You’ll see several variations on the burger from me throughout the summer — traditional (as I did today) with ground beef, ‘bork’ (beef/pork combination), turkey and even chicken.
The best thing about burgers — if you’re buying rolls or have made them ahead, it’s a lightening fast weeknight food and it’s easy to modify for kids that may not be ‘ready’ for burgers yet.
Prep takes about 5 – 10 minutes max. I use one very large frying pan to pan sear all at once (4 burgers) and at 3 – 5 minutes per side at most this dinner easily comes in at 20 minutes or less total time.
This is a 1X (feeds my family of 4 people once) meal… if you have kids (or a spouse) that will eat more than one burger, consider doubling & save any excess burger patties in the the freezer (frozen flat in freezer safe bags or if stacking; in a container, oil parchment paper to place in-between raw patties before freezing).
While the burgers are cooking, I made a quick salad and sliced additional vegetables for the kids.
Number of Servings:
4 people (I vary mine to make 2 larger ‘grown up’ burgers and 2 small ‘kiddie’ burgers, if you have a larger package of beef you can make 5 burgers or could possibly make 6 smaller burgers evenly sized). As mentioned above, any excess if your family is smaller or there are less burger eaters, the meat can freeze for another time.
- 1 to 1.25 pounds (one package from a typical grocer) of ground beef, ideally 85% lean. If using leaner beef, watch the cooking time and consider adding 2 tbsp of olive oil or an extra egg yolk to keep it moist and yummy.
- Salt & pepper to taste (I use about 1 tsp. of kosher salt or substitute 2 tbsp. of soy sauce)
- Optional: Sweet Paprika 1 teaspoon
- Optional: 1 teaspoon of turmeric
- Optional: 2 teaspoons of aged balsamic vinegar
- Optional: 1 large egg. This is more important if you’re using leaner meat (i.e. 90% + lean beef or if you substitute with poultry, like turkey, etc.)
- Optional: 4 Burger rolls: If you’re interested in making your own, I use this recipe from King Arthur Flour and I keep partially risen rolls (that have gone through the 1st rise only) in my freezer for quick access. I made a 50/50 blend of all purpose & white whole wheat flour to add a bit of whole grain or use a mix of traditional whole wheat & white wheat.
Steps to Put this On Your Table:
- Preheat a large (i.e. 12 inch) frying or saute pan over medium-high heat, spray or coat with cooking oil (i.e. coconut or olive oil).
- In a small bowl throughly combine all of the ingredients except for the burger rolls with a spatula. If using, the egg will make the mixture slightly ‘loose’ but it really it makes for super-moist burgers.
- Form 4 (or 5) burger patties from the meat mixture (using your hands). If making ahead, will keep covered in the fridge 1 day or in the freezer for up to 4 months). My children are young so I made 2 small burgers for them and two larger (about 1/3 pound) burgers for the grown ups. You can configure the size (or save extra in the freezer) based on the number of burger eaters you’re serving.
- Watch the burgers to see when the ‘cooked’ (brown colored part that is no longer red) at the bottom looks to be about 1/3 to 1/2 way ‘up’ towards the center of the burger — this takes about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Using a large spatula, ‘flip’ the burgers from the ‘cooked’ to the ‘uncooked’ side and continue to cook for about another 3 to 4 minutes (3 for medium rare, 4 for medium – perhaps longer, up to 5 minutes if you want well done). To check for doneness, using a small fork or knife cut (lightly) into the center and take a look for any remaining pink/uncooked meat.
- They should take 6 – 10 minutes total time to cook.
Serve with (on or alongside — as I did for my kids, see picture below) burger rolls and top with your favorite burger condiments: i.e. slice of cheese for Cheeseburgers, ketchup, salsa, avocado, mustard, slow cooked onions…. whatever brings you burger happiness.
Did you try this? Let me know what you think in the comments.