July 12th, 2010

Homer Mmmmmm...

Super burgers!

Having an assistant to add the ingredients really helps, otherwise you have to keep washing your hands as this is very messy.  Be sure to observe proper food safety precautions (don't let raw products touch cooked, don't use the same utensils on raw and cooked foods, don't put the cooked burgers on the same plate that held the raw patties, wash your hands after touching raw meat, etc).

Start out with a pound of ground beef.  Since you'll be adulterating the hell out of it, use whatever is cheapest, don't use the good stuff for this.  Flatten it out on a cutting board, then crack an egg over the top and knead it in.   Flatten the meat out again and sprinkle over the top some kosher salt, some MSG (optional, it's my secret ingredient!), some fresh ground black pepper, a wee bit of cayenne pepper or Tabasco and several hands full of Progresso Italian-style bread crumbs (or just plain bread crumbs and some dried Italian herbs).  Knead the meat with your hands until everything is completely mixed in.  Then add some crumbled, cooked bacon and plenty of grated cheese and knead again until everything is well mixed.

The meat should hold its shape.  If it's too wet, add more bread crumbs.  If it's too dry, add a TINY bit of melted butter or olive oil.

Spray a tiny bit of non-stick spray on a plate or platter.  Break the meat up into burger-sized chunks, then flatten them out in your hand.  Try to get them as flat as possible and still hold their shape; they will tend to balloon up on the grill.

Get the grill roaring hot.  It should be about 400°F (200°C).  Space the patties out near the middle of the grill then close the lid.  Open the lid as little as possible.  Turn just once during cooking and don't press them down, even if they start to balloon up.  Cook until a thermometer inserted into the center reads 160°F (70°C).  Try not to overcook the burgers or they will dry out.  (If your ingredients are fresh and purchased from a reliable source, you've stored and handled them properly and you're a healthy adult with no immune system issues, it's usually OK to slightly undercook them.  They'll be even juicier and tastier this way, but there's a slight risk of food poisoning.  Proceed at your own risk.)

This recipe should make about 5-6 "quarter pound" burgers.