By Kent Whitaker
You never go wrong with a great tasting hamburger when planning your next charcoal grilling menu! Burgers are a favorite party pleasing entree; that can be made to feature different flavors from multiple cuisines. Beef hamburgers may still be king for many but do not count out pork, ground chicken or turkey, or even veggie burgers. The bottom line is this – do not get stuck in a rut while serving up the same boring burger patties to your family and friends. Now you can try this recipe for a beef burger that is sure to demonstrate your culinary grilling skills while using only a few ingredients. This recipe combines the natural flavor of ground beef with a few select seasonings and shredded cheese. This homemade steak house ketchup is the perfect condiment to finish things off.
More than just Beef
Do not get me wrong when I mentioned assorted meats and vegetables above. My go-to meat when making burgers is most often going to be ground Beef. Why? Because they are tasty! While working on my cookbooks over the years, especially recipes that focused on grilling and barbecue. I found turkey burgers, pork burgers, ground chicken burgers, and others can be juicy, and flavor-packed just like their beef counterparts. It is now common to see restaurant menus that feature those options as well as veggie burgers, mushroom burgers, or even a seafood burger. Trust me, with chefs today, if the food can be ground or chopped and then formed into a patty, the chances are somebody has made burgers out of it! For example, I made grilled lamb burgers with a cucumber and garlic mayo recently that were out of this world.
Have you ever noticed someone putting a dent into a burger patty before cooking? The question is… why? Because it is hard to keep a big meatball from rolling off a hamburger bun! Let us answer this with Beef in mind, but the same could be said about the other meats. Generally, the meat will tend to contract as it cooks. If you grill a burger patty too quickly over a high heat source, then the outside heats up faster than the inside of patty. So, the outside of the patty shrinks, while the inside of the patty is still raw. The result is a meatball shaped burger that is puffed up. Putting a small dent, say with the backside of a spoon, helps the burger to keep a flatter shape as it cooks. Of course, this all depends on the meat, fat content, temperatures, etc. Give the dent secret a try and see how juicy the burgers can be for you! As for fat content, the rule of thumb for ensuring a juicy burger is to start with ground beef that has an 80/20 fat ratio. A higher fat content above 20% may cause flare-ups on the grill, and the burgers will shrink more as the fat burns off. However, use what you like best, or your family enjoys, and what fits into your dietary needs and budget.
Shredded Cheese Cheesy Burgers with Steak House Ketchup
This is a classic pub burger mixture with only salt and pepper seasoning. The bonus flavor comes from the cheese and toppings!
- 1-1/2 pounds ground beef, 80/20
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Sliced onions
- Sliced mushrooms
- Soft yeast roll style buns
Directions: Combine the ground beef, cheese, salt, and pepper in a bowl and gently mix. Next, form into 4 – 6 patties. Cook on the grill as you normally would. Place some sliced onions and mushrooms onto some foil and add a few pats of butter. Fold the foil gently and place the packet on the grill grates.
For the Zesty Steak House Ketchup
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1/2 cup steak sauce
- 1/2 tablespoon melted butter
- 2 tablespoons water
Directions: Place the ingredients in a saucepan and simmer for a few minutes. Best served warm! Cook the burgers and serve on a warm yeast roll style bun topped with the grilled onions and mushrooms with a drizzle of the steak sauce.