The burger police say “No!” to rare hamburgers. If I’m going to have a burger, I want it fat, juicy, and rare—not sawdust dry.
I’ve come up with a very workable solution. It requires a good quality, lean ground beef seasoned with a blend reminiscent of Spanish chorizo: equal amounts smoked paprika, garlic, thyme, salt and fresh ground pepper. It chills for a good 4 hours, as this needs time for the flavors to sink in and come together.
The meat is formed into thick patties—almost as thick as they are wide—call it ‘football’ shaped. They don’t need to be that big. Just fat. The bread is moderately important—not a lot of it, a mere platform to hold the patty.
Actually, this small open-faced patty affair ends up becoming more like a bruschetta of sorts, also very good for appetizers and small party bites. This works for me because I can easily have T-W-O of them.
The toppings become key, because they are front and center. On the bottom, I like to spread a garlicy mayo or aioli. Then the hot grilled burger. A crunchy finish is nice, like the previous charred corn salsa/salad. A spoonful of avocado cream on the burger nails it and keeps it all together.
A few microgreens are a nod to healthiness.
1 lb excellent lean ground beef
1 tsp each: crushed garlic, smoked paprika, fresh thyme, sea salt, fresh ground pepper
1 medium baguette, sourdough, or other rustic bread
1 clove garlic
1 Tbsp evoo
½ cup aioli, or ½ c mayonnaise or mashed avocado blended with 1 clove garlic, 1 tsp lemon juice
charred corn salsa
1 cup micro greens, ¼ cup sliced green onion
For burgers, combine seasonings with burger meat and thoroughly blend. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours to blend flavors. Divide into 6 equal portions, shape into football shaped ovals and flatten slightly. Grill on medium hot grill 8-10 minutes for rare to medium-rare. They should be well seared, juicy and give lightly when pressed in center.
For bruschetta, cut bread at an angle into 12 ½” thick slices. Rub with garlic, brush with olive oil and grill to toast on both sides.
To assemble, set hot burger on bruschetta spread with aioli. Top with more aioli or avocado cream, finish with charred corn salsa and a dab of microgreens and green onion. Makes 6 bruschetta.