Our cousin Jay, who is a pretty health-conscious guy, was at Mama’s house once and was watching her put chunks of something white into burger meat. He was very suspicious, but Mama told him that it was just garlic so he ate it up. He raved, having no idea until later that he was eating one of Mama’s famous butter burgers!
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 large clove garlic, minced
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
2 pounds ground beef
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 hamburger buns, split and toasted
Tomato slices (optional)
Onion slices (optional)
Lettuce leaves (optional)
Prepare the grill for medium direct heat or preheat the broiler.
In a small bowl, mash together the butter, parsley, garlic, and lemon zest. Form the mixture into a log, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill in the freezer for 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, mix together the beef, salt, and pepper. Form into 4 patties about 1 inch thick; place on a rimmed baking sheet. Cut a slit 1/2 inch deep into the side of each burger. Cut the butter log into 8 slices; tuck 1 slice into the slit in each burger, pressing it deep into the burger. Pinch the slits closed so the meat totally covers the butter.
Grill or broil the burgers for 7 to 9 minutes for medium rare, turning once. Top the burgers with the remaining butter slices and place in the toasted buns. If desired, top with tomato, onion, and lettuce.
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