The humble hamburger can easily be elevated to the heights of cuisine classics with the same attention to detail that any dish deserves. It can also be infinitely varied with lots of your personalized flavours. Ground chuck is your best choice because it has a higher fat content than ground round or ground sirloin.
Yield: Serves 4
1 1/2 pound ground chuck
1 small white onion, finely minced
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
a sprinkle or two freshly ground pepper
4 soft hamburger rolls
Preheat your barbecue on its highest setting.
Toss the beef into a small mixing bowl. Toss in the onion and season with the soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and pepper. Gently toss everything together until well combined.
Form into 4 evenly shaped burgers no more than 1 inch thick. Form a shallow hollow with your fingers in the centre of each burger. This will help each burger cook evenly, and the hollow will eventually disappear as the meat cooks through.
Cook for about 4 minutes per side. Resist the urge to press on the burgers with your spatula; this just encourages it to release valuable moisture and flavour. Flip and continue cooking until the burger is cooked through to your liking.
After you flip the burgers add a few pieces of crisp bacon and thinly sliced cheddar cheese to each one. For a pizza burger twist, add a spoonful of pizza sauce and some shredded mozzarella cheese. Sautéed mushrooms and blue cheese are also great. There are also many masterpieces to be built with lettuce, tomato, thinly sliced red onion, other cheeses, ketchup, mustard, BBQ sauce and your other favourite toppings.
Beef stews are a part of cooking all over the world. Cooks everywhere know they can simmer tough, inexpensive cuts of meat in a flavourful liquid then fill their bowls with a rich tender stew. My family loves this “Asian” version ladled over spinach leaves and bean sprouts. It’s a stew and a salad in the same bowl!
There’s nothing more satisfying than a bowl full of spaghetti and meatballs and my gold standard tomato sauce. Every cook has an all-purpose tomato sauce up his or her sleeve, a perfect last-minute pasta sauce that’s just as good served without meatballs.