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Smash Burgers

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If you grind your own meat, Travis Walnum of Wally & Buck in Missoula, Montana, recommends cutting chuck roast into 1-inch cubes and then putting them into the freezer for 20 to 30 minutes, which makes grinding a cleaner process, and the meat won’t become mushy.

For the secret sauce, add any adjuncts, such as hot sauce, to suit your taste buds.

Smash burger 1

Smash Burgers

Yields: 4 burgers 

  • ¼ cup plus 2 tsp mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp plus 1 tsp ketchup
  • 1 Tbsp yellow mustard
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 4 brioche or potato hamburger buns, split  
  • ¼ cup diced sweet onion or 4 (¼-inch-thick) slices sweet onion
  • 16 slices kosher dill pickles
  • 8 leaves butter lettuce
  • 4 (¼-inch-thick) slices tomato
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • kosher salt
  • 1 lb high-quality ground beef such as ground chuck, shaped into four (4-oz) balls
    4 slices American cheese

In small bowl, stir together mayonnaise, ketchup and mustard.

Preheat large cast-iron skillet or griddle over medium-high heat; add canola oil and swirl pan to coat. Working in batches if necessary, place buns, cut-sides down, in skillet and cook until golden-brown. Place buns, cut-sides up, in large rimmed baking pan. Spread about 1 tablespoon sauce on cut sides of buns. On top of sauce on each of 4 bottom halves of buns, add 1 tablespoon diced onion, then arrange 4 slices pickle, 2 lettuce leaves and 1 slice tomato. Sprinkle tomato slices lightly with pepper and salt.

Smash burger 2

Preheat same skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, place beef balls in hot skillet and smash firmly with bottom of spatula until 4 to 5 inches in diameter. Season generously with pepper and salt. Cook until outer edges begin to brown. Carefully flip each burger and sprinkle again with pepper and salt. Place 1 slice cheese on top of each burger; cover pan and cook just until cheese melts. Place each burger, cheese-side up, on top of tomato. Replace tops of buns to serve.

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