Hamburgers (Diner Style)
Serves 4 to 8.
Note: From Sam Sifton.
• 1/2 tsp. neutral oil, like canola, or a pat of unsalted butter
• 2 lb. ground chuck, at least 20 percent fat
• Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
• 8 slices cheese, optional
• 8 soft hamburger buns, lightly toasted
• Lettuce leaves, sliced tomatoes and condiments, as desired
Add oil or butter to a large cast-iron or stainless-steel skillet and place over medium heat. Gently divide ground beef into 8 small piles of around 4 ounces each, and even more gently gather them together into orbs that are about 2 inches in height. Do not form patties.
Increase heat under skillet to high. Put half the orbs into the skillet with plenty of distance between them and, using a stiff metal spatula, press down on each one to form a burger that is around 4 inches in diameter and about ½ inch thick. Season with salt and pepper.
Cook without moving until patties have achieved a deep, burnished crust, a little less than 2 minutes. Use the spatula to scrape free and carefully turn burgers over. If using cheese, lay slices on meat.
Continue to cook until meat is cooked through, a minute or so longer. Remove burgers from skillet, place on buns and top as desired. Repeat process with remaining burgers. Serving 2 hamburgers on a single bun is not an outrageous option.
Nutrition information per each of 8 servings:
Calories 321 Fat 15 g
Sodium 270 mg Saturated fat 5 g
Carbohydrates 22 g Calcium 92 mg