Monday, February 21, 2011

Best Hamburgers Ever

*By no means do I assume to be the best at anything...but this was seriously the best hamburger I have ever, ever tasted.  Sorry IN 'N' OUT, you don't come close.  This recipe was inspired by Ina Garten's Blue Cheese Burger from Barefoot Contessa at Home, but lacking her ingredients, I adapted it my own way.  It's different enough that I won't list her recipe, but it just wouldn't be right to not give her a big thank you for her inspiration.  Thank you!  Tonight I was in heaven, this picture doesn't justify it.  

Funny story, over a decade ago some friends and I thought we'd barbecue a few burgers on an old charcoal grill.  None of us really knew what we were doing--I thought we were supposed to put eggs in with the hamburger but was informed, "We're not making meatloaf, silly."  So, I've never again cooked a burger with eggs in, but Ina's recipe called for egg yokes.  Go figure, maybe I was on to something way back then.  I'm not sure if it was the eggs, butter, or just a perfect day, but the result of tonight's meal was magic.  The burger was perfectly seared on the outside, cooked gently through to the middle, and the result was a tender meat both flavorful and oh so enjoyable.  My husband couldn't get enough either.

I know, you'll read the ingredients and wonder if you should really be doing this....the nurse in me says, "What are you doing?!%#?"  But the food lover Montana gal in me says, "Bliss."  My 6 year old said, "This is a great way to celebrate Presidents' Day" (as if it was one of those holidays that couldn't be  passed up without an extra special something).  Now it's your turn...think of something "special" to celebrate.

Finally, I think what really put this burger over the top was the bun.  I'll sum it up in one word...homemade.

2 pounds ground beef, Angus beef if you can
2 T steak sauce
4 extra-large egg yolks
1 t kosher salt
1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
2-3 T cold unsalted butter

Yields 8-9 hamburger patties

1.  In a large bowl, use the tines of a fork to mix the beef, steak sauce, egg yolks, salt, and pepper.  Be careful not to mash.  Lightly form into shape.  Press a thin slice of butter into the top of each hamburger, making sure the meat entirely encases the butter.

2.  Prepare grill.  I have a gas infrared grill so I turn it on high for about 10 minutes.  Lightly oil the grill.  Place meat onto grill, then turn grill down to low.  Cook for 4 minutes on one side.  Turn and cook for 3 minutes on the other side, adding cheese if you like.  Remove to a plate and cover with aluminum foil.  Allow the hamburgers to rest for 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, toast the buns on the grill, cut side down, for 1 minute.  Serve hot.

*My husband and children like the classic cheddar cheese, tomato, lettuce, and condiments.  Rather than cheddar, I like a plain burger with blue cheese, the burger pictured is topped with just a spoon of blue cheese dressing.

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