Can there be a better burger than the good old classic American? Sure, a hamburger can be gussied up to a towering height with bacon, avocado, mushrooms, jalapeno peppers, and toppings ad infinitum, but the classic hamburger is much simpler. The most important step in assuring a great burger is using the right ground beef. Ground chuck or a combination of ground chuck and sirloin 80 % lean is good. Handle it gently. Don’t compact it. Form 3 patties from each pound of beef.
Cook on a medium hot grill or, if using a stove top skillet, sprinkle with salt. Cook for about 4 minutes per side for medium rare. Salt and pepper, of course. Don’t press down with a spatula. A lightly toasted potato roll goes well. A slice of ripe tomato, red onion and leafy lettuce are not amiss. Cheese—a warm melt of cheddar can’t hurt. Pickles, ok, but don’t add more than you can get your mouth get around, that is, unless you don’t mind the burger slipping out the other side or requiring the knife and fork treatment.
A Classic Burger Sauce (Double or triple recipe as needed)
2 T mayonnaise
1 T ketchup
½ t sweet pickle relish
1/2 t sugar
½ t white wine vinegar
¼ t black pepper
Whisk ingredients together in a small bowl.
Photographer Bill Brady