My sister came over for dinner on Friday for a lazy but beloved meal—hot dogs, baked “French fries,” and a Romaine salad. I’ve rued the fact that kids’ sports, birthday parties, dance lessons, and the like can drive friends and family apart, but this was a rare time when one of those things could drive us together. At this time of year her son plays soccer in Brooklyn, so there was a good chance that the stars could align. I texted her that afternoon, and sure enough, by the grace of the B-61 bus schedule, she could come over.
The Friday hot-dog meal is one—for obvious health reasons—that I try to limit to no more than once a month. This is harder than it looks. The meal makes everybody happy. I’m happy because it is so easy and my kids are happy because they’re kids, and they love hot dogs (it doesn’t hurt that the first ones they ever had were from Bark, so they really like them). It’s a no-brainer, except for one small thing: I’m not actually that fond hot dogs. They’re okay, but once a year, and not once a month, would be fine with me. I think it’s the convenience that tastes so good. So on Friday, I decided to make burgers, too.
I bought a pound of grass-fed ground beef, and I knew it would be more than enough for an extra guest. My girls don’t like burgers, which really confuses me (don’t all kids like burgers?), but I can live with it. It’s not like they need a fatty mass of beef (or pink slime), for that matter. My sister was excited to have a burger cooked by me, but I thought that was silly. I wasn’t really making anything special. I just started with good ingredients and took a light touch.
I added a tiny bit of chopped onion (about a quarter of a small one) and some salt. That was it. I mixed those things into the beef, and made six small patties from the pound of meat. I was careful not to over cook them, and I topped Santa Maria’s and my sister’s burgers with cheddar, and I put blue cheese on mine. I might have been being lazy, but it sure felt—and tasted—good.
- 1 lb. grass-fed ground beef (or if you have the wherewithal, ground your own meat)
- 1/4 of a small onion, finely chopped
- salt and pepper, to taste
Mix the ingredients with your hands and form into small patties (or any size you prefer)
Fry in a pan or on a grill a few minutes per side, until cooked the way you like them.
Add cheese after you flip the burgers, if you want.
Serves 2-4, depending on appetites/sides/etc.