At first, I wanted to do Ad Hoc's version, but let us remember that this was for Matt's birthday dinner and Ad hoc's version didn't call for cheese. Uh, no. I remembered Gourmet had written something about making your own burger from scratch in one of their close to last issues, but when I found it, again, it just wasn't Matt enough. I turned to Martha and her recent issue, but then I remembered that she and I are fighting. So, very inspired yet still recipe-less, I kept looking and finally found one in Michael Chiarello's garlic and blue cheese version.
(1. Martha Stewart Living's June issue, 2. Ad Hoc at Home cover, 3. via Ad Hoc at Home, 4. via Gourmet's A Burger With (Homemade) Everything.)
Our version: (Recipe by Michael Chiarello. Culled burger knowledge from aforementioned places put to use in below result by me.)
I was totally expecting clean, spaghetti-ish lines of ground meat to shoot out of the business end of the grinder like it does on TV, but instead I just got this glacier-flow of minced meat.
Maybe grinding meat and hamburgers in general don't make for the prettiest pictures, but this burger was delicious. Easily the best burger I've ever had. Consider the facts: You make a skirt-steak patty, make a little well in the patty, put some blue cheese and garlic paste in that well, and then cover it up with another patty and seal the edges. The result is one giant patty. Chiarello specifies 3oz. per half, but we didn't have a scale and definitely overestimated. So, word to the wise: Think manageable-eating-sized burgers. Also word to the wise: Make this garlic paste. It's the gift that keeps on giving.