My daughter, young Galadriel Tanqueray Onassis, and her friends say I make THE BEST hamburgers. EVER!
She thinks I should have my own cooking show. Personally, I don't think anybody wants to tune in once a week to see me make the same goddamn thing over and over.
It would be like that version of Playboy they came out with specifically for the married man...every month it had pictures of the same woman. It folded faster than the Royals in an exhibition game.
But, what I can do is teach you how to make hamburgers the XO way. Now, there isn't anything revolutionary here. It's just a fucking hamburger for Christ's sake. But it's a pretty goddamn good burger if I do say so myself and I get very consistent results.
Start with the meat. I use a ground beef that is about 85/15 lean.
The 90/10 and above are too lean. Tasteless. Below 85/15 it's just too much fat and grease. So 85/15 is perfect.
Each beef patty should be about a half a pound. Fuck that quarter pounder shit. You ain't at McDonalds and this ain't Burger King. This is MY house. So grab what looks to be a half pound chunk of ground beef.
Now much of the secret to my burgers is the preparation of the patty itself. I've seen people mash them out on a butcher block, press them out with some sort of "As Seen On Tv" kitchen gadget for $19.95.
I've seen people poke a whole through the middle of the patty with their thumbs. What the fuck is up with that? The most common mistakes I see are starting with a patty that is too round (requiring you to spatula it down on the grill...big no no), having rough, irregular edges and inconsistent thickness, or, the worst of all, using preformed, frozen patty's. You should only resort to those if you are having a huge fucking party and can't be bothered.
No, the perfect XO burger requires loving preparation.
You take that half pound hunk of ground beef and you start compressing it between your cupped hands into a roughly spherical shape. Pack it down as tight as you can. Toss it from one hand to another, back and forth.
Then you take this roughly spherical meatball and you start rolling it between your open palms to even out the surface and get it as close to perfectly spherical as you can. The end result should be about the size and shape of a baseball; maybe a little bigger.
Next, you want to take this meatball and start pressing it between the palms of your hands and flattening it out into a patty. Try to press from the center outward in an even and consistent manner. This may take some practice. The goal is to have a beef patty that is evenly flat and round with a smooth, round edge. This isn't just aesthetics. The perfect patty shape helps to sear in the juices and keep your burger moist. A loosely packed patty with jagged edges allows the juices to leak out during grilling, rendering a dry, overdone hockey puck.
The finished product should pretty much cover the flat portion of a standard paper plate. Like this.
Now comes the seasoning! I use 3 or 4.
First, sprinkle some Worcestershire on there.
Then, I like to use McCormick's "Steakhouse Seasoning Grinder",
followed by McCormick's "Peppercorn Medley Grinder".
Don't be stingy! Sometimes, just sometimes, I top this off with a very light sprinkle of Old Bay Blackened Seasoning.
Then you take your spatula and you press all that stuff into the meat! Flip the meat and repeat.
I use a gas grill preheated to 500 degrees. I like to spray a little Pam on the grill to enhance the grill marks as well as make it easy to lift the pattys.
This next part is very, very important. So fucking pay attention.
You throw the patty on the preheated grill, cover it, and leave it the fuck alone for 4 minutes! Don't lift the lid to check on it, don't press it, don't touch it. Leave it the fuck alone for 4 minutes!!
After your timer goes off (yes! use a timer! don't count Mississippi's or estimate. use a fucking timer!) go out, lift the lid, flip the burgers, close the lid and leave it alone for another 4 minutes!
After the second side is done, remove the burgers from the grill, turn off the grill, and let the burgers set while you prepare your buns and condiments.
We like Home Pride Potato Buns here at Casa Onassis. But sometimes we have to settle for something else. Whatever your choice, do NOT settle for those teeny tiny generic Wonder buns. Unless you are cooking up a batch of those frozen preformed pattys for a big party. But if you are choosing a bun for an XO burger, you need a substantial bun! One worthy of the half pound patty you just lifted off the grill.
Everyone has their preferences. My daughter likes her burgers with just ketchup, nothing else.
Personally, I like my buns toasted. Preheat a skillet and lay the buns in dry, flat side down.
It's okay to lift and check them occasionally until they get just the way you like them.
On the bottom bun, I spiral some yellow mustard. The top bun gets a spiral of ketchup.
On the mustardy bottom bun goes a mattress of thinly sliced purple onion as a bed for the meat. If I can find tomato's worthy (in season or on vine...sometimes Roma's) I will put them on the top bun.
I prefer cheeseburgers so I will sometimes break my meat flipping rule to facilitate cheese meltiness. After each side of the patty has cooked for 4 minutes, I have been known to give the patty a gentle squeeze with the spatula, causing a brief grease flareup, flip the burger, lay the cheese on the hot side, close the lid and let the cheese melt a bit before removing from the grill.
I lay the burger cheese-side-up on the onion bed.
I adorn the melty cheese with slices of dill pickle.
The perfect, assembled burger, looks like this.
Accompany with chips or fries, whatever peels your potato.
Best fucking burger you ever tasted. I guarantee!
Fuck a bunch of vegan hippies!
PETA! Peaople Eating Tasty Animals!
If God didn't want us to eat animals he shouldn't have made them out of MEAT!
Fuck a bunch of Westport Flea Market!
Enjoy an XO burger in your own home!