My favorite way to make hamburgers is to do very little with the meat itself. I have made them many ways over the years, but it was not until I made them this way that I established a go-to method. The best part about keeping the meat fairly plain and just simply well seasoned is that the options for dressing up the burger are endless without any worry for competing flavors.
My keys for making these burgers well is to make them right before you are going to grill them so that the salt does not make the meat mushy, handle the ground beef lightly and as little as possible, and DO NOT OVER COOK THEM! The meat of a hamburger should be pink. If you are afraid of that, buy better meat! Ok, that was a little harsh, but it really does make a difference in the juiciness and palatability of the burger.
Ingredients (for 2 burgers)
1/2 lb 5% fat lean ground beef
1/8 t kosher salt
1/8 t fresh ground pepper
4 slices of thick cut bacon (cooked)
1 oz blue cheese
2 T homemade ketchup
2 T high quality mayonnaise (like Smart Balance)
2 small handfuls of baby garden greens
2 bakery quality buns
To make the burgers start by putting the ground beef into a medium sized mixing bowl. Add salt and pepper and use your fingers to combine, taking care not to over handle or compact the meat. Form into two evenly sized (1/4 pound) patties. Preheat the grill to medium-high (400-450 degrees) and cook patties on each side for 4 minutes. When you flip the patties add the cheese to the top to allow enough time for proper melting. With two minutes of cook time left toast buns if you want to. Remove everything from heat and assemble your final product, taking care not to forget your bacon or your brewski!