Cheeseburgers in ParaLAN

The Memorial Day countdown is in full effect.  We’re releasing the Mix, smoking pigs, and getting some much needed time with family and friends.  It also looks like this will be our last in St. Louis.  So we better make it count!

Burger talk and recipes have been catching my eyes and ears as we near summer.  The work gang hit a new burger bar next to the office this past week called Current.  I tried the Pittsburger, a slant on the infamous Pittsburgh style deli sandwich: a half-pound burger piled high with slaw and fries and drizzled with Thousand Island dressing.  Don’t worry dear, I only ate half.

With my brain on burgers, I naturally turned to memories of the good ol’ days growing up in Slidell.  We ate large!  “Daddy Burgers” graced our Weber and dinner table year round.  Dad would make gigantic burgers that stood at least 8” off a plate.  I think he tried to outdo himself every time he made them because as I started to grow the burgers never got smaller.

When we had kids, I brought back the tradition.  Tracey and the girls couldn’t eat them.  They plump while cooking even if you make a dimple, smash them between plates, or use any modern day viral Internet trick. We used to have competitions to see who could stack the highest burger.  Today the kids just shake their heads.

Dad’s Basic “Daddy Burger”

  • 80/20 beef or ground chuck.  One or a couple of pounds depending on how many burgers you’re making.
  • Garlic Powder
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Egg
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Minced Yellow Onion

This is your basic burger.  Break up your ground beef into a mixing bowl.  One egg will cover up to two pounds.  You’ll want the egg to keep your beef together on a hot grill, particularly if you like your burgers well done.  Leave it out if you’re on the rare side.

Dad always covered the meat with a layer of garlic powder.  Several of pinches of salt and pepper did the trick from that department.  The Worcestershire sauce was liberally dashed in.  You don’t want the burgers so drenched in the sauce that the meat changes color. So cut short before you get to that point.

Ah the onion (totally optional)… One of my siblings, who shall remain nameless, hated the mere sight of onions.  Dad would do a great mince job, add them to the meat, and the brother would never even know.  I never knew until adulthood.  I still gut laugh thinking about it.

Aside from tricking children to eat onions, they serve another particular purpose.  With the onions minced so small, they literally fall apart in the meat and add a ton of flavor.  Check it out if you’re feeling frisky.

Dad made simple patties.  First create a ball just smaller than a baseball then smash with your hands until it resists going further.  The patties will be an inch thick at least.  Sprinkle both sides with salt, pepper, and more garlic powder.

The burgers take about 8 minutes to cook for medium rare, shorter if your patties are thin.  Help prevent burger abuse by not cutting into a patty while on the grill to check doneness.  Trust the time or use your spatchula to press on the center. A Jell-O feeling is rare.  Spongy feel is medium rare.  Stress ball would be medium.  Brick… well, don’t do that.

Dress it up with your favorite fixin’s and go make some memories!  Cheers.

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