Just in Time for July 4th: Anthony Bourdain's Favorite Burger Recipe


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Written by George Hancock Jr. | Last Updated February 24th, 2020
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It's that time again. It's grilling season and everyone has their own idea of what a perfect burger tastes like. Personally, I like a charred, medium-well burger with lettuce, mayo and mustard. Hold the tomato. I know people who prefer nothing but a thin patty on a Wonder Bread bun, with no toppings except Kraft American cheese. This year, for Independence Day I'm going to attempt to impress my friends by learning from someone I trust. His name is Anthony Bourdain. I almost always agree, on everything, with this ex New York chef who became a writer and TV show host. On his show, No Reservations, he travels the world sampling delicacies and asking people deep questions like "When did England stop caring about food?"

Mr. Bourdain has given generous compliments to In-N-Out Burger, a burger chain in California, but he offered even more appreciative words to Laurent Tourandel. Monsieur Tourandel, Anthony says, makes a burger better than any he's eaten in the US. In a No Reservations Episode set at his restaurant in France, Tourandel cheerfully explains his "BLT beurr geurr recipe", "beurr geurr" being the best way I can explain his accented pronunciation of "burger," in which both syllables are stressed equally and the "r" is pronounced the French way. Here's how you can imitate his "BLT Beurr Geurr."

Warning: This recipe is designed for flat, griddle-style cooking surfaces. You may not achieve the chef's desired results using charcoal (but you'll probably end up with a good burger). It may be helpful to make small batches of this recipe.

You'll Need

Ground beef, 7 oz per serving. It should be very fresh and very high quality, because your burgers will be medium-rare. It should also be about 80% lean.

Butter, melted.

Basting brush (preferably).

Double smoked bacon, about one strip per patty.

Some good sesame seed buns.

Good American cheese, 1 slice per patty.

Basting cover or light metal bowl (preferably).

Russian dressing.

Onion, sliced and separated into rings.


Tomato, sliced.

Pickle (dill, I assume).


Form your patties. Just make them into hockey puck shapes having a slightly shorter diameter than your burger buns.

Add a decent seasoning of salt and pepper to both sides of each patty.

Brush one side of a patty with melted butter, place that side on a hot griddle (medium-high heat).

Add more patties to the griddle, preparing them the same way.

Don't press down on the burgers.

Put your bacon on the griddle and cook it do desired crispness.

Flip the burgers when you start to see a brown crust against the griddle. Cook the other side the same way. There should be enough butter and fat on the griddle, so you don't have to add more when you flip.

Don't press down on the burgers.

Touch the meat and determine its doneness. Monsieur Tourandel recommends the fist method for determining it. Learn it here. These burgers should be medium rare.

Put a slice of cheese on top of each patty when they are cooked to medium-rare. Cover each patty with a basting cover or metal bowl if you can.

Grill each side of your buns on buttered area or in the burger fat on the griddle. Don't burn, but brown. Be careful not to overcook the sesame seeds. It may only take 20-30 seconds.

Assemble your burgers using the rest of the ingredients.


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