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The Ultimate Burger

  • People

    Serves 4

  • Prep Time

    15 mins

  • Chilling Time

    1 h

  • Grilling Time

    6 mins

Serves 4
Prep Time
15 mins
Chilling Time
1 h
Grilling Time
6 mins

the Ingredients

The Ultimate Burger
  • 1.670 pound ground chuck
  • 7 ounces shredded suet*
  • 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
  • 5 teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper
  • 8 slices raclette cheese, about 7 ounces
  • 4 soft brioche buns, split


  • ¼ head iceberg lettuce, finely chopped
  • 6 large sweet dill pickled gherkins, thinly sliced crosswise, plus juice from the gherkins
  • 1 sweet white onion, very finely chopped
  • ketchup

Special Equipment

  • instant-read thermometer


  • 01 In a large bowl combine the beef and suet, season with a little and pepper, and mix just until blended. Do not overmix or the burgers will turn out too dense.
  • 02 Divide the beef mixture into eight equal balls; each will weigh about 4 ounces. Using the 1/4 pound setting on the burger press, shape each patty. Place the patties on a plate, cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour to firm up before cooking. Unlike steaks, which should be brought to room temperature before cooking, burgers benefit from being grilled cold from the refrigerator. They turn out more tender and hold their shape better on the grill.
  • 03 Prepare the grill for direct and indirect cooking over medium-high heat (400° to 500°F).
  • 04 Brush the cooking grates clean. Season the patties generous with sea salt and cracked pepper. Sear the patties over direct medium-high heat, with the lid closed, for 2 minutes. Check to see if the burgers will release easily from the grates. If they do, flip the burgers; if not, leave them, with the lid closed, a little bit longer until they do. Sear on the second side, with the lid closed, for 2 minutes. Move the patties over indirect medium-high heat, top each patty with a slice of cheese, close the lid, and grill until cooked to 160°F for well done (or your preferred doneness), about 2 minutes. Remove from the grill, and rest at room temperature, indoors, for 3 to 5 minutes.
  • 05 While the burgers are resting, put the bun halves, cut side down, over direct medium-high heat, with the lid open, just until lightly toasted, 15 to 30 seconds. Have ready the lettuce, gherkins, onion, and ketchup for garnishing the burgers. Put the onion into a small bowl and add some gherkin juice, which will cut through the bite of the onion to mellow its flavor; drain before using. To assemble the burgers, place the bun bottoms, cut side up on individual plates. Spread the bottoms with ketchup, top with lettuce, two patties, onion, and pickle, then spread the bun tops with ketchup and close the burgers. Serve immediately.
  • 06 *Suet is fat taken from around the kidneys of cows and sometimes sheep. It can be special ordered from some butcher shops and supermarket meat counters or purchased online. Solid vegetable shortening, which has been frozen and then grated on the large holes of a box grater-shredder, can be substituted.

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