Burgers. They're a little bit art, a little bit science, and 100% iconic. There are plenty of styles, and most conversations on the topic talk about proper cooking technique, choosing a balanced collection of toppings, texture, etc. But, don't forget: the thing that makes the burger is the burger, and that best burger you've ever had? It's probably the patty.
I recently came across two pieces featuring men who know their meat - chef Tim Love of The Lonesome Dove Western Bistro, and butcher Tom Mylan of The Meat Hook. Both are convinced that with the right meat blend, a burger needs little else to shine.
Love says go for at least 50% brisket while Mylan provides plenty of recipes. But the main point here is: this isn't pre-ground plastic wrapped package from the grocery aisle.
Play around with it this weekend. If you don't have access to a meat grinder - I like the attachment for my KitchenAid stand mixer - you can actually chop it up with a knife...or two, drull-roll style. Oh, and be sure to check out the tip about a patty shaper
Check out Tim Love's suggestions on Valet: Build a Better Burger
and view Tom Mylan's recipes on First We Feast: The Complete Guide to Burger Blends
Photos by Liz Barclay.