Cook Your Comics: Riverdale Burgers
Archie #1, released earlier this month, is a relaunch of the series that began in 1942. The new series is updated for modern times, but it still has the element that always fascinated me most: giant piles of hamburgers. As a strongly food-oriented person, I can identify with Jughead’s burger obsession, although not his metabolism. In the past, the burgers of Riverdale were often drawn to look plain: pure beef on a bun, Ron Swanson-style. But nowadays, they draw in some lettuce, tomato, and such, because eating nothing but bread and meat sets a bad example for everyone, really.
My burger recipe is similar to my meatloaf recipe, which means it’s full of flavor, and it produces a tender patty that holds together well. It makes it easy to serve tasty burgers to a bunch of hungry people (or a couple of growing teenagers) in a hurry. You can make the meat mixture ahead of time, put it in the fridge, and throw the burgers on the heat at your leisure.
- 2 pounds ground beef, lean (90/10)
- 2 cups breadcrumbs
- 1 Tbsp dried parsley
- 1/4 cup dried, minced onions
- 1/3 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Hamburger buns, in your preferred size(s)
- Sliced cheese (c’mon, not really optional)
- Bacon (I guess you can leave it off?)
In a large bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs, parsley, dried onions, and Parmesan cheese. In a medium bowl, mix the eggs, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, ketchup, salt, and pepper until well-combined. Put on some disposable kitchen gloves (optional, if you like getting ground beef under your fingernails), and add the ground meat to the breadcrumb mixture. Use your hands to incorporate the dry ingredients into the meat. Then add the egg-condiment mixture, and squish it all together until the meat is uniform. It shouldn’t be crumbly or too saucy.
Now, form the meat patties. With this recipe, you can make 8-12 regular patties or 24 sliders. Or divide it in half to make 4-6 regular patties with one portion and 12 sliders with the other. Or do the math to make whatever combination you like. I’m not the boss of you.
Are you using bacon? Cook the bacon. Then cook the meat patties in a skillet, on a griddle, on a grill, whatever you like. Do you like your burgers a little bit pink in the middle? Not these burgers, fancy-pants! These are basically meatloaf burgers, and nobody wants rare meatloaf. Get a good sear on both sides, and cook them all they way through.
When they are within a minute or so of being done, lay a slice of cheese on top (of the ones you want cheese on, i.e. all of them), and let it get melty.
Then transfer each patty to a bun, and add bacon, lettuce, and any other desired toppings. The meat has a lot of flavor built in, so you probably don’t need a lot of extra condiments. Then they’re ready to serve!
You can feed a crowd with this recipe, or save some uncooked patties for a few days in the fridge or for a few months in the freezer. To freeze them, form the patties and stack them with a piece of wax paper between each one. Put them in an airtight container, and place them in the freezer. When you’re ready to cook them, thaw the patties you want in the fridge and cook like normal. Enjoy!