While it may be one of the most “basic” things we grill, the hamburger can also be one of the most versatile. As much as I love a grilled burger covered with melted sharp cheddar cheese, crisp dill pickles, and dollops of ketchup and mustard, a burger can be so much more.
After all, a patty can be composed of a near endless number of ingredients making it not only a backyard staple, but a blank canvas for flavors from around the world.
Jamie Purviance’s new Weber cookbook, Big Book of Burgers, is the ultimate burger journey. It’s one thing to step up your burger game. It’s another to take your burger in a completely different direction.
Admittedly, when planning dinners, I don’t always think of burgers as adventurous grilling. Wrong on my part. Jamie’s Gaucho Burgers changed me. Substituting Italian bread for a bun, and topping the sausage and beef mixed patties with chimichurri AND an egg is nothing short of tantalizing.
How about his lamb burgers with herb cheese and red wine sauce? It’s fine dining on a bun.
Whether you tackle any of Jamie’s recipes, or devise one of your own, there are two quintessential tips covered in the book I have always adhered to:
Take ownership and control over what goes in your burger: Grind your own meat. With the right tools, grinding meat adds on just a few minutes to the process. It’s well worth the effort.
Make a shallow indentation with your thumb, or spoon, in the center of each raw patty. I don’t know about you, but I grew up with “Dad Burgers.” “Dad Burgers” are hamburgers that swell up to the size of small meteorites when they cook. As a young impressionable, and, unfortunately for Dad, opinionated, 8 year old, he was constantly reminded that his burgers were not like at the restaurants. Thanks to this tip, I haven’t seen “Dad Burgers” in decades but have had some of his great hamburgers!