Monday, August 26, 2013

Recipe | The Perfect Skillet Burger, aka "Mama Burgers"

School started today for Andrew.  5th grade to be exact.  I took a few pics (that's all I was allowed to) and I will share them along with Charlie's after he starts in a couple weeks.   We ended the day at the pool with a large delivery pizza and pretended it was still summer vacation. Today was quite possibly the hottest we've had all summer and the rest of the week promises more of the same, so while I was getting in the mood for the comfort foods of fall, a post on the perfect burger feels more appropriate.  Since these are made in a skillet, they aren't just reserved for summer, even though they taste best when topped with summer tomatoes.

Last year I was reading an article on the ultimate burger debate (thick vs thin) in a MS Living Magazine.  This is my version of Martha's thin skillet burger with my own twists.  While I'm not a huge meat eater, I do crave a really good + flavorful burger from time to time.  I'm sure my boys wish it was weekly, but it's not.   I prefer a thin burger, but made with really high quality meat, which is what  Mama Burgers (aptly named by my youngins! :)) are all about.  I posted a pic on Instagram last summer and promised a recipe would follow, I suppose it's better late than never, right?! Last week Andrew had a birthday party and sleepover at a friend's and Jimmy was out of town,  I told Charlie it was our special night and he said, "well if it's our special night, then I think we should have Mama burgers for dinner."  So sweet!  (he prefers his on the simpler side with just cheese and ketchup as toppings.)

Mama Burgers
(makes 4 burgers)
1/2 pound ground chuck (70% lean)*
1/2 pound ground sirloin*
4 thick tomato slices
1 avocado, sliced
A few handfuls of baby arugula
Basil mayonnaise (a couple tablespoons Hellman's + equal parts chopped basil)
4 slices American cheese
4 potato sandwich buns, grilled (generously butter both sides of bun and place under broiler till edges start to brown)

 **note: buy from a butcher or store that grinds their meat fresh, daily. It makes a HUGE difference.  Or grind your own if you can.

Of course you can (and should!!) modify the toppings and condiments to suit your own liking.  The above just happen to be my favorite combination!!

Gently combine the meat and divide into into 4 mounds.  Roll each mound in between  2 sheets of plastic wrap to about 1/3 of an inch thick.  Salt and pepper both sides of each patty and cook in a large skillet (cast iron or non stick) on medium high heat for about 3 minutes.  Flip burgers and top with cheese and cook another 2 minutes. Spread the basil mayo onto each side of the bun, top with the burger and stack on the toppings.  Sink your teeth in and do a little happy dance!  Enjoy!!


  1. My mom always made skillet burgers. Mmmm. So good.

  2. Hamburgers are one thing I just do not like to make at home. My mom always made these gross thick hamburgers growing up so maybe that's why I've never liked to make them. She also made spaghetti out of a can and I never cared for that either UNTIL I used the recipe you posted a while back and now I'm hooked.

    We will have to give these burgers a try. We are guilty of making a stop at Five Guys for a quick burger once in a while.

  3. These look Ahhhhhhhmazing!!!! I want one, like now! I will have to try this recipe! The last time I attempted skillet burgers, I feel like I messed up somewhere along the way! Yum! Thanks for sharing the recipe! xo!

  4. Sounds wonderful! I love pan fried burgers the best!

  5. I'm not a big meat eater, but those look so yummy!

    Do you have a favorite place nearby to purchase your meat?

  6. I usually buy my meat from The Fresh Market. Whole Foods is good too but our store is a bit out of the way for me.

  7. Tessa, I will never, ever have another homemade burger without basil mayo again. Such a good addition. Thanks for sharing, liz

  8. Every time I click on your blog and see that hamburger, I am suddenly desperate for one! Love that they're called Mama Burgers. We eat burgers a couple times a month. Always a hit. Need to add some basil mayo since I've got basil growing like crazy!

  9. Tessa,
    Discovered your blog via Emily A. Clark. Will be a regular visitor. Love your writing, your home and personal style. Looking forward to reading more.