The Mama Tried Burger
Excerpt and recipe from Mason Hereford's new cookbook Flavor Trippin' in New Orleans:
A few times a year, we host a dog and burger pop-up called Mama Tried, named for the Merle Haggard song (Nate’s favorite) and the Grateful Dead’s cover (mine). Either way, we both thought it would make a great name for a restaurant. This is how we do the burgers, and a few little details make them awesome. First is straight Lawry’s, no salt or pepper. Second, we use two thin patties, which mean double cheese and more surface area for that Lawry’s. Third, we cook those patties in a pan, not on a grill, so they bathe in their juices, rather than losing them to the fire. And last, those juices get mopped up with a potato bun from Martin’s, the best in the world. I also really like that the patties don’t have much of a crust so that the crunch and texture come from the classic burger toppings.
To order Flavor Trippin' in New Orleans, click here:
5 ounces ground beef, divided into two 2-inch balls
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
Generous ½ teaspoon Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
2 slices American cheese
1 Martin’s potato sandwich roll
Mayo (Duke’s or bust) for swiping
Ketchup (there is only Heinz) for swiping
2 bun-size pieces iceberg lettuce
2 thin tomato slices
Some thinly sliced white or yellow onion
4 or so drained dill pickle chips
MAKES 1 AWESOME DOUBLE CHEESEBURGER
Set a medium cast-iron skillet over high heat until it’s pretty hot. While the skillet’s heating up, put a beef ball between two pieces of parchment or wax paper and evenly flatten it to make a 6-inch patty. Repeat with the other ball on separate parchment paper.
Add about ½ teaspoon of the butter to the pan and swirl it around. Lower the heat to medium, then add one of the patties and season the up-side liberally with Lawry’s (a generous ¼ teaspoon per patty).
Cook until the first side gets a little brown (you’re not looking for a crust here), 30 to 45 seconds. Flip the patty, add a cheese slice, and cook until the cheese starts to melt, about 45 seconds more.
Move the patty to a plate and use a roll half to wipe up the buttery drippings, leaving it for a few seconds, so itgets a little toasty. Cook the other patty the same way (the butter, the Lawry’s, the slice of cheese), but this time, stack the patty on the other patty. Use the other roll half to sop up the drippings and let it get toasty, too.
Now you can go wild, but here’s how I make each one: Swipe some mayo (couple of teaspoons or so) on one half of the roll and some ketchup on the other half. Add the patty stack to the bottom, then top with the lettuce, tomato, some onion, pickle chips, and the roll top. Eat.