Summer Solstice

21 Jun

The first day of summer and the longest day of the year deserves some barbecued burgers.

Well-Done Hamburgers
Recipe adapted from Cooks Illustrated, July 1, 2006 Serves 4
Adding a panade (a paste of bread and milk paste) to the ground beef creates burgers that are juicy and tender even when well-done. For a burger that cooks up flat, press the center of each patty down with your fingertips before grilling. Serve the burgers on your favorite buns or rolls. For cheeseburgers, follow the optional instructions below.
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 10 min

1 large slice high-quality white sandwich bread, crust removed and discarded, bread chopped into 1/4-inch pieces (about 1/2 cup)
2 tablespoons whole milk
3/4 teaspoon table salt
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 medium clove garlic, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 1 teaspoon)
2 teaspoons steak sauce, such as A-1
1 1/2 pounds 80 percent lean ground chuck
Vegetable oil for cooking grate
6 ounces cheese, sliced (optional)
4 hamburger buns or rolls

Heat grill on high if using. Clean and oil grill.
Make panade: mash bread and milk in large bowl with fork, yields about 1/4 cup). Stir in salt, pepper, garlic, and steak sauce.

Crumble beef into small pieces over panade. Lightly mix to form a cohesive mass. Divide meat into four. Gently toss one ball back and forth between hands to form loose ball. Gently flatten into 3/4-inch-thick patty that measures about 4 1/2 inches in diameter. Indent centre with fingertips until it is about 1/2 inch thick. Repeat.

Oil grill on hot side, and cook burgers covered, until seared on first side, 2 to 4 minutes.

Using wide metal spatula, flip burgers and continue grilling, about 3 minutes for medium-well or 4 minutes for well-done. Add cheese with 2 minutes to go. Tent to help melt cheese. While burgers grill, toast buns on cooler side of grill.

If frying on stovetop: Heat oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until just beginning to smoke. Add meat patties, indentation side up, and cook until well-browned, about 5 minutes. Using wide spatula, flip burgers and continue cooking, about 4 minutes for medium-well or 5 minutes for well-done. Distribute equal portion of cheese (if using) on burgers about 2 minutes before they reach desired doneness, covering skillet with lid to melt cheese

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