The burgers ready to be devoured

The burgers ready to be devoured

It’s summer, burger season. I like burgers as much as the next person, but don’t eat them too much because I’m the type who can’t indulge too much or all of a sudden I’ve gained 15 pounds. But, when I saw MICHEL RICHARD’s hamburger buns for sale at the 14th and U farmers market, I knew I had to make some burgers. And not just any burger, because this is MICHEL RICHARD’s buns and no ketchup with American cheese was going to grace them.

So, I came up with: carmelized onions (a budget favorite: very cheap and very good, though time consuming to make), goat cheese, arugula, and a fabulous grainy mustard. I think Michel would approve.

Budget: $10 for 3 servings, or $3.33 a burger. They’re a bit more expensive at Central (PDF).

Recipe details after the jump.

A regular feature where I cook cheap, gourmet meals.


  • 2 medium size onions (pantry)
  • 1 tbs olive oil (pantry)
  • 1 lb ground chuck, 85% fat ($4.50)

    Ingredients together, burgers ready to cook

    Ingredients together, burgers ready to cook

  • 3 Michel Richard buns ($3 at the farmers market)
  • .5 cup arugula ($4 for 6 oz, about $1 for serving)
  • 3 oz goat cheese ($4 for 8 oz, about $1.50 for serving)
  • 3 tbs of your mustard of choice (I prefer Plochman’s natural stone ground mustard, $5 for 9 oz, about $.25 for serving)

Total: $9.75, not bad


  • To carmelize onions (can be done a few days ahead of time) – cut onions in half moon shapes, heat olive oil in large skillet and add onions. Cook over medium heat for an hour to an hour and a half, keeping eye on onions to make sure they don’t burn. Add water (or white wine if you prefer) if onions get dry/start sticking to pan. You’re done when there’s a nice carmel color on the onions.
  • Now: shape patties. Take ground chuck and mold into a circle with your hands. Be generous and give yourself a third of a pound per burger. I’m minimalist so I didn’t add anything to the meat, but you could add salt and pepper, onions, or other spices.
  • On a grill or in a skillet (or under the broiler), cook burgers till desired doneness. For me, that’s medium rare and
    On the grill

    On the grill

    is about 2 or 3 minutes per side. Don’t push down on the burger, it releases the juices, you want them to stay in.

  • If desired, warm buns on grill/in oven – I didn’t leave them long enough to get any color, because why would you mess with perfection?
  • And then, put burger on bun, add carmelized onion, goat cheese, arugula, spread mustard on one side of bun. Eat! This is simple yet great. And a lot of it has to do with the buns.