The Julia Burger
Before we had our eureka moment for making the perfect hamburger, we made too many burgers that didn’t deliver. Too thick, too much shrinking, not covering the bun properly, not enough seasoning. They just didn’t come together like a really good diner style burger. We had the wrong technique.
Then, we watched an episode of the PBS cooking classic “Julia & Jacques Cooking at Home.” Julia Child and Jacques Pepin were great friends and cooking companions but they could disagree on the proper technique for making classic dishes. Fortunately, we happened to catch the episode on making hamburgers. Jacques made the picture perfect thick burger. We weren’t interested or particularly impressed with this method because the thick burger always left us disappointed.
Then, Julia did something completely different. She went thin, real thin, thinner than we’d ever thought you could go on her burger. She made it thick enough just so it would hold together. She calls it Julia’s Pan-Fried Thin Burger.
We looked at each other and knew we had to try this recipe. And, eureka! Fantastic Burger!! All our burger woes were solved and we’ve never made a thick, shrunken burger again. This is the ONLY method we use to make our hamburgers. When we announce we’re making Julia Burgers, great cheers come from every family member!
Who knew a famous culinary giant like Julia Child, known for her classic French cooking, would teach us the proper way to make a good hamburger.
We’ve made our burgers with and without the sauteed onion or shallot. The most important thing is to season well, chop the seasonings into the meat and keep it thin!
1/4 c finely chopped onion or shallot
Butter, if using onion or shallot
Salt, Pepper, Garlic granules or powder
Favorite Burger Toppings – ready to go!
Best Burger bun you can bake or procure, sliced in half, ready to toast
Have everything ready before you even start shaping your burger because cooking time is just a minute or two. Saute onion or shallot in butter until soft. Remove from heat. Shape burgers by placing ground beef on a large plate. Divide as needed. Julia suggests 1/4 lb each. Using a fork or knife, ‘chop’ each portion into a burger. Season each with salt, pepper and garlic. Add shallots or onion to each burger. Continue to gently ‘chop’ seasonings and shallots into the meat eventually creating burgers that are approximately 1/4″ thick.
In a preheated skillet, fry the burgers. If your skillet is hot, they will only take a minute, at the most, on each side. Remove burgers and set in warm place to rest (slightly heated oven). Add butter to burger skillet and toast buns quickly.
Assemble burgers and enjoy!