Well, ahem, toss those images right out of your mind. Go on, erase those thoughts. There will be no photos or write ups about a thick, monster sized burger here. Instead, tonight’s menu consisted of flatty patty burgers sans buns. This is gluten-free, all the way, baby!
When I was a kid, my beautiful Italian mother used to fry up these wafer thin little burger patties for me. I’d have them for lunch or dinner, either plain or with sliced garden tomatoes. Sometimes she’d even serve it at breakfast alongside buttery grits. Of course, back in Indiana, we used to buy our meat from the butcher shop ... beef raised on local farms. We used to get our milk from the dairy farm, too. In those heavy glass bottles with the paper cap. The cream used to float at the top of the bottle. Sunset Hill Farms was the name of the farm. Gooood stuff.
These flat beauties cook up super fast, and for tonight’s dinner, were smothered with sharp cheddar pub cheese, caramelized onions, and sautéed mushrooms. They were sooo good, and if you try this recipe, you’ll be thanking the good Lord for beef. My offspring ate theirs plain, and gobbled down every bit. Hey, that’s two nights in a row they loved their dinner. Will they have to forfeit their Picky Eaters Club Membership Cards? More thoughts on that later.
To enjoy Flatty Patties in your own home, you will need:
1-1/2 lbs ground beef (I used the 15% fat variety because I grilled them. If you fry them, use the less fatty stuff)
Plate or ceramic cutting board
Your favorite seasoning (Montreal Steak Seasoning, Season Salt, or good ole Sea Salt and pepper work just fine)
Pub Cheese – sharp cheddar
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Butter
1 Onion – sliced in thin half rounds
2 cups sliced mushrooms
To make the burgers, wash your hands and leave them wet. Rub your wet hands on the plate surface. You will need to do this repeatedly as you form the patties. The flatty patties are so thin that they will stick to the surface of the plate unless it is wet.
With wet hands, take a small, egg sized portion of meat, and working quickly, compact it in your hands, and then flatten it on the plate. Really press down with either your fingers or the heel of your hand. Geez, I really need a manicure. But hey, this is what happens when you work in the garden, or yard, or laundry room, or some other chore like, say, typing on the keyboard. Hehe. . Ahem, let’s get back to the burgers.
See how flat they are? Don’t worry about making perfect rounds. The rough edges give the burgers character. No holes allowed in the burger, though. Work fast and keep the meat cool prior to cooking. The meat stays together better when cold.
The burgers will flatten out fairly large. They will shrink A LOT during cooking.
Place them on a preheated grill on high heat. Turn the heat down to med high, close the lid, and grill 3 minutes. Flip and grill another 3 minutes. Turn off grill. Remove flatty patties and keep warm. (I put mine on a baking sheet and put them back on the warm grill with the lid closed). And for those of you who, like my friend Marjie, don't like grill marks on your food, these flatty patties can be cooked in the broiler. My mom fried them on the stove! This photo is not the best representation of the grilled burgers. But my beasts were hungry and begging for their food … “Can you stop taking pictures so we can eat noooowww?”
I just love those rough edges. I want to break off and nibble on that one little piece sticking out right there. And juicy ... you bet. This is not cardboard folks. It's glorious beef.
Now prepare the onions. In a cast iron or other heavy skillet, heat the pan on mid high heat. Add the oil and butter, and as soon as the butter melts, add the onions. Season with season salt or Sea Salt. Turn heat to medium and sauté until the onions caramelize, about 10 minutes. (Yes, I know this is not the traditional way to caramelize, but hey it works.) Remove from pan and keep warm. Add mushrooms to the skillet, turn the heat back up to med high, and sauté until they give up their liquid and start to turn golden, about 5-6 minutes.
Almost time to assemble the burgers. Microwave about ½ cup of pub cheese in the microwave just to warm it up, about 30-45 seconds. Take a warm burger and spread about 1 heaping tablespoon of cheese on the patty.
You won’t miss the bun. I promise.
My kids ate theirs plain. Each kid had two patties. Comments included “Thank you, mom, for another scrumptious meal.” I responded, “You’re welcome.” Then with narrowed eyes, I said, “Now who are you and what have you done with my children?” They laughed. Hubby man loved his three (1 was enough for me), and let me just say that he was skeptical when he saw the wee beasties on the grill. Comments such as, “They’re going to be dry and tough” and “Are you sure about this?” were voiced. I'm surprised he didn't ask, "Where's the beef?" Oh ye of little faith. These are so good because no single flavor overpowers the other. You can taste the beef for sure, and yet you won't need to have your arteries unplugged after eating this. Just look at this and tell me what you think … oh yeah, flatty patties are are good eats.