It’s been a great day. A very long and busy day, but I got so much done around the apartment, spent a lot of quality time with my fur son and did some exercising this morning.
But as I’m sitting here writing and watching romantic comedies—you know, the really, really cheesy and predictable ones—I’m feeling nostalgic about an amazing burger that I made last weekend. There are a handful of fast food joints that I thoroughly enjoy… probably too much, actually. And they are as follows (and in no particular order): Five Guys, Shake Shack, In-N-Out. Now, one of those is different from the others and happens to be my favorite. Not sure if it’s because it’s not easily accessible on the east coast, which is why I often have longings for it, but there’s just something about In-N-Out burgers that make me grin from ear to ear.
Maybe it’s the “special sauce.” Maybe it’s the soft, buttery bun. Maybe it’s the well-seasoned beef patties. I’ll tell you what it’s not… it’s not the side of standard, flimsy hand-cut French fries that dry out after 5 minutes. Whatever the case, I fucking love it.
Last weekend, my inner burger craving awakened, so I headed to the kitchen to work my magic. I rolled up my sleeves and made the best burger I’ve ever made. Drool-worthy. Memorable. Juicy. Delightful. I need to play around with the bun dough more—they were a little dense and not as airy. Womp, womp. Go to Whole Foods and grab their brioche buns. They would be perfect meat holders.
This recipe is super duper easy. It’s all about putting the burger together.
What You’ll Need:
- 2 tbsp. of butter
- 2 hamburger buns
- 1 lb of grass-fed ground beef 85% lean/15% fat, section off in 4 oz. patties (make sure they’re really flat and the width of the hamburger bun!)
- 4 slices of Kraft Singles
- 4 whole leaves of butter lettuce
- whole dill pickles, cut into slices
- salt and pepper to taste
For the caramelized onions:
- 1 small onion, diced (about a cup)
- 2 tbsp. of butter
- salt to taste
For the special sauce:
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp. yellow mustard
- 1 tbsp. white vinegar
- 1 dill pickle, minced
- 2 tbsp. fresh chives, minced
- 1/2 tsp. paprika
- 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
- pinch of black pepper
How You’ll Do It:
- Mix all the ingredients for the special sauce and set aside.
- Melt the 2 tbsp. of butter in a small saucepan on medium heat. Swirl the butter around and cook until butter becomes a toasty brown, and then add the diced onions. You’ll cook the onions between 15 and 25 minutes, until they are translucent and caramelized. Make sure you stir the onions every 3 to 5 minutes. Once finished, set aside.
- Preheat a large cast iron skillet on medium high. Once the skillet is heated, add 2 tbsp. of butter and swirl around to evenly distribute it in the pan.
- Plop on the patties and on the uncooked side, generously salt and sprinkle black pepper. Cook for about two to three minutes on each side. Should be nicely browned—don’t burn the patties. When you flip to the other side, add a slice of cheese on each patty.
- In a separate pan on medium high, toast the buns until golden brown. Should take about three to five minutes.
- Once everything is all cooked, it’s time to plate! Get a plate and put down the bottom bun. Then, here’s the order: patty, patty, two leaves of butter lettuce, fried onions, heaping tbsp. of special sauce, two pickles slices and then top it all off with the top bun. And repeat for the next burger.
- Serve with crispy French fries, animal style. And enjoy!