Last time Jen was over, we made burgers to bring to my sister’s birthday party. They went over well. Here, as well as we can remember, is what we did. [This is Jen. I’m adding my comments in brackets. I control the signal. I’m drunk on power.] <And this is Steve again, mixing Jen another power & tonic.>

2 lbs lean ground beef [I think it was 3 lbs beef? Seemed like more than a 2-to-1 ratio, anyway] <Um. It was one of those big tubes, and I never looked at the weight. Damn.> [Okay, readers, use your best judgement.]
1 lb ground bison [you have to make bison motions with your hand every time you say bison] <I thought that went without saying.>
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped.  No, finer than that.  Even finer. Little teeny tiny pieces, like Jen does. Pretend you’re OCD. [I’m just being CAREFUL. Reader, your onion pieces have to be tiny and even or everything will be terrible. Trust me.]
1 tablespoon sweet Hungarian paprika
2 [Steve-]tablespoons minced garlic [which translates to 4 normal-tablespoons]
1 egg
A couple dashes Worcestershire sauce
A splash of red wine [What is the difference between a dash and a splash?] <A dash involves a quick back-and-forth motion with the bottle.  A splash is half of a glug.> [I did not think you would have an actual answer.]
Kosher salt
black pepper
[I think I wanted to add cumin but we didn’t have any.] <Yeah, I never know what’s in my spice cabinet. It’s all cumin and goin’.> [See, that isn’t helpful. Why would you make that terrible joke, Toni?] <Yeah, Aliera. That was uncalled-for.>


Beat the egg in a large mixing bowl. [It is important to really beat the snot out of the egg, because that snot is what is going to hold your burgers together.] <I didn’t need that image.> Add onion, paprika, garlic, and the other stuff.

Mix in the meat. [Mixing the meat together and incorporating the egg mixture is best done by hand, so make sure your nails are clipped short and go to town. It’s fun! Right up until you’re done making the patties and then you realize how gross your hands are and only hot water can save you.] <Very hot water.  Like, ouch.>

Shape the patties, separate them with butcher’s paper or parchment, and freeze.  When it’s time to cook them, do that.  Then eat them. [You may use whatever accompaniments and/or condiments you prefer, but onion buns are the one true burger bun.] <Hear, hear!>

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17 thoughts on “Jenburgers”

  1. I moved into my current apartment and I didn’t have any furniture for a while, including nothing to cook with. So I didn’t use the refrigerator for a few weeks.

    Eventually, I turned on the ice maker and ended up keeping a couple of things in the fridge. And then I noticed a weird… smelly… brown… liquid dripping from the refrigerator door….

    It seemed like… rusty water or like compressor fluid or something very strange…

    So I filed a ticket with the building maintenance guys.

    I came home a few days later to find a note that said they’d cleaned the Worcestershire sauce out of the refrigerator door gasket.

    I was not in possession of Worcestershire sauce at the time, and I have no idea how or why the previous tenant would have poured or spilled Worcestershire sauce in the gasket.

    I still don’t own Worcestershire sauce. It may still be a couple of months before I get up the stomach to buy it. Even then, I’ll probably just buy vietnamese fish sauce and pretend.

  2. I mean, really, the great thing about burgers is that any ingredient that is a flavor component is more of a guideline than a rule. Even the paprika. Put in what you want.

  3. I especially recommend consuming Jenburgers on a sunny hillside, preferably with someone else doing the hot grill part, with lots of friends and family, and music, of course. Thanks, Jen.

  4. Glanced to the side and saw your name beside a post on Scalzi’s site, and just had to pop over here to tell you how “very” much I enjoy your writing!

    Thank you (and pls don’t slow down)!!!


  5. How does one make bison motions with the hands? Is this like the “hook ’em horns” hand sign, or is it something else? *is a stickler for following recipes, at least the first time through*

  6. It’s the “hook ’em horns” hand sign (I think, not exactly sure what that is) made with the left hand and bouncing in front of you left to right as the buffalo cross the great plain.

  7. *writing* Left…to…right, got it. Good thing I asked. Being right-handed, I might easily have sent the bison running the wrong way.

  8. Sounds awesome, and you are correct, only works with onion buns, all others are pretend hamburger buns,(except maybe potato buns), ( or maybe those new Hawaiian hamburger buns).

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