On Friday I asked John if he had any special requests for me as I began planning our meals for the upcoming week. Usually he just says "whatever you make is awesome!" and doesn't really give me any suggestions. After a little pressing he finally admitted he would love it if I could make some burgers. He really loves the new angus burgers from McDonald's and he was hoping I could do my own twist on the BBQ burger. When I suggested adding blue cheese to the mix he was over the moon.
When the time came to actually prepare the burgers I was full of questions. Do I just ball up the ground beef? Do I mix it with anything? How long do I cook it for? I looked through my Barefoot Contessa cookbook for some inspiration and ideas as to how to even make a burger. Her recipe was a little more sophisticated than I was looking for, but it gave me an idea of what I'd need to get started.
Now, I've never made burgers in my life. I usually prefer to leave the grilling to the men. However, the wonderful grill we have we are not able to use (apartment rules). Alas I decided to use our grill pan, which always makes a smokey mess. Today the smoke detectors went off 4 times. (At least they're working though, right?).
John love, love, loved these burgers!!! I should have been tallying the number of times he "mmm'd" because I swear it was through the entire meal. Some of his best quotes while eating the burgers were..."You should open a restaurant just on these!...Make sure you put this on your blog! ...Top.Three.Burger.Ever. ...I would eat a third burger but I'm afraid of offending you if I get sick from overeating."
Honestly I think this is one of his favorite meals I've made, yet it was SO easy! Try it and let me know what you think! :)
*ground beef (mine was about 1.4 pounds, and made about 4 good-sized burgers)
*2 egg yolks
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1/4 teaspoon pepper
*2 tablespoons honey barbeque sauce (I used Sweet Baby Rays and it was amazing!)
*1/2 teaspoon minced onion (from the jar, not freshly minced)
*1/4 teaspoon Montreal seasoning
*4 thin slices of chilled butter (Ina's suggestion!)
*whole wheat buns
*onion + brown sugar and butter to caramelize (see directions below)
*blue cheese crumbles
*honey BBQ sauce (I highly recommend Sweet Baby Rays!)
*Combine the ground beef, egg yolks, salt, pepper, BBQ sauce, minced onion and Montreal seasoning (or whatever seasoning you prefer) in a bowl. Mix with a fork, but be careful not to mash it up. Just fold it together using the fork tines.
*Heat a grill or grill pan (if using the stove like me). While the grill is heating, separate the meat in half, and then each half in half again (fourths). Mold the meat so that it is ready to grill. Place a small slice of butter in the center of each burger, being sure it is encompassed by the meat. (This is totally optional but the burgers were amazing and this might have been the secret...who knows!).
*Cook the burgers to your preference. (I did 6 minutes on one side and four minutes on the other. They were about medium-well to well done.)
*While the burgers are cooking, prepare your fillings. For the caramelized onions: Melt a tablespoon or two of butter on a small skillet. Pour about a tablespoon of brown sugar into it and throw the onions in. Mix the onions well and cook until browned (a few of mine were a little burnt but we like them that way).
*When the burgers are done let them rest for about 5-10 minutes before compiling the burgers. Start with a bun and pile lettuce, tomato, burger, caramelized onions, crumbled blue cheese, and some more honey BBQ sauce on the top bun. I served mine with sides of salad and my mustard-roasted potatoes. Enjoy! :)
|All my ingredients ready to be mixed.|
|Grilling - and smoking a bit!|
|Little butter thrown in.|
|Juicy and delicious|
|It's a big guy!|
|John told me I needed a picture with the BBQ sauce visible :)|