I’ll be honest, I’m really not a beef eater. I was a vegetarian for over 10 years and could really go back to that diet at any given time quite easily. I slowly began adding meat back into my diet and primarily I eat chicken, turkey and fish. However, I’ll admit; I do indulge in a juicy grilled hamburger once in awhile.
I served this, the first burger of the summer season, open-face style atop a piece of buttered and grilled sourdough bread and with a grilled romaine salad.
Here’s a few tips about cooking burgers. First of all, it took some practice for me to get it right. Cooking times here are approximate as all grills are different and there’s a fine line between medium and medium rare and knowing when to pull them off the grill for each. I prefer high heat, get ’em on, get ’em cooked, take ’em off! Remember that the burgers continue to cook for a few minutes after you take them off the grill.
This is probably the one and only time you’ll hear me utter these words on this site…..”fat is yummy and makes for a much better burger.” Yes folks, I’m all about being healthy and eating that way but avoid “lean” cuts of ground beef when making a burger. Those fats are necessary for a juicy burger and most of them melt away as you grill. No one wants to bite into a dry “low fat” burger right? I tend to use ground chuck or ground round. I’ve found ground sirloin a bit too lean.
Form your burgers “loosely.” Tightly packing down the beef makes for dry, tough meat. Use your thumb to make a slight indentation into the center of each burger. This helps the burger to cook evenly and prevent the middle from puffing up while cooking. No more bloated burgers!!
Under no circumstances push down on the top of those burgers with your spatula while cooking! That’s just a sure fire way to get a dry burger as you’re pushing all those delicious juices out! Additionally, try to flip the burgers only 1 time to ensure a juicy burger.
- 1 pound ground round or ground chuck
- 1-2 Tablespoons Montreal Steak Seasoning (depending on your taste)
- 4 hearty slices of sourdough or Asiago Cheese Bread
- 1 large Vidalia onion, sliced into ½ inch thick rounds
- 2 large romaine lettuce hearts, cut in ½ lengthwise
- Blue Cheese crumbles
- olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar
- For the burgers:
- Fire up the grill to high heat (for gas grills).
- Mix the Montreal Steak Seasoning into the ground beef with your hands. Form 4 burgers. Use your thumb to make a slight indentation into the center of each burger. This helps the burger to cook evenly and prevent the middle from puffing up while cooking.
- Place burgers on the grill and cook for approximately 5-6 minutes. You will start to see juices forming on the top of the burger. Flip the burgers over and cook an additional 2 minutes or so. It's hard to give exact directions on cooking times as all grills are different. After a couple of tries you'll get it down perfectly!
- Under no circumstances push down on the top of those burgers with your spatula! That's just a sure fire way to get a dry burger as you're pushing all those delicious juices out! Additionally, try to flip the burgers only 1 time to ensure a juicy burger.
- Take the burgers off the grill and let them sit for 5 minutes or so while you grill your bread.
- For the Romaine hearts:
- Brush the cut sides (the inside) of the hearts with olive oil and sprinkle with Kosher salt and black pepper. Place the cut side down on the grill and grill until nice grill marks are present and the lettuce softens up a bit, approximately 3-5 minutes. Take the lettuce off the grill and serve it sprinkled with blue cheese crumbles and drizzled with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
- For the Vidalia onions:
- Brush both sides of the onion slices with olive oil and season with Kosher salt and pepper. Place on the grill and leave on until nice dark grill marks form. Carefully turn them over and grill until equally done on the other side. This is when you'll be glad you cut the onion into nice thick slices as you won't lose them through the grill grates in the flipping process!
- Assemble your burger on the bread with the condiments of your choice. Top with the grilled onion.