Chef Gillian Clark's inspiration for developing her own classic was Lipton Onion Soup mix.
This recipe can be cut in half; she makes the burgers in her restaurant in a cast-iron skillet.
- 5 pounds ground chuck, preferably 80 percent lean
- 1/2 cup roasted garlic, pureed (from about 4 heads of garlic; see NOTE)
- 1 medium onion, finely diced (about 1 cup)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Gently combine the beef, garlic, onion, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Use a ring to shape ten 8-ounce burgers. Do not pack the meat; it should be loosely held together.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a seasoned cast-iron griddle or pan over high heat. When it is very hot, sear the burgers, working in batches, for about 4 to 5 minutes (for medium-rare) on the first side and 4 to 5 minutes on the second side, or until the desired temperature is reached; add the remaining oil as needed. Transfer the burgers to the buns and serve immediately.
NOTE: To roast garlic, slice the top from each head of garlic so that the tops of the cloves inside are exposed. Lightly drizzle with olive oil (optional) and wrap tightly in aluminum foil. Bake in a preheated 425-degree oven for about 45 minutes or until the garlic has softened and browned. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then squeeze the softened garlic cloves out of their skins and discard their stem ends.
Adapted from "Out of the Frying Pan: A Chef's Memoir of Hot Kitchens, Single Motherhood, and the Family Meal" (Thomas Dunne Books, 2007). Serve on fresh hamburger buns, with lettuce, tomato and thinly sliced red onions.
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
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