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lean hamburger,,, need tasty burger recipes

Ive heard that lean hamburger isnt so great to make burgers but, I would dearly love to make tasty burgers today. Does anyone have any new or old recipes ?

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  1. There was a recipe in some magazine lately that suggested putting hamburgers in pita bread and using chimichurri sauce. It is very delicious, and a great change from regular hamburgers. I also add a slice or two of tomato with it.

    (There is a thread a ways back on chimichurri, although the recipe I used from that thread was unlike any other chimichurri I have had.)

    1 Reply
    1. re: Anne H

      If you live anywhere near Berkeley, CA, the Berkeley Bowl has the absolutle best ground turkey I have ever tasted. It's kind of more coarsely ground than the sawdust textured ground turkey I've gotten in supermarkets. What I did was to mix it half & half with ground beef (9% fat) from Niman Ranch Meats - also sold at Berkeley Bowl, but I think Niman Ranch meats are available all over the U.S. I mixed in a little tamari and lots of minced onion, s & p - bottom line: the best tasting burger I've eaten in years! And very healthy to boot.

    2. You really shouldn't use lean meat for hamburgers. It should have at least 20% fat, or it'll be pretty dry.

      1. Sorry for being critical instead of helpful.:)

        Here's James Beard's favorite hamburger recipe. The addition of the finely grated onion (and resulting onion juice) plus a little cream should keep any hamburger meat moist and juicy. Just remember to NEVER push down on them with your spatula while they're cooking!

        James Beard's Favorite Hamburger Recipe:

        2 pounds chopped beef chuck or round
        1 onion
        1 tablespoon heavy cream
        Freshly ground black pepper
        Unsalted butter
        Vegetable oil, as needed
        Kosher salt, to taste

        Spread the meat out on a board and grate 2 to 3 tablespoons of onion into it—use a fairly fine grater so you get just the juice and very finely grated raw onion. Now mix in about a tablespoon of heavy cream and some freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Form into patties--a 6 to 8-ounce patty for an average serving.
        Using a black iron skillet or your best copper one or your pet aluminum frying pan, Teflon-coated or not (with a Teflon coating you won't need much fat, just a little bit for flavor), and cook the hamburgers in the butter and oil over fairly high heat, giving it 4 to 5 minutes a side, depending on how well done you like it. Salt this creamy, oniony, peppery hamburger before serving it on a buttered bun or English muffin, or as a main course with sliced tomatoes and onions or some home-fried potatoes.

        1. there was a recipe in CI a few months ago for what I think they called "foolproof backyard burgers". I was looking for my copy, but can't seem to put my hands on it. anyway.. it was meant for leaner grinds of burger. had bread crumbs soaked in skim milk mixed in with the burger to retain moisture.

          they weren't bad... the full(er) fat version are better (or if you add cheese). but the recipe made me want to keep experimenting. i'll post it, if i find it.. otherwise, You might be able to search their website.


          1. The key is GROUND CHUCK. You need the fat to flavor the meat and keep it from drying out. The best burger I have ever cooked came straight out of a box in the frozen section of our local Smart & Final (which is sort of a restaurant supply warehouse for the public). I just thawed the preformed patties, liberally sprinkled them with Lawry's Seasoned salt and through 'em on a charcol grill. As the meat grilled the fat rendered out, dripped on the coals, which created perfumed vapor that floated back up and infused the meat. The end result was burgers cooked perfectly medium rare, that were juicy and flavorful.

            1. I use lean ground beef and ground turkey to make burgers; two notoriously low fat meats and I never have a dry burger. I add finely minced onion, mushroom and pepper, milk, bread crumbs, dry mustard, garlic powder, fresh basil and cracked black pepper. I mix it, let it rest a while, shape burgers and grill them gently until done, never turning them until I see the underside is nicely browned. The minced veggies release their liquids and make the meat moist, as does the milk. The bread crumbs absorb a little of the moisture but not enough to dry them out. I like them spread with olive tapenade and topped with spinach leaves and avocado slices.

              1. My favorite thing to do with lean ground beef is to make bitoque (French hamburgers), which are served with a sauce of sour cream and beef consomme. Crumble a slice of white bread into small bits, then add enough mlk to make it soggy. Add it to the ground beef and mix well. Form into patties and dredge each one in seasoned flour (salt and pepper). Heat 1 T butter and 1 T. oil in a heavy skillet. Shake the excessf flour off the burgers and add them to the pan. Cook, turning once or twice, until done. Remove them to a foil-covered plate while you make the sauce. Add 1/2 cup sour cream and 1/2 cup beef consomme to the skillet and stir, scraping all the bits off the bottom. Stir until somewhat thickened, adjusting proportions to taste. Adjust seasoning and pour over the burgers. Serve and eat.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Akatonbo

                  I made this today and it was pleasantly delicious, and soothing, if you know what I mean. Thank You for the lovely recipe.

                  1. re: Akatonbo

                    Marcella Hazan has a great stovetop recipe for Italian-style meatloaf using milk and whitebread. The interesting thing is you really need only a small bit of each (1 slice bread crust removed and 2 Tbsp milk) to have a big impact on the texture of the loaf.

                  2. Not a beef burger, but a turkey burger from Rachel Ray. Here's my favorite recipe, both with and without the cranberry sauce.


                    1. the milk-soaked bread is a good Italian meatball trick
                      I like minced onion and fresh herbs (parsley, sometimes mint) and lots of salt and pepper in the ground beef mix. Don't overhandle - mix as little as you can get away with and don't squash the burgers.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: pitu

                        This recipe sounds oddly interesting. The question is though, based on say a pound of hamburger or however you do it, how much is some mint? I have a huge patch of mint near my garden. Its fresh, so how much do you use, and do you use fresh or dry mint?

                      2. Why not mix some olive oil and/or peanut oil inside the meat? That should make up for the lack of fat. Cook the patties over medium heat and when it comes out to your liking , mangia away. I add chopped mushroom, garlic slices, onion and some wine or cream sherry to mine. Then I top it off with a slice of smoked gouda. Real bachelour gourmet stuff.

                        1. I usually go with 80-85% lean, char the outside and leave the inside rare (Pittsburgh style), brown some onions with the meat to serve on top with a toasted hard roll or english muffin. Other of my faves are: just with a tomato slice and a basil leaf, with sliced cheddar, and with guacamole.