Chef Michael Mina

M I C H A E L ' S '2 1' B U R G E R
Michael Lomonaco - New York City
Adapted by StarChefs

Yield: Serves 4

    • 2 1/2 pounds fresh ground beef,
      equal parts top sirloin and top round (80 percent lean)
    • 1/4 cup pure olive oil, plus additional to lightly coat the meat grill,
      Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
    • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
    • 4 slices Italian peasant bread,
      1/2-inch-thick and 5 inches in diameter
    • 2 ripe beefsteak tomatoes, cut into 4 1/2-inch-thick slices
    • 1 red Bermuda onion, cut 4 1/2-inch-thick slices

    Handle the ground beef as briefly as possible-in other words, don't "knead" meat-because over handling changes its texture, moistness, and flavor. Using your bare hands, shape the meat firmly into 4 round, uniform patties about 1/2 inches thick. Brush both sides of the burger lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Brush the grill lightly with olive oil and grill the burgers over a medium flame until done to your preference ( about 5 to 6 minutes on each side for medium rare, 7 to 8 minutes on each side for medium, and 9 to 10 minutes on each side for well done).

    Meanwhile, add the dried thyme to the 1/4 cup olive oil. Brush the bread, tomato, and onion slices with the thyme oil. Salt and pepper the tomato and onion slices. Place the bread, onion, and tomato on the grill, and grill lightly on both sides. Place the grilled bread on a warm plate, top with the onion, tomato, and finished burger. Serve with French Fries and '21' Serious Steak Sauce (available in the gourmet food stores or by mail from the '21' Club).