Cookin’ with no dough

Oct 112006
Authors: Liz Sunshine

Hamburgers have been a food staple in my life for as long as I can remember.

My mom makes a mean burger, always juicy with the help of an egg and barbecue sauce thrown into in the mix. My dad is a griller and favors his burgers with those fake cheese slices (me too).

When we weren’t grilling at the house, my family ate our burgers out at various restaurants. Sometimes it was Chili’s for a sit-down or a Happy Meal on the go from you know where.

In fact, I liked burgers enough to take a job in the industry as a young adult. I worked at the Red Robin chain for nearly three years, where I slung burgers that came doctored in more than two dozen different ways.

Bizarre piece of trivia: Did you know that the white paper used to wrap a hamburger is called a diaper? At Red Robin, you “fold diapers” at the end of each shift. Weird, eh?

I digress.

Recently, after seeing throngs of students lined up for tickets to the CSU homecoming game, I was reminded what an integral part tailgating, and the hamburger, play in our lives.

At last weekend’s game, I grazed on a hot dog (fodder for an entirely separate column – think about the homemade French fries from Mustard’s Last Stand in Denver) while tailgating but that was only because I’d made burgers earlier in the week.

To satisfy the craving of a hungry photographer and my continual desire for perfectly good ground beef, I made my hamburgers, which are a bit reminiscent of Mom’s.

For four people, I would use about a pound-and-a-half of ground beef with a high fat content. Be real folks; more fat = more flavor.

Into the meat I add an egg, two or three good squirts of my favorite barbecue sauce (Bull’s Eye, this week), and salt and pepper. Mash it all together and form the patties. I like mine thick.

Outdoor grilling is the most fun (yeah, there’s debate between charcoal and gas) but I don’t have one so I use my indoor, electric griddle. I usually heat it to about 300 degrees and slap those puppies on there for about five or so minutes per side. I like my burgers medium rare.

Spatula that sizzling burger onto a toasted onion roll and garnish with slices of red onion, tomato, muenster cheese and a dollop of guacamole. Of course, there were crispy curly fries on the side.

So, you don’t have to wait until the next home football game on Oct. 28 to tailgate and make these tasty burgers. You could throw some on the grill tonight for CSU’s road match against Air Force.

Trust me, it’ll be a happy meal.

L’Chaim and B’Tay Avon (To life and eat well).

Staff writer Liz Sunshine can be reached at


Hamburgers for four:

1 1/2 pounds ground beef

2-3 good squirts of your favorite BBQ sauce

1 egg

salt and pepper to taste

Form all ingredients into patties and grill for 5 minutes on each side for a medium rare burger.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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