For the Grill, Burgers Beyond the Basic

by Mark Bittman
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From the N.Y. Times

bestburgers.jpgThere is undeniable pleasure in a plain beef burger — juicy, tender, and well browned over a backyard grill — but there’s even more in a jazzed-up one. If you begin with pork, lamb or beef that you buy yourself and grind at home, and continue by adding seasonings aggressively, you’re on your way to a summer full of great “burgers” which are, in essence, sausages in burger form.

In fact, I wondered while making (and eating) my first pork burger of the grilling season: Why would anyone make a plain burger? Why would you begin with supermarket ground beef — whose quality is highly questionable and whose flavor is usually disappointing, if not depressing — and then cook it without much seasoning beyond a few crystals of salt? Ketchup, after all, does not fix everything. Even adding mustard, pickles and so on, right down to mayonnaise, doesn’t give you good-tasting meat.

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