Featured Recipe: Hamburger Fatty Melt
Yield 2 burgers
- 1/2 pound freshly ground Basic Burger Blend (see recipe below)
- 4 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon unsalted butter, softened
- 8 slices sandwich bread, preferably thin-sliced
- 8 slices yellow American cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- Toppings, as desired (we recommend a slice of ripe tomato for each sandwich)
Divide the beef blend into two equal parts and shape into square patties 1/2 inch larger than the bread slices. Set aside.
For the grilled sandwiches, butter all eight slices of bread on both sides in a thin, even layer, using 1/2 tablespoon butter per slice. Place the remaining teaspoon of butter in a 12-inch cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium heat until the foaming subsides, 2 to 3 minutes.
Place two slices of bread in the skillet and cook until the first side is hot but not browned, about 30 seconds. Transfer the slices to a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet, hot side up. Top each slice with a slice of cheese. Repeat with the remaining six slices of bread and cheese.
Assemble the bread and cheese to form four sandwiches with two slices of cheese in the center of each. Place two sandwiches in the skillet and cook until the first sides are golden brown, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook until they are golden brown on the second side, about 2 minutes longer. Transfer the finished sandwiches to the wire rack and tent with foil to keep them warm while cooking the remaining two sandwiches.
Place the skillet over medium-high and heat the oil until it is lightly smoking. Season the patties liberally on both sides with salt and pepper. Place them in the pan and cook without moving for about 3 minutes, until they are well browned. Using a metal spatula, flip the burgers and cook for 1 minute longer, or until the desired doneness is reached. Sandwich each patty between two grilled-cheese sandwiches, adding toppings as desired. Serve immediately.
Basic Burger Blend
Makes 2 pounds
- 12 ounces boneless beef sirloin, trimmed of gristle, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 10 ounces beef brisket, trimmed of gristle, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 10 ounces boneless beef shortrib, trimmed of gristle, cut into 1-inch cubes
Using a Meat Grinder
- Place the feed shaft, blade, and 1/4-inch die of the meat grinder in the freezer until well chilled, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, place all the meat chunks on a rimmed baking sheet, leaving space between each piece, and place in the freezer for 10 minutes, until the meat is firm, but not frozen.
- In a large bowl, combine the chilled meats and toss to mix. Grind the meat, handling as little as possible after it is ground. Use the ground meat immediately, or cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
Using a Food Processor
- Place the bowl and blade of a food processor in the freezer until well chilled, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, place the meat chunks on a rimmed baking sheet, leaving space between each piece, and place in the freezer for 10 minutes, until the meat is firm, but not frozen.
- In a large bowl, combine the chilled meats and toss to mix. Working in two batches, place the meat cubes in the food processor and pulse until a medium-fine grind is achieved, eight to ten 1-second pulses, scraping down the processor bowl as necessary. Use the ground meat immediately, or cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
ED LEVINE, founder of SeriousEats.com, is a New York–based food writer, blogger, and frequent New York Times contributor. He is a recurring judge on Food Network’s Iron Chef America and has appeared on Good Morning America, Fresh Air, Charlie Rose, Martha Stewart Radio, The Splendid Table, Leonard Lopate, and CBS’s Sunday Morning. Serious Eats has won two James Beard Awards and was named by Time as one of the Top 50 Websites in 2008 and 2010.