How To Make Burgers Like James Beard

Put butter in your burger like Mr. James Beard

We know plenty of hamburger purists who wouldn't dream of tweaking their burger patties with anything more than a sprinkle of salt and that's often all we do, too. Not always.

And hey, even the godfather of American food writing, James Beard, liked to bend the rules sometimes. In what he called his favorite burger recipe, Beard filled the meat with a mixture of raw onion and...heavy cream.

Beard preferred chuck, or fatty round, grating the white onion directly on top (so the juices would drip onto the meat and flavor it), sprinkling a generous amount of salt and pepper and finally pouring a couple of tablespoons of cream on top. Once mixed and griddled, the meat took on an unbeatably rich flavor.

Another Beard trick was to shove a blob of cold compound butter into the center of a plain patty as he shaped it. Seriously, try this: butter mixed with chopped flat-leaf parsley and a couple pounded anchovies. As the meat cooks, the butter slowly melts through it, seasoning as it goes.

Sounds pretty dreamy, right? That's because it is.