An exuberant response from guests when you tell them that the main course is a hamburger and fries is usually not what you would expect for the all-American comfort dish. But if they’ve ever had a classic smash burger made with all its traditional ingredients, the mood can quickly change. Although it takes a little more effort, as well as some teamwork, when done right, your smash burger party is guaranteed to be a smash hit! Just double the recipe below to make it a party of eight, and you will not be disappointed.
Photo and Preparation by Ken and Lucinda Amorosano
- 1 1/2 pounds ground beef, 80/20 lean
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
- 1 tablespoon grated yellow onion
- 2 teaspoons hot sauce
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 4 Brioche hamburger buns
- 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 4 slices yellow American cheese
- 2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
- 8 slices vine-ripe tomatoes
Divide ground beef into 8 equal balls about the size of a ping-pong ball (3-ounces each); refrigerate.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, mustard, grated onion, hot sauce and Worcestershire to create a special sauce; refrigerate.
Using either a large cast iron griddle or 2 large cast iron pans heated to high, toast buns with butter; reserve to plates.
Space beef balls on hot cooking surface. Using a large metal spatula, smash each ball to 1/4-inch-thick patties. (Tips: using the handle of a second spatula to push down on the top of the spatula adds leverage. Using parchment helps avoid spatula sticking to beef.)
Season patties with 1-teaspoon of reserved special sauce per patty; salt and pepper. Sear 2-3 minutes or until some fat begins to bubble up in center of patty. Quickly flip and top 4 of the patties with a slice of cheese. Sear another minute and place a plain patty atop a cheese patty; remove from cooking surface.
Build burgers with a smear of special sauce on bottom bun followed by shredded lettuce, tomato, double burgers, and top bun.
DOUBLE FRIED FRENCH FRIES
- 2 lb. russet potatoes (about 3 large), peeled
- 2 to 3 quarts canola oil or peanut oil
- Kosher salt or coarse sea salt
Cut each potato lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick disks, then cut these disks lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick sticks. Try to keep your cuts uniform so the potatoes cook evenly. We used a KitchenAid Mandoline Slicer.
Soak the potato sticks in cold water for 20 minutes. Drain and rinse the potatoes in 3 changes of fresh cold water, draining after each rinse. Let the potatoes dry in a single layer on a towel-lined baking sheet.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a pot that holds at least 6 quarts over medium heat until it reaches 330°F on a deep-fry thermometer.
Blot the potatoes completely dry with more towels. Gently drop one-third of the potatoes into the oil and increase the heat to medium high (the oil temperature will drop to about 300°F and then gradually rise—it’s fine if it doesn’t return to 330°F). Cook, stirring occasionally with a skimmer or a large slotted spoon, until the potatoes soften (you should be able to cut them with the side of the spoon) and are slightly blistered and creamier in color (remove them if they start to brown), 2 to 3 minutes.
Scoop out the potatoes, shaking them to drain off excess oil, and transfer to a baking sheet lined with paper towels, arranging them in a single layer. Fry the remaining 2 batches of potatoes in the same manner, letting the oil return to 330°F before each batch.
Heat the oil until it reaches 360°F. Add one-third of the potatoes and cook, stirring, until they turn golden-brown and become crisp (to test, carefully drain one on paper towels and try it), 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the fries to a baking sheet lined with fresh paper towels and sprinkle generously with salt. Fold the edges of the paper towels up and over the fries (to make a little pouch) and shake well so the salt is evenly distributed. Serve the fries immediately. Fry the remaining 2 batches of fries in the same manner, letting the oil return to 360°F before each batch.