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Author Notes: Everyone should have some good hamburgers in the freezer. This is a staple in our kitchen and the principal meat in the rotation. It's best served grilled or "roasted" in the cast iron pan, served without a bun, but with a good barbecue sauce. Can't deny that some melted sharp cheddar or gorgonzola makes it even better. In light of the Times' recent report on serious problems in the food supply chain, and following my deep disappointment in having some ground beef recalled by my favorite store (whose initials are T.J.), I think it's important to find a butcher shop that has been in business a long time and which will grind the beef while you are waiting. I like J. Baczynsky’s East Village Meat Market. They are proud of what they do, and I think it's important to keep guys like these in business. —Michael.Alcamo
Makes: about seven burgers
pound ground beef (chuck), from J. Baczynsky’s East Village Meat Market. (Wherever you buy it, make sure they grind it while you are waiting.)
pound ground pork (also Baczynsky)
white onion, chopped finely
extra large egg
cup breadcrumbs, from a bakery or the Gramercy Fish Store, but not out of a green can
teaspoon kosher salt, maybe more
quite a bit of good cracked black pepper
Olive oil, extra virgin
- Wash your hands. In a large bowl, mix the meat together, then add the onion and egg, continue mixing, and add the bread crumbs, the salt and pepper.
- Let sit for about five minutes, and then separate into seven or eight meatballs.
- Gently convert each meatball into a good size burger, coating it with the olive oil so it won't stick to your wooden cutting board.
- Seal each in plastic "Saran" wrap, and freeze immediately.
- When ready to eat, thaw in room temperature water, or on a dense piece of metal. Cook in a medium-hot cast iron pan, about 3-5 minutes on each side, turning to sear.
- If you want to add cheese, I recommend melting the cheese in a separate saucepan.