My wife went down to Connecticut to see her parents for a few days, any my daughter went back to college, so I had the better part of four days home (insert Macauley Culkin GIF here).
Once in a while, I get a hankering for a homemade cheeseburger. Very few restaurants make a burger to my satisfaction because they cook them to well-done no matter how you ask for them. The patties they use are thin, so they cook fast, and it’s hard to get them to come any other way. For a really good medium-rare burger, you have to go to a place that makes really thick patties and cooks them really slowly. I only know a couple of places in the area that do this – R.F. O’Sullivan’s in Somerville and Lynn, and Bartley’s Burger Barn in Harvard Square. They start with what is essentially a large meatball and gradually transform it into a burger, and can get any level of doneness you want.
Anyway, when I make burgers at home, I make 1/3-lb patties, which you can form quite thick (though not as thick as the ones mentioned above). I don’t make a fuss about the sort of ground beef, but prefer the 85% lean so that there’s enough fat in it. I season the meat with salt, pepper, and a small amount of mustard powder. Four and a half minutes per side over medium heat produces a reliably medium-done burger. American cheese, ketchup, and brown mustard.