By Daniel Boulud
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 ¼ pounds ground beef, preferably well-marbled shoulder and not too finely ground
2 ounces Gruyère or Emmenthal cheese, cut into ¼-inch dice (optional)
2 Tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard, plus additional for serving
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon coarsely ground peppercorns, lightly toasted
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
8 ½-inch-thick slices sourdough bread, or 4 Kaiser rolls
1 clove garlic, cut in half
4 leaves Boston lettuce
1 ripe, medium tomato, cut into ¼-inch-thick slices
Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onion and season with salt. Cook, while stirring, until the onion is tender and translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Combine the onion, ground beef, cheese, parsley, mustard, egg and peppercorns in a medium bowl and season with salt; mix well. Form 4 round patties, each approximately 1 inch thick. (Patties can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated until needed and up to 8 hours. Remove them from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking.)
To cook outdoors, put the burgers on a hot grill and cook for 4 to 5 minutes on each side for medium-rare. For indoor cooking, center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375°F. Warm 1 Tablespoon oil in a large ovenproof skillet over high heat. When the oil begins to smoke lightly, add the burgers and cook for 4 minutes on each side. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes for medium-rare.
Meanwhile, lightly brush the bread with the remaining 1 Tablespoon oil. Grill or toast in a skillet until golden, about 2 minutes on each side. Rub the hot toasted bread with the cut garlic.
Spread some mustard on a piece of toast and top with a burger, a lettuce leaf, some tomato slices, and another slice of toast.
Adapted by StarChefs.com.
Yield: 4 Servings.
Round Out the Meal:
With baked sweet potato chips and spicy cole slaw
Limit the pepper and omit the garlic and mustard. Use either cheddar or Emmenthal cheese
Use lean ground turkey
The golden-hued Corona from Mexico, a smooth OB from Korea, and a Belgian Chimay ale all make excellent accompaniments, no matter which variation you choose.
From Daniel's Dish: Entertaining at Home with a Four Star Chef by Daniel Boulud (Filipacchi Publishing, 2003)