Manly Meals: Easy Burgers

What You’ll Need:

Ingredients:

Medium Lean Ground Beef

Montreal Steak Spice

Barbecue sauce

Buns, Butter/Margarine

Fixings: Ketchup, Mustard, Relish, Tomatoes, Onions, Pickles, Hot Peppers, Cheese, Fried Mushrooms, etc.

Tools:

Bowl

Plate or Tray

Barbecue or Frying Pan

Cutting Board, Knife

How It’s Done:

The truth is there are plenty of right ways to make a hamburger. Take some ground beef, make a patty, add some fire or another source of heat and chances are you’ll end up with something tasty. The trick with hamburgers is not to go overboard. You’ve probably seen people throw in all sorts of stuff to make their patties “the best:” eggs, breadcrumbs, onions, mushrooms, cheese, peppers just about anything you can think of. That’s all well and good, but in my opinion, meat is and always will be the star of any great burger, everything else is just filler.

When making a burger, start with fresh ground beef. I like medium-lean, there’s enough fat to keep your burger from getting dry and crumbly, but not too much that you end up with a greasy mess.

Put your meat into a bowl and cover it with Montreal steak spice. The steak spice has a nice blend of dehydrated onions, garlic, spices and, most importantly, salt, all of which will help bring out the flavor of your meat. Once you’ve covered the meat with the spices, fold it over several times so the spices blend in. Then, cover it with the steak spice again and repeat. You may even want to do this a third (and fourth) time depending on how much meat you have, that’s fine, but probably unnecessary, you need between one and two tablespoons of steak spice for every quarter pound of beef.

Once the meat has been spiced to satisfaction it’s time to make the patties. Take a nice handful of meat (preferably after you’ve washed your hands) and roll it around until you have a nice sized meatball. Then either place the meatball on a tray and press it flat, or flatten it right in your palm. While it’s cooking, your burgers will tend to plump up in the middle, you can press the patties so that the edges are a bit thicker than the center to get flat burgers, or if you have something to press them with while they’re cooking you can use that as well (this will also help the burgers cook faster).

Cook your burgers over a medium high heat, either on the barbecue or in a pan on your stove top. Once the meat has browned a little more than halfway, flip it over. Once it’s browned the rest of the way, it’s done.

If you want to top your burgers with a good barbecue sauce you can brush (or just squirt) some on after they’ve been flipped. If you want to melt cheese onto your burger, wait until it’s about 95% cooked first before topping with the sliced or shredded cheese. In fact, if you are using shredded cheese you can probably wait until after the burger has cooked and just add it right at the end.

To cook the buns, spread margarine or butter on the insides and place them center up on the top rack of the barbecue. If you’re working with an oven, put them center up on a baking tray or right on the top rack and cook them at the lowest heat until they’ve toasted the way you like them. The butter/margarine will keep the buns from drying as they toast. If you have nice fresh buns that you’d rather not toast, that works also.

Top your burger with your favorite toppings. I like fried mushrooms, just  add some butter (or margarine, or olive oil) to a pan, let it heat up then toss in sliced mushrooms. Sprinkle some salt and flip the mushrooms so that they get covered in the butter or whatever you’re using.

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