{Best} Burgers on the Grill


Burgers on the Grill  |  Vermont-Aged Cheddar  |  Tomato  |  Baby Arugula, Romaine, Baby Spinach  |  Bakery Rolls  |  Special Sauce

Our family finds itself in the “tween” season…the “in-between” season of {we are in the play-offs} basketball & {I am a starter for} baseball…with Max.  And, of course, there is always the horses {girls are away in Paso Robles as I write this}.  Next week we are looking at 4 riding lessons, 2 basketball play-off games, 2 baseball practices & 1 baseball practice game.  I remember having three babies & thinking to myself that life would get easier as they got older.  I must admit, that I am enjoying these “tween” years more than the “diaper” years but they are not the “easy” I had in mind.  As the children grow, mature, explore & pursue their interests, I sometimes find myself longing for the time when they thought a wicked bubble bath, followed by cookies and milk, was a great adventure!

The girls are away so the boys rule right now…this doesn’t happen often.  When I asked for their input for the dinner menu, both Michael & Max emphatically responded with “burgers”.  When I posted this week’s menu I simply listed “Burgers on the Grill” for dinner this evening, giving myself the time to research further.  Of course, we all have our favorite burger recipe but, I was interested in pursuing THE burger recipe.  So, there was Alton Brown’s “Best Burger Ever” recipe, followed by Food & Wine’s Best Burger in the US, followed by Best Burger Recipes at Food & Wine…I could keep going…everyone has their favorite & best version of the all-American dish known as the hamburger.  I was greatly intrigued by the “New Englandah Burgah” found at Food52.com…I am, after all, a native New Englandah.  But, after all of my research, I found the most prominent piece of research to be the all-important lean meat to fat ratio.  Click here to read a NY Times article “The Perfect Burger and All Its Parts” in which Doug Keane of Healdsburg, California’s Cyress & Healdsburg Bar & Grill, among othersreveals that a 70:30 lean meat to fat ratio is the magic combination for a supreme burger.  All I know is that, after living in Healdsburg for 10 years, those burgers at Healdsburg Bar & Grill were addictive!

So, I decided to give the custom ground meat avenue a chance.  Off I went to Whole Foods for my custom meat grind.  The folks at Mill Valley Whole Foods have always worked with me on my special requests so they were my go-to choice for this new foodie adventure.  Whole Foods, Mill Valley doesn’t sell packaged ground beef below an 85% lean factor, which, my research told me would lead to a charcoal briquet of a burger…dry and not the least bit appetizing.   But the wonderful staff was eager to work with me to achieve my desired 70:30 ratio!  We arrived at a ground meat combination of ½ pound ground sirloin {NOT grass-fed}, ½ pound ground chuck, and ½ pound ground short-rib. FYI…don’t be afraid to ask your regular, neighborhood butcher/meat specialist for a custom request…I have never encountered a negative response.  In fact, most meat specialists are happy to fulfill the specialty request!

With such a simple dinner, I knew the quality of the ingredients was of utmost importance…freshly ground meat, fresh bakery buns, amazing cheese, special sauce.  Together, they resulted in a simply amazing dinner!  BTW…this family is going for the custom meat grind in the future…the burger meat was OUT-OF-THIS-WORLD!

First the Burgers…

Quality meat {see above}, bacon {Wellshire Farms, uncured, natural, organic bacon}, cheese {we used 2 year-old, aged, Vermont cheddar from Cabot Farms} and bread {warm brioche rolls from ACME Bread Company}, salt & pepper…

Burger Ingredients

And the very simple toppings…onion {red or white}, tomato, and your choice of baby arugula, romaine or baby spinach.  I usually eat my burger on a bed of spinach ~ no bun.

Burger Condiment Collage

Finished with the SUPREME topping…Special Sauce...

Special Sauce

The girls & horses arrived, safely, at the ranch last night/early this morning {1:00am}.  I couldn’t sleep until I knew they were in…safe & sound.  When the alarm went off at 5:00am it was a harsh reckoning.  It is now time for me to go to bed…fully satisfied by a hamburger dinner!  Tomorrow is Friday…see you then for dinner & a sunset!


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