Do you have those regular burger cravings that won’t be satisfied by a quick trip to McDonald’s or Carl’s Jr.? I do. Before I got married, those cravings were easily satisfied by a quick trip to McDonald’s, Jollibee and even Tropical Hut. Then Spouse had to introduce me to homemade American burgers that I once regarded as bland, uninspired ground beef slabs of dubious origins.
For the record, this is not a gourmet burger made with freshly-ground sirloin or angus beef. It’s a housewife’s version made for maximum convenience and flavor. I do not ground my own burger meat, yet. I do prefer a mix of 81% and 96% lean ground beef. The 93% lean ground is just too dry. I also prefer the meat to be unfrozen. In a pinch, no one will stop you from making burgers out of ground beef from your freezer of course, and I have done that. But burger meat that’s been frozen is drier somehow.
Then, to borrow a phrase from Emeril, I “kick it up a notch” and bury some crumbled blue cheese or feta in the middle of the burger patty before grilling stovetop. The cheese will melt into the meat and flavor the whole patty. It’s delicious both ways.
Now comes the question of how to cook your burger. Do you prefer flame grilled or propane-grilled? Stepson says nothing but flame-grilled will do. Hank Hill of the cartoon, King of the Hill, will say propane-grilled for sure. I prefer mine grilled stovetop.
I know, I know…it isn’t an American burger anymore if it isn’t grilled on a barbecue! But this is a Filipino making the burger and I guarantee, it will come out just as good – even better – after I’m done with it.
For grilling stovetop, start with a thick stovetop grill or cat iron skillet, brushed with a little cooking oil. Cook your burgers just a couple or more minutes (depending on patty thickness) on both sides to get it medium-cooked. I cannot take rare burgers. Pink and a little bloody is fine, but oozing raw is not for me.
I then cook some sliced onions on the grill and top the burger with tomatoes and the sauteed onion, maybe some lettuce and more of the feta or blue cheese. Serve it with some polish dill pickles and more tomatoes and some french fries on the side.
If your burger is good, there’s no need for ketchup, mayo or mustard. This particular one was good enough that it didn’t need all the extras.