Ingredients Jump to Instructions ↓


  2. Different Dinner Project (2006)

  3. Recipe Index

  4. 2 tablespoons butter

  5. 1 large Spanish onion, thinly sliced

  6. 1 large red onion, thinly sliced

  7. 1 star anise

  8. 1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar

  9. 2 tablespoons brown sugar

  10. 1 pound lean ground beef

  11. 1 egg

  12. 1/3 cup fine bread crumbs

  13. 3 ounces complimentary (not free) cheese(s), crumbled or cubed

  14. salt and pepper

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Instructions Jump to Ingredients ↑

  1. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat until foamy, then add all of the onions, the star anise and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. It will look like an enormous and unnecessary quantity, but it will cook down considerably, I swear. Cook negligently until the onion mass has reduced by more than half, then keep a watchful eye and stir occasionally as the onions begin to caramelize, as any burnt bits will transfer their bitter flavor to the whole batch. The whole process can take upward of an hour.

  2. Once the onions have caramelized, add the balsamic vinegar and brown sugar. Reduce the vinegar until near entirely evaporated, then remove from the heat, discard the star anise (lest someone chip a tooth — bad surprise) and allow everything to cool to room temperature.

  3. Once the onions have cooled, combine the caramelized onions, ground beef, egg and bread crumbs. Season again with salt and pepper. With lightly wetted hands, roll small fist sized (about four ounce) patties in the palm of your hand and set aside. Press a piece of cheese (good surprise) in the center of each patty and form the meat around it to seal, then press lightly to flatten.

  4. Heat a large grill pan or cast iron pan over medium heat until hot, then cook the burgers thoroughly, about 8-9 minutes per side, reducing the heat after the outside has seared to prevent scorching or otherwise finishing them in a 350 degree oven.

  5. Serve on lightly toasted buns with your usual fixings, or some more unique pairings for the caramelized onion flavor, such as sliced figs, beets or cabbage. Reserve some of the caramelized onions for other purposes, if you wish, as there will definitely be enough to lend a hand here.


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