I have a tremendous fondness for burgers and so, like out-of-season tomatoes, I detest bad ones. There a place on the other side of town, Litton's, that serves basic hamburgers - except they grind their own beef every day using a mixture of locally-raised, grass-fed sirloin roast and chuck roast. The burgers are about 1/3 of a pound of meat and are served on buns made in-house each morning. Litton's are the best burgers I've ever eaten and even if you follow the USDA guidelines and get a well-done burger (they cook each burger, perfectly, so if you prefer medium rare you get medium rare) they're juicy and meaty.
Not a Basic BurgerBut if you don't live in Knoxville, or want something other than a basic burger these recipes can fill that bill. It's also worth noting that I generally make more burgers than I need and individually rap and freeze a few. They can be de-frosted in a day in the fridge and make a great quick supper.
No, a Caribbean Jerk Burger isn't a burger for Caribbean jerks, it's a burger containing jerk seasoning. Jerk seasoning is a collection of spices popular on grilled meats (pork, beef, and chicken) in the Caribbean. In this recipe instead of sprinkling the seasoning on the surface of the burgers, it's mixed into the meat along with a bit of lime juice. I like serving them on onion rolls with a slice of aged provolone and a spoonful of mayo.
This recipe for pork burgers is, without doubt, one of the best recipes I've ever come up with - even though a friend of mine claims burgers can only be made from beef and so these are actually sausage. Whatever they are, they're amazingly good combining ground pork with bacon, onion, and parmesan cheese. I usually serve them with homemade garlic/pepper buns, but a commercial bun, or even a kaiser roll, would work well.
These Greek burgers aren't really Greek, but they are infused with the flavors of Greece to create an excellent change-of-pace from the standard grilled ground-round on a soft bun. The burgers have a deep, robust flavor highlighted with Greek herbs and spices. I like serving them on Kaiser rolls with a slice of red onion, sliced cucumbers, and tzatziki sauce.
Ground turkey may be low calorie, but it can also be bland and dry. In this recipe, the zucchini adds moisture (you won't really taste it) and the teriyaki ingredients add an Asian flavor. I serve these on onion rolls. Note: Even with the bread crumbs and egg for binding, these burgers tend to fall apart on a grill, so I recommend cooking them in a non-stick pan with a little bit of oil.
These stuffed lamb burgers are a variation on a stuffed leg of lamb recipe I developed some years back. The stuffed leg of lamb is elegant but much more difficult to make. The burgers , on the other hand, are easy to make and almost as good. Both recipes combine lamb with fresh mint (a traditional herb for lamb) and blue cheese. They're incredibly juicy because of the cheese, so I serve them in pita halves to avoid losing a single drop of goodness.