Hamburgers and beer go together like love and marriage. Both the food and the drink have origins in Germany, though the United States has been perfecting hamburgers and beer for about two hundred years.
The perfect warm weather combination is a grilled hamburger and ice cold beer, and to that effect we will go back to the traditions of German cooking with a German style lager paired with a juicy grilled hamburger. Although grilling season is winding down, anytime the weather breaches 60 degrees is a great time for grilling outdoors. If you can’t grill outdoors, there are many products on the market that let you grill indoors on electric grillers. You can find these grills in just about any retailer.
Take two pounds of ground beef, the higher the fat content the juicier they will be. Add to it half a cup of freshly diced onions, half a cup of freshly diced green peppers, and one cup of soft bread crumbs. The easy way to do the bread crumbs is take two to three slices of bread and make them into small crumbs.
Mix together, preferably by hand to get everything together. Then add one egg and mix again. The egg will help hold the meat together while you grill it. Then add up to one cup of your favorite barbecue sauce for extra flavor. One secret that I’ve gotten from grilling burgers is that slightly frozen patties sometimes hold together better when you grill them. Try setting these patties in the freezer for up to an hour before you grill them.
Grill the burgers until the meat on the inside is dark pink for medium well. The secret to juicy burgers is to let the juices well up inside of them. Do not press them down to get them to cook faster. Searing the outside and slow cooking them after that is the key to juicier burgers, so you may start out with your grill turned up higher to sear both sides and then turn the grill down and keep it covered to cook slower. Check the burgers ever couple of minutes and turn over about every five minutes to get even coverage. Slow grilled burgers are usually done in about 15 to 20 minutes. If your grill is turned up, cooking will take less time.
Top off your burger with whatever you like from cheese, tomatoes, and lettuce.
There are many fabulous German-style lagers that will go with hamburgers. Lagers and their very close relative the pilsners originated in western Germany and the Czech Republic and are just about as authentic as German beers get. Lagers and pilsners are generally light amber in color. Robust lagers and pilsners are either imported from Europe or have German names on American labels. Search your local liquor store for sturdy lagers and pilsners.
Despite grilling being labeled an outdoor summer activity, you don’t have to go outside to enjoy great grilled burgers and fantastic beer to go with them.