WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS:
Few things are as satisfying as a thick, juicy pub-style burger. But avoiding the usual gray band of overcooked meat is a challenge. We wanted a patty that was well-seared, juicy, and evenly rosy from center to edge. Grinding our own meat in the food processor was a must, and sirloin steak tips were the right cut for the job. Cutting the meat into small 1/2-inch chunks before grinding and lightly packing the meat to form patties gave the burgers just enough structure to hold their shape in the skillet. A little melted butter improved their flavor and juiciness, but our biggest discovery came when we transferred the burgers from the stovetop to the oven to finish cooking—the stovetop provided intense heat for searing, while the oven’s gentle ambient heat allowed for even cooking, thus eliminating the overcooked gray zone.
Sirloin steak tips are also sold as flap meat. When stirring the butter and pepper into the ground meat and shaping the patties, take care not to overwork the meat or the burgers will become dense.
- 2 pounds sirloin steak tips , trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1/2-inch chunks (see note)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted and cooled slightly
- Table salt and ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 4 hamburger buns , toasted and buttered
1. Place beef chunks on baking sheet in single layer. Freeze meat until very firm and starting to harden around edges but still pliable, about 35 minutes.
2. Place one-quarter of meat in food processor and pulse until finely ground into ¹/16-inch pieces, about 35 one-second pulses, stopping and redistributing meat around bowl as necessary to ensure beef is evenly ground. Transfer meat to second baking sheet. Repeat grinding with remaining 3 batches of meat. Spread meat over sheet and inspect carefully, discarding any long strands of gristle or large chunks of hard meat or fat.
3. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees. Drizzle melted butter over ground meat and add 1 teaspoon pepper. Gently toss with fork to combine. Divide meat into 4 lightly packed balls. Gently flatten into patties 3/4 inch thick and about 4½ inches in diameter. Refrigerate patties until ready to cook. (Patties can be refrigerated, covered, for up to 1 day.)
4. Season 1 side of patties liberally with salt and pepper. Using spatula, flip patties and season other side. Heat oil in 12-inch skillet over high heat until just smoking. Using spatula, transfer burgers to skillet and cook without moving for 2 minutes. Using spatula, flip burgers and cook for 2 minutes longer. Transfer patties to rimmed baking sheet and bake until instant-read thermometer inserted into burger registers 125 degrees for medium-rare or 130 degrees for medium, 3 to 6 minutes.
5. Transfer burgers to plate and let rest for 5 minutes. Transfer to buns, add desired toppings, and serve.