR favorite way of making burgers but i thought i’d take time out and explain how i make MY burgers. Whether you are grilling or doing them in the frying pan, my simple, yet effective way to make hamburgers works for even the worst kitchen adventurer.
FIRST (and pbviously) start with Meat. Th eleaner the better. I know alot of people think 20% keeps it juicy but i say hold out for 85/15 if you can. If it’s tender ground sirloin, BINGO, yer in business. 1 pound of should make 3 nice size patties (if you wanna get the pre-shaped Patties, go ahead ya big chicken…i’ll turn my back). place the meat in a bowl. add about 2 shakes of black pepper and 1 pinch of salt, a sprinkle of oregano and a finely chopped SMALL clove of garlic (hey, add more if you want, i’m not Emeril Lagasse though…) plus a tablespoon of Worchester sauce. MIX well with hands.
make patties (squish 3 times with palms but dont go nuts, poke middle with a pencil – this keeps em frying flat). re-season UPsides with 2 shakes of pepper, 1 dash of salt. Turn up range heat to MEDIUM-HIGH, wait 30 seconds and add a teaspoon of canola oil or anythng like it (sunflower oil is good), roll it around… wait a few seconds (when you KNOW the pan is hot) and put them burgers on SEASONED SIDE DOWN. leave em alone, as you won’t flip them for another 7 minutes or so)
slice your tomatoes (i use beefsteak tomatoes) cut your lettuce so that you have 3 or 4 piece together the size of your palm slice your WHITE onion THIN
in a small bowl mix 1 teaspoon each of mustard, mayo, ketchup, thousand island dressing, relish and a pinch of cayeinne pepper. set aside.
flip burger over. for medium rare, go another 5 minutes, for medium go another 8.
when your burger gets about 1 minute from being ready, throw 2 slices of cheese on top of it (your arteries will love you for it!!!), place your TOP bun FACE down in the hot burger drippings and let it toast ‘southern style’ for about 20 seconds, place it on top of the burger with cheese but DON’T remove burger just yet…you want the cheese to stick to the bun. place bottom bun face down no as well, for 20 seconds.
take bottom bun out and place on plate. now spread condiments. place oinions, tomatoes and lettuce (stacked in that order) on, spread remainer (or any condiments left) over the lettuce. Place that burger (w/ cheese and bun) on top.
fold a paper towl the long way. wrap around burger’s lower half. take piece of tin foil and make same shape, forming it around the papertowl (cause the burger’s hot, duh, and the paper towl absorbs any juice that may escape from the tomatoes or, GOD FORBID, the burger).
take a nice big bite. Look the burger over real well. take another bite. Crack open an ice cold one. Turn the game on.
also, Mike Randle’s Hall Of Fame Burger Choice Award
#1 IN AND OUT
#2 TOMMY’S (O.G. Tommy’s on Rampart and Beverly…where else?)
#3 FATBURGER (3rd street Promenade in Santa Monica)
#4 JAY’S JAY BURGER (Silverlake)
#5 THE COUNTER (on Ocean Park and 32nd, in Santa Monica)
#6 “Burger Madness” at The TAVERN (on Main Street and Ahland, Santa Monica)
#7 THE TROUBADOUR (WeHo)
#8 OKI DOG (Fairfax and Willoughby, in West Hollywood)
#9 FATHER’S OFFICE (on Montana, north Santa Monica)
#10 IRV’S BURGERS (West Hollywood)