I know … sometimes you just want to hop in the car and head to nearest Grill for a juicy burger and fries. There’s no two ways about it. You’ve got the craving! Well, I assume most people get that craving now and then. I certainly do. And I know it’s genetic. My mother has had these unexplained cravings pretty regularly all my life. I’m just waiting to see which of my kids get it … Betsy I think. But sometimes you just can’t do it. Everybody in the family wants one and there’s no way you’re going to spend $8-12 a head just for burgers and fries for everyone. Well, the luxury of having someone else do the cooking and the cleaning is pretty much what 75% of that cost is going toward, and if you can rope someone into being your assistant grill chef, and then whine a little and claim “I cooked!” as an excuse to get out of the clean up, you’re not doing too badly! Because these really are the real McCoy. I’ve been working on these recipes for half a dozen years, and I’ve got it down pat. Put on your grilling apron, grab a lighter and lets’ go!
Okay, well, I know you’re all excited and raring to go. But you have to actually back up a step and start with frozen burger patties. I know. Sacrilege. But it’s part of the secret. You don’t think your neighborhood Bar & Grill pulls out a lump of fresh ground beef and hand-shapes their patties every time you ask for one, do you? Probably not. I make my own frozen patties. I bought one of these little gadgets:
I divide my ground beef into 1/4 lb. lumps, insert into the burger press, and … well … I press. Then I have a flat 1/4 lb. burger, which I transfer to a baking sheet covered in waxed paper. You could make your patties larger if you like – 1/3 lb. or more. When the sheet is full I put it in my deep freeze for several hours until the patties are firm, then I trim the waxed paper between each row of two burgers (I can usually get four columns of two burgers each on a regular-sized baking sheet). Then I stack them on top of each other and insert into a gallon-sized freezer bag and put back in the freezer until I want to cook them. Easy-peazy. Or you can buy pre-frozen burgers at your grocery, but be sure they are 100% ground beef. The good stuff. No “beef-hearts” on the ingredients label, okay? Just 100% ground beef.
Once you have your frozen patties, you’ll need to fire up the grill at a “high” setting. Here is your list of ingredients:
Frozen burger patties
Montreal Steak Seasoning
A-1 Steak Sauce
Specialty Hamburger Bun (deli buns, seeded buns, kaiser rolls, onion rolls … whichever you like best when you order a burger at a Grill or a Steakhouse.)
Butter (not margarine)
Mayo (for those who like mayo on their burgers)
Various Burger Toppings: Onion, lettuce, tomato, pickles, ketchup, mustard, relish, sliced cheese of whichever variety you adore on a burger
Alrighty! Throw those bad boys on the grill! Close the lid and let them sit for a few minutes – 3 or 4. Then flip them. The side that was facing the flames should now be starting to soften and cook a little bit. Pour a quarter-sized dollop of A-1 Steak Sauce into the midde of each burger, spread it all around with the back of your spatula, or if you are looking to dirty an extra utensil, with your basting brush. Then sprinkle the Montreal Steak Seasoning evenly over the burgers. The heavier the sprinkle, the spicier they’ll be. This may take a little experimenting on your part to see just how spicy you like them. Spicy is relative, though. This just gives the burger an interesting little kick. We’re not talking “buffalo wing spicy” here.
Cook your burgers as usual to the desired doneness. You may wish to repeat the Steak Sauce/Montreal Steak Seasoning routine with the other side of your burger, depending on how thick your burgers are and how much flavor you like on them. After the last time you flip your burgers before they’re done cooking, grab the burger buns and liberally butter the insides on both the top and bottom bun. Put on the warming rack if you have one, or over a low flame on the grill rack if you don’t. Throw the slices of cheese on the burgers of whomever wants cheese on theirs to let it melt, then remove burgers to a platter. Toast the buns, watching carefully not to burn them. When they are toasted nicely, pull the top buns off the grill and smear them with mayo for the mayo-loving folks — this is pretty important — you want the mayo warmed by the hot bun. Now, pop a burger (or two) onto each bun. Dress with desired toppings. That’s all there is to it! These are the best burgers. I dream about them at night. Okay, I don’t, but I do get cravings for them. So does my Mom.