Brunch Entrees

The Burger

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Pam the Butcher!  Pam is a staple in the Washington, D.C. food world. She runs Wagshall’s, which is one of the best shops for meats and seafood…and just about anything else from truffles to morel mushrooms.

The theories on the best burger are forever changing. Now that Danny Meyer has created the billion dollar masterpiece, Shake Shack, his version of a smash burger reigns king.  First, you need to go to your deli and demand extra sharp cheese sliced very thickly so it melts and doesn’t dissolve.  Then, you have to go to your butcher and have her grind an 80:20 mix.  This is just the beginning. You must get brioche buns.

I like a burger to punch a guest in the nose with robust flavor.  Yes, I know, the burger purests say let the meat carry the burger. Really? Then just grill it and serve it on a plate without a bun or any garnish.  Stop. You should make your burger how you like it and it will be the best burger in the world.  This is my favorite.

Ted's Butcher Block
At Ted’s Butcher Block in Charleston, S.C. they grind the meat to order.

Serves 8 


  • 3 pounds of 80:20 mix of freshly ground meat, each patty would be ~3 ounces
  • 1 cup of red onion finely chopped
  • 2 peeled shallots finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of cimichurri mix/ rub
  • 3 tablespoons of heavy cream
  • 1 cup of gruyere cheese, grated
  • 8 slices of sharp cheddar cheese, thickly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic cloves
  • Vegetable oil
  • 8 brioche rolls
  • LPB Burger Sauce
  • Serve on the side:  Sliced dill pickles, thinly sliced red onion, iceberg lettuce, roasted thickly slice bacon


Making It

  • Put the meat, onion, shallot, cream, gruyere cheese, pepper flakes, garlic, chimichurri, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper in a bowl and flake with a fork until mixed completely
  • Roll onto 6 oz balls and let rest to room tempertature, about 20 minutes
  • Slice the yellow onions 1/4 inch thick and put in a bowl

Time to Cook

  • Either put your skillet on medium high heat on your stove or put it on your outside grill to save the splatter attack on your kitchen. Let it get very hot for about 3-5 minutes
  • Put a tablespoon of vegetable oil and heat for a minute
  • Layer the meat on the griddle, you will need to work in batches
  • Smash the patty flat with your offset spatula, making the edges uneven and cook the side for two minutes, do not touch it until you flip
  • Once flipped put the cheese on and cook for another minute
  • Place on the toasted brioche with a leaf of lettuce on the bottom and a tablespoon of the LPB burger sauce and some caramelized mushrooms
  • Let your guests dress the rest of their burger themselves

*For larger events, I just grill them in patty formation so they can be finished at the same time.

Special Meat Mix:  In Charleston, Chef Sean Brock, has created the master burger served for dinners at his signature restaurant, Husk.  His mix contains 3 pounds of fresh boneless chuck, 12 ounces fresh flank steak, 3 ounces of butcher bacon.  This makes for 10 cheeseburgers.  Frankly that is a lot of work and expense for meats that come from about the same place in the cow.


3 comments on “The Burger

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