A good cookout is a beautiful thing: the warmth of the sun, a good, cold beer and the sizzle of meat on a grill. Since the heat will soon make way for colder temperatures, we suggest setting up the grill ASAP, and cooking up some worthy meat. To make sure that final cookout does the previous three months justice, we sourced burger recipes from chefs and restaurants around New York City. They may be a bit more complex than the standard backyard cookout, but they’re elevated essentials, perfect for any grill master’s culinary compendium. And, they happen to be the tastiest way to bring summer to a close.
Pat LaFrieda’s Original Blend Burger
Pat LaFrieda, is man who knows meat. His family has been butchering in NYC for three generations and he is now the head honcho at Pat Lafrieda’s Meta Purveyors and a participant at the New York City Food & Wine Festival. He is famous for making burgers with “chopped,” not ground meat and has created over 50 custom blends for burger patties. While we’re inclined to believe they’re all worthy of the grill, his Original Blend — his grand father’s recipe — is his personal favorite.
Burger blend: 25% beef clod, 25% chuck steak, 25% trimmed brisket and 25% short rib
1. Cut the meat into long strips that will fit into your meat grinder — 1 inch wide should do the trick.
2. Lay the appropriate measurements of meat on a baking sheet and put in the freezer to chill. Do not freeze; rather, get it a little more stiff so it won’t be pasty going through grinder.
3. Put as much meat as comfortably fits in the hopper and pass it through the grinder into a large bowl, making sure it has a steady flow through and adding meat as necessary.
4. Mix your ground meat and weigh them to make sure all patties are 8oz each, 1-inch high with a 4-inch diameter, so that they all cook at the same temperature for the right amount of time.
5. After weighing, roll the meat into balls and gently pat them into patties.
6. Cook them on an open grill over high heat (rare: 120-125° F, medium-rare: 125-130° F, medium: 130-135° F, medium-well: 135-140° F, well: 140-145° F).
7. Take the meat off the grill when you’ve reached the first number of your desired temperature range. Let the burger sit for 5-10 minutes, during which time the temperatures will rise 5° F. Make sure you have a nice, charred crust on the outside without overcooking it internally.
The Park Avenue In n’ Out Style Burger
Park Avenue Summer (Autumn, Winter, Spring), a 22-year-old Upper East Side establishment (now relocated in Flatiron), creates edible homages to the four seasons. On their summer menu, the In n’ Out Style Burger is an upscale, NYC take on a West Coast classic — a perfect way to round out the summer.
Burger blend: 50% chuck steak, 25% brisket and 25% short rib
Salt and pepper
1 head of romaine lettuce
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tbs Ketchup
1 tbs French’s Mustard
1 tbs Sweet Relish
Parisi Bakery sesame seed buns
1. Combine ground meat to form 4-ounce patties. Season each patty with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.
2. Heat up two tablespoons of canola oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add 3/4 tablespoon of salt and sauté onions, stirring occasionally until caramelized and soft.
3. On a grill, cook burgers until both sides are crispy (3 minutes total).
4. While your burgers are cooking, toast your buns on the grill with some butter, split-side down.
5. While the patties are still hot, add twos slices of American cheese to each patty unit melted.
6. To make the sauce, mix 1/4 cup of mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons of ketchup, 1 tablespoon French’s mustard, 1 tablespoon sweet relish, and Sriracha to taste.
7. Build the burger with the sauce, lettuce, tomato and cucumber underneath the burger patty, with the sautéd onions and a little extra sauce on top.
The Bareburger Hog Wild Burger
Bareburger, an inventive burger joint that started in Astoria, Queens just a few years ago, has thrived and become an international (hey, a restaurant in Toronto counts as international) chain of restaurants. The Hog Wild Burger is the brainchild of Bareburger executive chef Andrew Sarda, and while compared to the other two this burger is heavy on the toppings, a wild boar patty is the heart of this NYC burger.
1 yellow onion
1 small carton Hemp Milk
1 lb chickpea flour
Salt and pepper
2 tbs canola oil
5 oz wild boar patty
2 tbs favorite animal fat
2 slices pickled green tomato
2 oz chickpea onions
2 oz pimento cheese spread
1 cage free egg
1. Soak thinly sliced onions in hemp milk, then bread in chickpea flour seasoned with salt and pepper to taste. Fry in canola oil 350 F for 3 minutes until golden brown. Remove and let drain on paper towels.
2. Pre heat grill for 20 minutes.
3. While grill is heating up, combine equal parts mustard powder and chili powder in a bowl to make a spice mix.
4. Season meat with salt and pepper then dip into spice mix. The spices will accentuate the boar’s natural flavors.
5. Bring grill to medium-high heat and toast brioche bun until golden on both sides.
6. Place patty on grill and cook for 2.5 minutes on each side for medium to medium well. If interested, brush on animal fat for extra flavor. Rotate the burger 30 degrees incrementally to get an even crust on each side.
7. Just before burgers are done, add the pimento cheese spread in a ball onto the patty and cover with grill lid for 30 seconds to partially melt the cheese. Remove from heat and turn temperature down to medium-low.
8.In a skillet, add teaspoon grape seed oil and one egg. Place skillet in the grill and cover with lid. After 2-3 minutes flip egg over for sunny-side up. Cook for one minute then remove from heat.
9. Assemble your burger on the bun and top with pickled green tomato, chickpea onions and the sunny side egg.