Market Cheeseburger

May 19th, 2011

Market Cheeseburger

Sometimes nothing beats a properly grilled burger, simply done, with fresh farmer’s market toppings and a toasted bun. Throw in a mashed potato or some homemade fries and/or a little salad, and you’ll have something good—and healthy! Burgers don’t have to be junk food.

Burgers are simple, so why do they sometimes go wrong? Here’s a few tips:

  • Keep it dry: ground beef, like all meat, should be patted dry as much as possible before searing on the grill. It helps get it nice and brown.
  • The right meat: use good quality ground chuck, 80% lean.
  • Use good cheese and fresh, flavorful toppings.
  • Keep it cold: ground meat likes to be kept cold. Refrigerate the meat and douse your hands in ice water before forming the patties.
  • Heat the grill well: pre-heat and clean the grill well before cooking.
  • Keep the lid down: this prevents flaring and evenly cooks the burgers.
  • Don’t poke, don’t prod, and don’t squish the burgers during cooking.

This cheeseburger, an adaptation from several recipes, is our regular go-to burger because it’s easily made with stuff around the house. There are far fancier burgers out there, but this is a great starting point. Serve with a nice amber ale, lager, or red wine on the lighter side.

Market Cheeseburger

For four burgers.

Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground chuck (80% lean)
  • 1 teaspoon ketchup
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 mild jalapeno, deseeded and minced.
  • 4 thin slices Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese
  • 4 hamburger buns
  • 4 lettuce leaves
  • 4 tomato slices
Preparation
  1. In a bowl, gently combine the beef and seasoning ingredients. Shape into 4 patties, each about 3/4 inch thick.
  2. Grill the patties over direct high heat until medium, 8 minutes, turning once. During the last minute of grilling, place a slice of cheese on each patty to melt.
  3. Toast the hamburger buns, cut side down on the grill. Assemble the cheeseburgers with lettuce and tomato, and serve with condiments such as ketchup, mustard, mayo and hot sauce.
Market Cheeseburger
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“Food that`s too safe, too pasteurized, too healthy - it`s bad! There should be some risk, like unpasteurized cheese. Food is about rot, and decay, and fermentation as much as it is also about freshness.”
~ Anthony Bourdain