By Debbie Moose, columnist
I’d like to be an honorary Greek, because the Greeks are a grilling bunch. Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Raleigh, N.C., held its 2nd annual “Big Fat Grill Off” recently, and judges had to declare everyone winners because the food was so good: Souvlaki, steak, homemade loukaniko (Greek sausage) and more.
A five-year trial for this burger
My friend, and dad to two lovely little girls, John Demos entered his Greek version of hamburgers. John has been working on the recipe for five years, and said that it was inspired by Greek bifteki.
As is the case with many good cooks, he doesn’t follow a recipe. But in honor of Father’s Day, he agreed to share his burger creation with me. Adapt it to your favorite father’s tastes.
John’s Greek Burgers
- 2 pounds ground beef – see note
- 6 ounces crumbled feta cheese
- 1/2 onion, grated
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- 2 slices bread, toasted, crust removed and finely crumbled
- Black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons dried oregano (he’s very liberal with the oregano, can never have too much)
- Garlic salt to taste (use lightly - the feta is salty)
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice plus more for brushing the burgers
Note: The additional fat of 80 percent lean:20 percent fat ground beef makes for a tasty burger, but he usually mixes 1 pound 93 percent lean:7 percent fat and 1 pound 80 percent fat:20 percent lean.
Mix all the ingredients together by hand in a large bowl. Form patties a bit thicker and with a smaller circumference to make a juicier burger. Try to make sure all the burgers get equal amounts of feta. Brush the burgers with additional lemon juice before grilling, when you flip them, and when you remove them from the grill. Serve with buns and the usual burger accompaniments.
Makes about 8 burgers.
* * *
Debbie Moose, a food writer and cookbook author from Raleigh, NC, writes twice a month here about cooking outdoors. Check out her cookbooks: Potato Salad: 65 Recipes from Classic to Cool; Wings: More Than 50 High-Flying Recipes for America’s Favorite Snack; Fan Fare: A Playbook of Great Recipes for Tailgating or Watching the Game at Home; and Deviled Eggs: 50 Recipes from Simple to Sassy. Find out what else Debbie is cooking on her blog, Moose Munchies, at her web site, debbiemoose.com.