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

Directions

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

Protein 24 g Cholesterol 70 mg

Dietary fiber 1 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1½ bread/starch, 3 medium-fat meat.

Hamburgers (Tavern Style)

Serves 4.

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

• 4 slices cheese, optional

• 4 soft hamburger buns

Lettuce leaves, sliced tomatoes and condiments, as desired

Directions

Add oil or butter to a large cast-iron or stainless-steel skillet and place over medium heat. Gently divide ground beef into 4 small piles of around 8 ounces each, and then lightly form these into thick patties of around 3½ inches in diameter, like flattened meatballs. Season aggressively with salt and pepper.

Increase heat under skillet to high. Put hamburgers into the skillet with plenty of distance between them and allow them to cook, without moving, for approximately 3 minutes. Use a spatula to turn hamburgers over. If using cheese, lay slices on meat.

Continue to cook until meat is cooked through, approximately another 3 to 4 minutes for medium-rare. Remove hamburgers from skillet and allow to rest for approximately 5 minutes; meanwhile, toast the buns. Place hamburgers on buns and top as desired.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 520 Fat 27 g

Sodium 320 mg Sat fat 10 g

Carbohydrates 22 g Calcium 110 mg

Protein 44 g Chol 140 mg

Dietary fiber 1 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1½ bread/starch, 5½ medium-fat meat.