There are just those times when my mouth screams for something rich and satisfying, but I don’t really have the time or inclination to make a special trip to the grocery store. So when this happen, I have a secret ingredient that helps me pander to my very spoiled taste buds. And that ingredient my dear friends, found in every grocery store in America, is ground beef. I almost always have a pound of this miracle meat in the freezer just waiting for an opportunity to become the star of a fabulous meal. And that is exactly what happens when I combine it with the other ingredients in this dish, which by the way are all pantry staples in my home.

Now granted, this is not a pretentious little dish that you would want to serve to the person from Internal Revenue who is auditing your 2012 income tax return or the editor of Gourmet magazine, but then how often do they come to your home for dinner anyway? But if it’s just for you and your family, this is just about as inexpensive, delicious and easy to fix as it gets.

And I know, not everyone is as passionate about ground beef as I am. (I actually harbor an undying love for ground beef and prefer a perfectly seasoned ground beef pattie to steak.) I know, tantamount to declaring myself a plebian. (I’ve always told you I’m not a gourmet.)

But regardless of whether or not you are a gourmet, you should give this recipe a try. You never know when someone might accuse you of being too snobby about food. If that ever happens, you can just whip out this recipe and dispel that accusation with alacrity!

  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1-2 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ tsp. seasoned salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tsp. granulated garlic
  • 1 lb. not-too-lean ground beef
  • McCormick’s Montreal Steak Seasoning
  • 1/3 c. red wine
  • 1 T. tomato paste
  • 2 T. butter

Grate 1 tablespoon of onion into a medium sized bowl. Set aside. Pour olive oil into a medium sized fry pan. Place over medium low heat and add the rest of the onion that has been thinly sliced. Fry slowly until the onion pieces are golden brown, about 30 minutes. Stir often. Meanwhile combine the seasoned salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, granulated garlic in with the grated onion. Add the ground beef and gently combine until just blended. Don’t over-mix. Let rest for a few minutes. Form the meat into 2-3 patties and sprinkle lightly with McCormick’s Montreal Steak Seasoning on one side only.

When the onion is caramelized, remove from pan and set aside.  Place pan over medium high heat. Place the burgers in pan and leave them alone. Do not try to flatten the burgers while they cook or all the lovely juices will be lost to the pan! Do not move the burgers once they are in the pan. Flip the burgers when the juices start to puddle on top. Do not flip again!  How long you cook the second side depends on personal preference. For a rarer burger only cook for a couple of minutes on the second side. You can tell doneness by gently pressing your spatula in the center of the pattie without breaking the crust. The squishier the burger, the rarer it is. When the patties are cooked just right, remove from pan and keep warm. Add the wine and tomato paste to the pan. Simmer for a minute or so, whisking to incorporate the onion and burger bits left in the pan. Stir in the butter until melted. Adjust seasoning. Serve burger topped with the caramelized onions and a drizzle of the sauce. Perfect with a Caesar salad on the side, and of course more of the red wine you used in the sauce! Duh!