Frank's Old-Fashioned Hamburger recipe

1/4 cup cooking oil
1 large minced yellow onion
1 pound ground chuck or ground sirloin
Salt and coarse ground black pepper to taste
4 unseeded hamburger buns, lightly toasted
4 tablespoons softened butter
4 tablespoons yellow mustard
4 tablespoons ketchup
8 tablespoons real mayonnaise
1 cup shredded lettuce
1 large tomato, thinly sliced
1 medium red onion, sliced in rings
1/2 cup thin dill pickle slices
Ruffled potato chips on the side

First, preheat a seasoned griddle or 12-inch pre-seasoned cast iron fry pan to about 350 degrees and coat it lightly with the oil.

Then, take the cup of chopped onions and position them in four equal portions on the griddle or pan. Now begin sauteing them, using a spatula to toss them over and over, until they wilt and begin to turn a light honey brown.

In the meantime, separate the ground meat, also into four evenly divided portions, and very gently shape them into ovals using your hands.

Then, when the onions start to soften, place the onions on top of the portions of ground meat and, with a spatula, thoroughly chop them into meat. In other words, you're forming the hamburger as you go.

At this point, take your time and shape the meat into individual patties (two spatulas make this easy to do), releasing the onion juices as you cook.

Then when each of the hamburgers has cooked on the down side, flip it over and cook the opposite side. Ideally, you want to have them come out crusty brown on the outside and finished all the way through.

Finally, in the last few minutes before you're ready to eat, sprinkle each burger with salt and coarse ground black pepper. All that's left is to lightly butter and toast the inside sections of the hamburger buns, dress them with mustard, mayo, ketchup, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, and onion rings, and serve them with a piping hot burger as the main ingredient.

It's shades of the good ol' days, especially when served with a stack of crispy chips or a bowl of hot vegetable rice!


Chef's Notes:

Contrary to popular belief, the best hamburgers are formulated and formed right on the hot griddle or frypan. Burgers get tough and heavy when they're pounded out by hand ahead of time. And under no circumstances should you salt ground round or ground sirloin until the last minute before it's served. Pre-salting makes the meat chewy and draws out all the juices.