The Best Lean Hamburgers Ever with Swiss Cheese and Sauted Mushroom Sauce – Recipe

Posted by on Jan 20, 2012 in Dinner, Food Journal

The Best Lean Hamburgers Ever with Swiss Cheese and Sauted Mushroom Sauce – Recipe

The Best Lean Hamburgers Ever with Swiss Cheese and Sauteed Mushroom Sauce- I don’t know about you, but I can always go for a really good burger. The only thing is that often the best burger is made with fatty ground beef or a combination of fatty meats. I use the 93/7 meat when I make my burgers. If you cook this meat without doing anything to it, except seasoning of course, you usually end up with a dried out burger. That’s because the fat to meat ratio is low on the fat side. For those who don’t know what those little numbers mean, let me explain. The 93 represents the amount of meat, and the 7 represents the amount of fat. So if you have 80/20 you have 80% meat, 20% fat and so on. I would think that I’m pretty safe in saying that most people “drain their meat” when using the higher fat product anyway. So, essentially, you are literally pouring your money down the drain. In my opinion, it is more cost effective to buy the lower fat version and have more meat. It is also healthier – obviously. So, in order to make a really great burger using 93/7, we are going to have to add a few things. It’s funny because when I gave my mom this recipe she said “so you basically make something like meatloaf” and I said “yes”. I do in fact use this exact same recipe when I make meatloaf, except I bake the meat-because that’s how you make meatloaf :). These burgers can be cooked in a saute pan on the stove or grilled. I have even done them slider style in the oven. A word of caution though – if you grill them they burn pretty easily if you have big flames. Make sure you are watching them and that you don’t have actual flames under them, just hot coals or stones or whatever. Also, feel free to top them however you like :D. Oh, and just in case you are wondering what’s on the plate with the burger, those are delicious tostones de platano (Puerto Rican fried plantain chips – yum). So, without further ado, my awesome burger recipe. Happy Cooking!

sliced mushrooms in the pan


1 onion – diced small
2 pounds ground beef – 93/7
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire
2 Tablespoons ketchup
3 eggs
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup wheat germ
1 Tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon pepper
4 garlic cloves (minced) or 2 Tablespoon garlic powder
mushroom sauce – *Mushroom Sauce Recipe Follows
Swiss cheese (I use Tillamook)buns (I use the whole wheat sandwich thins, they’re better for you and it makes the burger more burger-y (can that be a word for today) and less bready)

mushrooms ready to drain


1. Saute the onion until it begins to caramelize, set it aside to cool.
*If you’re making the mushroom sauce, go ahead and slice your mushrooms and get the other stuff ready to go.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly (I use my hands).
3. Mix in your cooled onions if you didn’t in step two (start cooking those mushrooms – step 2 below).
4. Form the patties (if you need to, separate them into nine little balls before you start so they’re all even)-I stack them and use parchment (wax) paper to separate the stacked layers.
5. If you are not cooking them immediately, cover them with plastic wrap and put them in the refrigerator – they’ll be fine for several hours or even overnight if you want to make them ahead of time. NEVER leave raw meat sitting at room temperature for long periods of time-you can get sick from it and it’s yucky!
5. Cook those burgers however you choose – saute, grill or oven. If you had your meat freshly ground from a reputable source you can probably safely cook them to whatever internal temperature you want, if not I recommend cooking them well done.

beautiful golden roux

Yield – about  9 (1/4 lb) burgers – you can cut this recipe in half if you want. The burgers will keep for four days in the refrigerator if you chill them immediately after cooking them.

Ingredients for Mushroom Sauce

1 1/2 pound Cremini mushrooms (also called Baby Bellas), sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 Tablespoon olive oil
 For the Roux (the roux is what thickens the sauce)
2 teaspoons butter or olive oil if you prefer
2 teaspoons flour (white AP flour, one of the few things I use it for)


whisk your mushroom liquid into the roux

1. Wash your mushrooms-I know, you see all these chefs on TV wiping their mushrooms. I don’t care, wash your mushrooms. Put them in a bowl, fill it with water and swirl it around. Now take them out and look how gross that water is – ewww :p – aren’t you glad you washed your mushrooms? You’ve probably heard that they absorb water, maybe a little (I’ve never noticed), but guess what, it won’t hurt and if you’re cooking them, it cooks out anyway. Sorry,
but this is something I feel very strongly about! If you’re still worried, here’s a little experiment for you. Measure out 1 cup of water, now put a few mushrooms in there. Wait a few minutes and take the mushrooms out – How much water is left-a cup. Moving on.
2. Place mushrooms in a saute pan with the olive oil on high heat.
3. Sprinkle them with the salt and pepper, stir them really good to distribute the salt and pepper.
4. In a separate saute pan, melt your butter or put in your olive oil (for the roux).
5. Add the flour to the melted butter.
6. Stir it quickly scraping the bottom (I use a high heat rubber spatula for this).

delicious mushroom sauce

*You may need to add more butter or more flour depending on what your roux looks like – it should look like wet sand. Make adjustments as necessary (the reason you may need to make adjustments to these measurements is that different brands of butter contain different amounts ofliquid and fat, so, the exact measurements will depend on your butter).
7. When your roux is a beautiful golden color, remove it from the heat and set to the side.
8. By now your mushrooms should have a lot of juice around them, drain them reserving the juice (you should get around one cup).
9. Slowly pour this juice into the roux whisking as you pour, whisk it  until it’s smooth and heat it until it’s thick – yay, mushroom sauce :)
10. Add the mushrooms into the sauce.
11. Top the burgers with sauce and one slice of Swiss cheese- we also put a little mayo on ours – oh, and put them on buns silly!

*A note on mushrooms-You may not know this, but Button Mushrooms, Crimini Mushrooms, and Portabella Mushrooms are all the same mushroom in different states of maturity. They are the variety Agaricus bisporus. The white button and the crimini are the youngest and therefore the softest. Why are the crimini brown? Well, they are bred to be brown, but the only real difference between them and the button is color….and price. Sometimes I like to use the crimini anyway because even though I know they’re the same, they somehow seem “nicer” to me. I don’t know why – maybe because they cost more :). The Portabellas are the most mature in the family and have the “meatiest” texture and the most flavor. Look for mushrooms that have a membrane covering the gills. Those are the freshest. If you can’t find any that are still “closed” (that means the membrane is there), then make sure the cap is still turned down. If the cap is turning up, that’s a sign of an old mushroom. There, now you’ve learned something today :).

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