2-Slice Cheeseburgers with Special Sauce

Burgers, like steaks, form a tasty crust when cooked a la plancha or on a hot, flat surface such as cast iron. The burger-to-bun ration should be relative in that the burger should not be thicker than the bun itself and ideally the burger should reach evenly to the edges of the bun as should any toppings, so that each bite of a burger (as is true of any sandwich) is the same as the last.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 30 min
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Ingredients

Special Sauce:

1 cup sour cream

1/3 cup ketchup

1/3 cup pickle relish

About 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

Salt and pepper

Spicy Special Sauce with Herbs:

1 cup sour cream

1/3 cup ketchup

1/3 cup pickle relish

About 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons prepared horseradish sauce

1/2 cup finely chopped herbs: chives and dill combined

Salt and pepper 

Burgers:

1 1/2 pounds ground sirloin (80 to 85 percent lean)

Kosher salt and black pepper

Neutral oil, for drizzling (in a squeeze bottle)

8 slices yellow American cheese

4 soft burger buns (preferred brand Big Marty's sesame seed buns)

About 1/2 cup finely chopped white onions

Dill pickle chips, for topping burgers

Chopped iceberg lettuce, for topping burgers

Directions

  1. For the special sauce or spicy special sauce with herbs: Combine the special sauce or spicy sauce ingredients in a small bowl and store leftovers in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 10 days.
  2. For the burgers: Preheat the cooking surface, such as a cast-iron skillet or griddle pan, to medium-high heat. 
  3. Place beef in a bowl and season, score into portions, form patties thinner at the center than edges and place on a cutting board or platter.
  4. Lightly drizzle oil on the patties and place in hot skillet, then cook 7 to 8 minutes for medium patties, turning occasionally but not until burgers brownon first side, about 3 minutes.
  5. Top each patty with 2 slices of cheese in the last minute or so of cooking time, then cover with loose foil, bowl or lid and melt cheese.
  6. Build burgers: Bun bottom, chopped onions, pickles, cheeseburgers, lettuce and lots of sauce, bun top.

Cook’s Note

Uses for extra Special Sauce or Spicy Special Sauce include Reubens and Rachels (turkey Reubens); sauerkraut-topped hot dogs; roast beef on a roll; topping for baked potatoes or frozen steak fries or wedges; dressing for iceberg lettuce wedges or romaine hearts. Burgers should always be thinner at the center and thicker at the edges for even cooking. Because burgers plump when you cook them, having the burger be shallower at center the will result in a uniform, flat burger . Ground beef should be patted dry of any excess moisture and generously seasoned with kosher salt and a little black pepper.

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