Early in the writing of this book, I struggled to get my ruminations on paper. Although I hesitate to call my temporary impasse writer's block, I can't imagine much worse. Words wouldn't come. And the ones that did weren't smart or engaging or funny. After an eternity of fretting, I began making burgers for lunch. My intent was to cook my way through the recipes I planned for the book. This onion burger was the first thing I tried. After 2 days of oniony repasts, the dark cloud lifted and the words came.
2 onions, shaved (use a mandoline or a very sharp knife to make the thinnest possible slices)
American or pimento cheese
6 buns, split
Place a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Leave it there for 5 minutes. Loosely gather a handful of ground beef and slip it into the pan. Repeat 6 times. The burgers should be freeform lumps.
With the side of a spatula, push the burgers into a semblance of a round. After about a minute, pile on all the onions and then, with as much force as you can manage, smash the onions into the meat. Again, work the sides of the patties into a semblance of a round. Cook another minute and then flip. Season with salt. Smash the burgers again, hard.
Place burger on bottom half of the bun and spread with mustard. Spread the cheese on top half of the bun and place on the burger.
Recipe courtesy of John T. Edge, Burgers: An American Story, Putnam 2005