Thursday, August 13, 2009


Thank goodness the burger craving goes away with fall. It's a fact of life that the warm weather seems to bring out the carnivore in me. I eat more steaks and burgers in the summertiime than at any other time of year.

A few years back I bought Larry the Kitchen Aid grinder attachment since he butchers his own venison. After watching the box collect dust, I tried it out a while back and really liked what it did for my Bolognese sauce. I decided it was time to try Tyler's ultimate burger (from his cookbook, Tyler's Ultimate), which calls for grinding up your own beef brisket. I had to negotiate with the butcher to get a piece that wouldn't have us eating burgers every night for a week. I still ended up freezing a half dozen burgers and I know they won't taste as delicious as the fresh ones did.

From Tyler's "burger bar," I chose to make the sauteed mushrooms and the carmelized onions. This was burger heaven and we both ate two burgers, one on the bun and one naked just to use up every last topping.

2 lbs brisket, ground
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
8 thin slices Swiss cheese
8 hamburger buns, split
Burger Bar Fixins (see below)

Preheat an outdoor grill to medium hot. Be sure to grease the grill well.

Season the ground meat in a bowl with salt and pepper and give it about 3 turns with a wooden spoon. Shape into 8 patties, When the grill is hot, put the burgers on the grill and cook for 7 minutes per side for rare, 8 for medium, adding the cheese in the final minute.

Saute 1 lb thickly sliced mushrooms in 1/4 cup olive oil with 2 sliced garlic cloves and 1 tbs fresh thyme leaves over super-high heat until nicely browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in a couple of drops of fresh lemon juice to brighten the flavor.

Heat 2 tbs unsalted butter with 2 tbs olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add 2 onions sliced 1/2 inch thick, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook slowly until carmelized, 15 to 20 minutes.
My butcher couldn't grind the brisket for me--something about the grinder being too big, I think. I enjoyed grinding my own--just cut it into chunks and used my tamper. Be sure you don't overhandle the meat. This is what makes some burgers dry. Tyler mentions giving the seasoned meat 3 turns. He doesn't elaborate about shaping them, but I can tell you if you squeeze them into shape, they're ruined. Just pick up 4 oz and very lightly shape with your hands. It's like pie crust: the less you handle it, the better it tastes. These burgers had that really meaty, fresh flavor and were so juicy, I ruined a white tank top. On the matter of oil--don't use 1/4 cup; it's too much!!!!!!!!!! The fresh thyme and lemon juice really made those mushrooms flavorful. The carmelized onions benefit from the longest possible time in the pan. I used my new cast iron skillet for the mushrooms and they browned beautifully. This may be more work than you're used to for burgers, but pour yourself a beautiful Sangiovese or a cold Mexican beer and you'll think you're on vacation.

Be sure to check out what other Tyler devotees are cooking this week at Tyler Florence Fridays.


  1. Sounds like making a burger from "scratch"!! I'd love to grind the meat fresh like that. I hear it really makes a difference. Was the grinder pretty easy to use and all? Ah, so many gadgets and kitchen goodies to buy!! The burgers sound absolutely wonderful. Great choice!!

  2. Arlene, those burgers are HUGE! Delicious, I'm sure. As for mushrooms and onions, oh yeah baby.

  3. Nothing better than a great burger--and mushrooms and onions--YUM! It looks delicious!

  4. I wish I was having that for dinner tonight! Now that's what I call a burger!!

  5. I love a good burger! I am thinking of getting a meat grinder. I have friends that just use the food processor after dicing the meat. I would love to know how you feel about the KA attachment.

  6. I never added mushrooms on a burger but it sounds a delicious idea!

  7. I believe it was Cooks Illustrated that did an article on what made the best burger...aside from their opinion on the most flavorful cut of meat, their biggest comment was on handling of the beef. They said if you could possibly grind it onto a sheet pan and just kind of smoosh it into a patty, without too much compression, it would be the best. This is hands-down the prettiest burger I've seen in I don't know how long. Bravo!!

  8. Arlene that burger looks so good!

    My husband gave me the Kitchen Aide grinder for my birthday and I only used it once so far but I know it will come in handy over time. Lately we've been eating a lot of sausages as I have a lot of peppers growing in my garden and I've been combining them.

  9. Kim and Natashya, the KA meat grinder attachment was about $50 when I bought it, a few years back. It is so easy to attach to the front of your KA. It washes easily as well. My mom had an old-fashioned grinder--which I may still have in the basement--but it had to be attached to a strong counter and I'm left-handed, which always is a hassle in any kitchen, since they're set up for right-handed people. Plus the old ones were hand turned and horrid to clean. This KA attachment is great. Now, if I could have justified the price of the pasta attachment!!!!

  10. A few years back I bought Larry the Kitchen Aid grinder attachment since he butchers his own venison. After watching the box collect dust, I tried it out a while back and really liked what it did for my Bolognese sauce.At Bazaark we bring solutions on a variety of quality items: from Kitchenware, Outdoor Furniture to Garage Storage Solutions, Bike Racks & more

  11. Wow! That is one hearty burger. I'd love to see if I could fit it all in my mouth in just one big bite :)!


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