Features on StarChefs home The Tough Memorial Day Decision: 
Hamburgers over Hotdogs! 

Classic Grilled Hamburger with Homemade Ketchup
From High Heat by Waldy Malouf – Broadway Books, 2003
Adapted by StarChefs

Yield: 4 Servings


  • 1 ½ pounds lean ground beef or sirloin
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Tomato slices, red onion slices, Portobello mushroom caps, cheddar cheese and pickles to garnish (optional)
  • Hamburger rolls or sourdough rolls

  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
  • 1 ½ cups tomato juice
  • 2 Tablespoons finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced


For the hamburgers:
Season the meat with salt and pepper and gently form it into 4 rounded 1 ½-inch thick patties. For the tomato, red onion and Portobello, brush both sides of each lightly with a bit of olive oil.

Over a grill, cook the burgers and vegetables until they are cooked to preference (should take 4 to 5 minutes per side for rare). Toast the rolls and melt cheddar on them, if desired. Serve the burgers topped with the ketchup, and garnishes.

For the Ketchup:
In a heavy saucepan over medium heat combine the vinegar, molasses and anchovy paste and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes, then add the tomato juice, red bell pepper, mustard and garlic. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat again and simmer over medium-low heat, stirring frequently and scraping down the sides of the pot, until thick and shiny (about 1 ½ hours).

Remove from heat, and puree the ketchup in a food processor or with a blender. Store in the refrigerator until use.