The Oklahoma Fried-Onion Burger
Makes 8 burgers
A mandoline slicer, set to it's thinnest setting *
(* You can use a sharp knife, but it will be very hard to get the onions thin enough without a mandoline.)
A large seasoned cast-iron skillet or flat top
A medium-size mixing bowl
A #12 salad scoop
A stiff spatula
Ingredients - The Burger:
Peanut oil or other neutral oil
2 pounds (about 1 kg) fresh-ground 80/20 chuck
2 large Vidalia onions, sliced super-thin (They should be translucent and thinner than paper.)
Salt, for seasoning
American cheese, deli-sliced
8 soft white buns
Ingredients - The Toppings:
Where we're going, we don't need toppings.
How to make it:
1. Preheat the cast-iron skillet over medium heat (or a flat top to medium) and add a drop or two of oil. Spread the oil with the flat side of your spatula to coat the surface.
2. Place the ground beef in the mixing bowl. Using the salad scoop, form balls of beef, gently releasing them into the hot pan with 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7 cm) of space surrounding each. (You may only be able to cook 2 or 3 burgers at a time.)
3. Grab a golf ball–size pile of the thin-sliced onion and push it onto the center of each ball of beef so it sticks, for the most part. Season each beef ball with salt.
4. This will require more force than you'd think. Don't worry about smashing the patties too thin—they'll shrink up to the size of your buns as they cook. The onions should fuse nicely with the raw beef. Once they're smashed, don't touch again until ready to flip—under 4 minutes or until red moisture begins to form on the top of the patties.
5. Flip the glorious beef-and-onion-fused patties and slide a slice of American cheese on top of each. Place the crown of the bun on top of the cheese and the heal on top of that (so the bun becomes steamy). Cook for an additional 2 to 2 1/2 minutes. Serve immediately.
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