February 17, 2014

Hemingway's Hamburger


Papa's Favorite Wild West Hamburger -
a recipe by a man we still miss.

I saw this recipe going around Facebook last week, but forgot to save the article. 
Today I saw it again, and I am sharing the story straight from Esquire here.

I just love home made burgers sometimes. And when they are made with love - 
like any other home made meal - there is no way anyone can call it fast food. 
And there is no quilt trip afterwards (and no stomach pains) 
like it would be the case after visiting burger chain restaurants. 

Bette 


Ingredients

1lb. ground lean beef
2 cloves, minced garlic
2 little green onions, finely chopped
parsley [sic]
1 heaping teaspoon, India relish
2 tablespoons, capers
1 heaping teaspoon, Spice Islands Sage [sic]
1/2 teaspoon Spice Islands Beau Monde Seasoning
1/2 teaspoon Spice Islands Mei Yen Pepper**
salt and pepper
1 egg, beaten in a cup with a fork
About 1/3 cup dry red or white wine
1 tablespoon cooking oil
 
What to do

Break up the meat with a fork and scatter the garlic, onion and dry seasonings over it, then mix them into the meat with a fork or your fingers. Let the bowl of meat sit out of the icebox for ten or fifteen minutes while you set the table and make the salad. Add the relish, capers, everything else including wine and let the meat sit, quietly marinating, for another ten minutes if possible.

Now make four fat, juicy patties with your hands. The patties should be an inch thick, and soft in texture but not runny. Have the oil in your frying pan hot but not smoking when you drop the patties and then turn the heat down and fry the burgers about four minutes. Take the pan off the burner and turn the heat high again. Flip the burgers over , put the pan back on the hot fire, then after one minute, turn the heat down again and cook another three minutes. Both sides of the burgers should be crispy brown and the middle pink and juicy.

**Apparently Spice Islands discontinued this. Hat tip goes to Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan at The Paris Review for showing us how to recreate it:
• 9 parts salt
• 9 parts sugar
• 2 parts MSG
If a recipe calls for 1 teaspoon Mei Yen Powder, use 2/3 tsp of the dry recipe (above) mixed with 1/8 tsp of soy sauce.
 
Versions of this recipe have popped up before, actually, but this document has Hemingway's later editing marks on it, with additions like "Wild West" to the name. It also comes accompanied by a swath of other documents including a confiscation notice for his unregistered rifles that also congratulates him on winning the Nobel Prize the same year.



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