Monday, April 20, 2009
Hambone makes the best burgers I have ever eaten. Contrary to patty-making "best practices," which typically suggest barely handling the ground meat as it's shaped, Hambone works each portion well, passing it from hand to hand a number of times before patting it into a burger. This makes for a tender and juicy burger every time. Also, he seasons the patty well, on both sides, before frying in a hot cast-iron skillet.
Hambone has a signature burger, which is the one he treats us to 99 percent of the time, and I have no complaints. I do, however, have a file folder bursting with some fresh recipes for myriad burgers—pork, beef, lamb, chicken, fish, and more. Inspired by warm spring days and anxious to grill, our summer theme is set—burgers.
First up: bison chili cheeseburgers. Whole Foods has been running a special on ground bison so we picked up a 1.5 pounds, a somewhat experimental quantity. Alpha and Beta, who are growing like weeds, have recently demonstrated that they can eat a bit more than their usual quarter pounders. As Hambone was forming the patties, he worked in half a seeded, finely minced jalapeno. The patties were seasoned with salt, pepper, and curry powder, then browned in a cast-iron skillet on each side, and topped with a slice of American (I know, but it is the best for consistent melting) cheese and a generous dollop of handmade guacamole.
What are your favorite ways to prepare burgers?