Using your hands, break the meat into small pieces and combine evenly but loosely on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Spread the meat out and season it generously with salt and pepper.
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F. Place a roasting rack on a foil-lined baking sheet in the oven.
Divide the meat into 4 portions (about 5 ounces each). Using your hands, form each portion into a ball-shape by gently tossing it from one hand to the other. (Don't over work or press too firmly on the meat.) Gently form each portion into a patty about 3 inches wide and 1-inch-thick.
Preheat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Raise the heat to high and add the oil. Add the patties and cook, turning once, until well-browned, about 2 minutes the first side, and 1 minute the second side.
Using a spatula, transfer the hamburgers to the roasting rack in the oven and continue cooking to desired doneness, 5 minutes for very rare (blue), 6 to 7 minutes for rare, 8 to 9 minutes for medium-rare, 10 to 11 minutes for medium, and 13 to 15 minutes for well-done. If you are using the cheese, top the hamburgers during their last couple of minutes of cooking to melt.
Transfer the hamburgers to a plate let rest for a couple minutes before serving. Meanwhile, toast the hamburger buns. Assemble the hamburgers with the condiments and toppings of your choice. Serve.
Copyright 2001 Television Food Network, G.P. All rights reserved
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