For some reason I’ve only eaten steak on the rare occasion. It isn’t that I dislike steak, it’s just that I like chicken and fish considerably more. I even went a year without eating beef or pork, and only started up again because at the end of that year I happened upon a blood drive and they almost wouldn’t allow me to contribute because I was borderline anemic. The nurse asked me if I was a vegetarian, and when she was certain that I didn’t have any moral objections against doing so she suggested that I start incorporating more red meat into my diet.
I’ve always loved a good hamburger, and took her advice as a medically sanctioned reason to break my beef fast. You may be familiar with an old Jimmy Buffett song, Cheeseburger in Paradise. In it he lists the ingredients that make up his perfect burger. Here are mine.
- Let’s start with the beef. Organic, grassfed beef is the only way to go. It’s healthier for the environment, the cow has a much better life, and it tastes better and is healthier for you than consuming something that came out of a factory farm. Cooked medium.
- Homemade buns. It’s a little time consuming to make buns from scratch, but oh so worth it. Butter and toast the buns before slathering them with the next ingredient:
- Homemade mayonaise.
- Red onions.
- Leaf lettuce. We have a small organic garden that supplies us with many of the vegetables that we enjoy, and although it requires a little work and a lot of patience, it is definitely cheaper to grow your own food than it is to buy it at the supermarket. Fruits and vegetables also seem to taste a lot better when picked moments before using them.
- A good cheddar cheese. I like an aged, sharp cheddar, but there are many cheeses that taste wonderful on a burger. Havarti and Port Salut are great melting cheeses, and if you are a blue cheese fan Stilton is always a good idea.
- A sunny-side up egg. Free range and organic, of course. I like to put the egg on just before the top half of the bun, allowing the warm yolk to drip down on the rest of the ingredients.
So that’s my favorite burger, at least for this time of year. When tomatoes are in season I’ll add a few juicy slices to my hamburger, but otherwise won’t change it up too much.
What’s your favorite burger?