May 25, 2013
Written by Joy Paoletti and Judy Vig
Tuesday, 15 June 2010 11:45
Papa would drive from house to house to sell these prime meats. Our mom and her sister, Francis, described it as an old white truck with one seat in the front for him to drive and an open space in the back. The space was filled with large blocks of ice that were purchased every morning, a large butcher’s block, and a set of knives for him to “custom cut” the ice as each customer requested.
He especially loved the ground meats, beef to be exact. He would tell us, “I selected the best piece for that hamburg (never hamburger) and put it through the grinder three times.” It was always perfect, and when cooked, tender and juicy. Diving into this burger was like eating a piece of the best filet mignon.
Our grandmother would flavor the hamburgers slightly different for the grill, than the ones she would make inside, on the stove. She used a splash of milk to moisten the beef, a handful of fresh breadcrumbs and a little salt and pepper, because Papa wanted us to taste the rich “beefy” flavor of the burger itself.
The toppings were prepared separately, in the house and on top of the stove. Our favorite was a sauté of fresh tomatoes, sweet onions, garlic and peppers, all from our grandparents’ garden.
There is a lot of hype out there in the quest for the best burger, from the local greasy spoon to Daniel Boulud’s upscale burger bar called DBGB Bar and Kitchen, in New York City. I’m thinking ... we still like Papa’s burger best! Enjoy.
Watch us on Better Connecticut, on Channel 3, at 3 p.m., on Monday, June 21, as we prepare a few quick and easy grilled desserts to go with this burger.
1 pound ground beef
2 to 3 tablespoons milk
1/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs
3/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Mix all ingredients well. Pat into four-inch round burgers and grill on each side, about four minutes.
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 to 4 tomatoes, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 Italian frying peppers, chopped and seeded
Salt and pepper to taste
Basil leaves, torn into pieces
Sauté all ingredients in olive oil for about five to six minutes or until softened. Taste and re-season. Sprinkle with the basil and pile on burger. Delicious.
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