Burgers, like eggs, are highly personal - everyone likes them in a different way. The key to the perfect burger is having all the right building blocks.
Aurora and I had such a fun day grilling in her backyard - it felt like a party for two on one of those perfect sunny New York days when it's hard to believe that work now includes a bbq! We had just taken on Victoria Amory and her amazing condiments and what better way to try them all out but on the perfect burger?
Aurora likes her burger medium and with all the trimmings: cheese, mustard with mustard seeds, a generous helping of ketchup, pickles for crunch and the smallest bit of mayonnaise. I like mine rare with cheese, ketchup and a little mayo on the bun. I still remember the best burgers that I ever had were made by Mrs. Bean in Cape Cod. I discovered years later that the reason that I would run to the beach club on burger days was that she seared the buns in butter before topping the burgers.
However you like them, make sure you have the best meat you can find and keep the burger itself simple - I like to use 80% lean ground chuck and just a little salt and pepper.
All American Cheeseburger
Serves 4 people
1 lb ground beef (100% lean ground chuck)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 slices of cheddar cheese
4 burger buns
1) Heat the grill. If gas, heat to high and if using coals, until they glow orange and begin to ash.
2) Divide the meat into 4 plump patties and season with salt and pepper.
3) Grill burgers for 3 minutes on one side or until nicely charred.
4) Flip the burgers and grill for a further 3 minutes.
5) Add a slice of cheese to each burger, close the lid and cook for a further 1 minute for medium rare.
6) Remove burgers to a platter and add buns to the grill flat side down until slightly browned.
7) Go forth and create your burger adding all of your favorite toppings!