A bit of time ago I was running around town getting errands done, I forgot to have lunch and a burger sounded really good. Along the way I was thinking about the burger joints that I frequent and they were out of the way. What was in my way was a supermarket. The phrase “don’t shop hungry” nagged at me once again as I pulled into the parking lot. I had to put my blinders on and focus on just getting stuff to make burgers and nothing else. No fancy stuff, either.
I ran in the local Ralph’s market and grabbed a basket and made a bee-line to what I needed. I grabbed a single tomato (yeah, one tomato), some day old wheat buns at the discount rack, and the cheapest pack of ground beef I could find. It was a discount pack that cost less than $3 for a pound. It was one of those packs that you find in the “manager’s special” section (aka “it’s still good but don’t wait long to cook it”). The one thing I failed in my mission is I bought a jar of pickles. I splurged.
I already had an onion and peppers and mustard so I didn’t have to purchase anything else.
I began prepping everything. From slicing the onions, peppers, and tomato, to toasting and mustard-ing the buns, and forming and seasoning the patties with salt and pepper. The patties turned out to be hefty 1/3 lb patties. I made three patties from that pound of beef.
Since I haven’t made burgers in a long time I had to play around with the thickness of the patty and the cooking time. You’ll see that one is a little more rare than the other. The thickest one was a little over an inch thick, btw. So, I cooked them about 2 minutes a side and another 30 seconds a side on high heat. I figured since they were thick, they can stand the high heat.
One burger was a standard burger except for the sauteed onions and peppers.
The next one was a poor Chinese man’s sloppy Joe. Remember that tomato and egg recipe I did? I grabbed some of those leftovers and chopped up some extra tomato and threw them in the wok to heat up along with one of the patties. This was the next day so the meat was cold sitting in the fridge. It was a good way to heat everything together. In low heat I flipped the patty every so often in the tomato mixture to get some kind of glaze.
At this point, I was sick of burgers but I had one last patty to go. My head was a little woozy from the night before and I was in no mood to eat with my hands. Technically breakfast time, I grabbed an egg and all the burger fixings and made loco moco. There was no time to make rice so I just pan fried the last lone slice of tomato onto a plate. I heated up the patty (the rare one and you see why in the pictures) on a pan with the leftover onions and peppers. I placed the patty on top of the tomato with the onions and peppers. I cooked an egg and stacked that on top.
Because I didn’t have a great big pan or a griddle, I had to make each burger one at a time. I saved the drippings between cooking each patty so each one would have a chance to brown instead of stew. Finally, I heated those drippings in a pan and thickened it with a slurry of water and cornstarch and seasoned with salt and pepper and poured that on top of everything resembling a food volcano.
I was pretty burger-ed out from that point on. I haven’t had another on since, and that was about a month ago.