Secret to a great burger? Less is more!

By

Published:

 

Food & Dining

For more recipes and reviews of Clark County restaurants, visit columbian.com/food

When the weather turns warm, I find myself craving the smell and taste of a great homemade burger off the grill.

So what makes a great burger? There are a few simple rules. But if you remember just one of them, it should be that less really is more. Which is to say, the less you add to your ground beef, the less you handle the meat when mixing it, and the less you flip it while grilling, the better burger you get in the end.

The foundation of my backyard burger is a 50-50 combination of sirloin and chuck. A patty that is 100 percent sirloin is too lean, and 100 percent chuck is too fatty.

Beyond the meat itself, you don't want to add too many other ingredients, particularly wet ones. You don't want to compete with the flavor of the beef, or leave it too watery. I limit myself to a sprinkle of salt and pepper, plus just a bit of dry mustard and Worcestershire sauce. The last two amp the savory flavors of the burger without competing with it.

Once the meat is seasoned, I lightly mix everything together and divide it into equal portions. I generally use 2 pounds of meat to make six burgers. This can be done up to a day in advance.

Before the burgers go on the grill, be sure to press your thumb into the center of each patty, pushing it halfway down. This is because as the meat cooks, the fibers expand and they inflate the burger, turning it into a ball. If you make the depression with your thumb, the meat expands to fill the hole, leaving the burger flat.

Club House Burger With Buttered Bun

Start to finish: 30 minutes; Servings: 6.

1 pound ground sirloin

1 pound ground chuck

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon Coleman’s dry mustard

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

¼ cup (½ stick) melted butter

6 kaiser rolls, sliced

6 crisp butter or Boston lettuce leaves

6 slices purple or sweet onion, such as Vidalia

2 large tomatoes, cut into 6 slices

6 slices cooked bacon (optional)

Ketchup (optional)

Mustard (optional)

Mayonnaise (optional)

Heat a grill to high.

In a large bowl, combine the ground sirloin and ground chuck. Mix it together, being careful not to overwork the meat. Add the Worcestershire sauce, dry mustard, salt and pepper. Mix until just combined, then divide the mixture into 6 pieces. Gently shape each piece into a burger about ¾-inch thick. Press your thumb gently into the center of each to form a depression.

Brush the patties lightly on both sides with the olive oil. Reduce the heat to medium, then add the burgers and grill until the meat no longer is pink, 8 to 10 minutes, turning once halfway through grilling time.

Brush butter over both sides of the rolls and grill until lightly toasted, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Serve the burgers immediately on the buttered rolls with a lettuce leaf, a slice of raw onion, tomato and a slice of bacon, if desired. Serve with traditional condiments on the side.

Per serving: 550 calories; 260 calories from fat (47 percent of total calories); 30 g fat (12 g saturated; 1 g trans fats); 110 mg cholesterol; 36 g carbohydrate; 3 g fiber; 4 g sugar; 35 g protein; 760 mg sodium.