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Great Hamburger Recipe: For July 4th Grilling or Any Time this Summer

Hamburger: Photo by by aktivioslo via Flickr.

A Great Hamburger Recipe by Chef Renee

Here’s a recipe for a hamburger that will wow your friends and family this July 4th and throughout the summer. Use grass fed beef for its deeper, richer flavor, but conventional beef works well too.

The secret? A disc of butter slid into the middle of the patty makes this a rich, succulent beef treat.

The following recipe makes eight burgers. If that’s too many for your size crowd, freeze the leftover patties (wrapped in plastic, then foil, labeled and dated).


1 pound chuck

1 pound short ribs (after bone is removed)

1 pound skirt steak. For flavor, don’t remove the fat.

¼ cup olive oil for grass fed beef; it’s leaner than conventional beef.


Have your butcher grind the beef to order. While the beef is chilling, prepare the following:

1 cup panko bread crumbs, unseasoned

4 teaspoons each of finely chopped fresh thyme and rosemary

2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper

4 shallots, finely chopped, rinsed and dried

2 hot peppers, finely chopped (Thai, Serrano, Jalapeno)- optional

2 eggs, well mixed

Also prepare:

8 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped

1 stick sweet butter, cut into large dice and softened a bit

2 teaspoons kosher salt

2 teaspoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon each of ground cardamom, cumin and turmeric

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Blend the butter, garlic, salt, cardamom, cinnamon, cumin, turmeric and soy sauce together until well mixed. Divide into 8 equal discs, about one inch wide, and freeze for 30 minutes.

Mix the beef gently with breadcrumbs, thyme, rosemary, ground pepper, shallots and hot pepper. Then blend in the eggs, and olive oil.

Divide into 8 portions. Shape each piece into a ball. Insert one disc of flavored butter into the center of each hamburger.  Press and shape it until it is a plump, but somewhat flattish with none of the butter visible. Handle the burgers as little as possible, and refrigerate for 30 minutes, minimum.


Preheat the grill so it’s very hot. Brush the burgers with olive oil. Grill over high heat for 3-5 minutes, until the marks are clearly visible. Turn the burgers over gently  and finish cooking burgers on the cooler side of the rack. Three more minutes should get you a medium rare burger. Don’t press the burgers or flatten them.

The burgers will continue to cook once removed from the heat source. When they are close to “done,” take them off the heat and let them rest for 5-6 minutes.

Want to gild the lily? Sprinkle some flaky sea salt on the burgers—just a little.

Related posts:

  1. Recipe: Summer Fish Wrap
  2. Recipe: Watermelon Cocktail and Feta Popcorn for July 4th
  3. Recipe: Thanksgiving Squash Soup

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