Chef Frank's burger and pickles.

Chef Frank Proto's Pro Burger

Get two new recipes from Chef Frank's video with Epicurious.

In March, Epicurious hosted Director of Culinary Operations Chef Frank Proto to be the professional chef in its video series featuring four levels of cooks, from amateur to food scientist. This episode's crowd-pleasing topic: hamburgers, just in time for spring entertaining.

Chef Frank elevates his hamburger (which becomes a cheeseburger) with four key techniques: grinding his own meat, making his own pickles, caramelizing onions effortlessly and shaping a patty like a pro. He selects a cut of beef with ample fat content, cheese with more flavor than American and a bun beyond white bread. Chef Frank loves knowing exactly what meat is in his burger and a recipe that's not complicated.

Watch the video to make your next cookout a little more chefy, and see his signature cheeseburger and pickle recipes below.

Recipe

Chef Frank's Cheeseburgers

Yields 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless short ribs
  • 1 small Spanish onion, cut into thick slices
  • 6-8 slices Muenster cheese
  • 1/2 cup Heinz ketchup
  • 4 Martin's potato rolls
  • Salt
  • Beef fat
  • Dill pickles (recipe below)

Directions

  1. Grind the short ribs with a fine blade using a grinder attachment on a KitchenAid stand mixer. Chill well.
  2. Shape into four patties with a large volcano in the center.
  3. Heat a large cast-iron pan on high. Add the beef fat to coat the bottom of the pan.
  4. Season the patties on both sides liberally with salt. Place the patties flat side down in the pan. Let cook for about 3 to 4 minutes.
  5. Place an onion slice on the raw side of the patty and flip over. Let cook for 2 to 3 more minutes.
  6. Toast the potato rolls in a broiler or toaster.
  7. Place a slice of cheese on top of each burger and let cook for 2-3 more minutes.
  8. Place the cooked burger on the bottom of the toasted bun. Top with 2 to 3 slices of pickle, about 1 tablespoon of ketchup and toasted top. Serve.

Dill pickles

Yields 24 ounces

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons salt
  • 2 cups water, cold
  • 6 Kirby cucumbers
  • 12 black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seed
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 Thai bird chilis, sliced in half
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seed
  • 16 sprigs dill
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 24-ounce jar with a tight-fitting lid

Directions

  1. Put the vinegar, sugar and salt in a saucepan and heat on low until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Remove from the heat then add the cold water.
  2. Slice cucumbers with a crinkle-cut knife or on a French mandolin.
  3. Add 1/2 of the peppercorns, garlic, mustard seeds, chilis and coriander to the jar. Place 1/2 of the dill in as well.
  4. Pack 1/2 of the sliced cucumbers into the jar and top with the rest of the herbs, chili and spices.
  5. Pour the pickling liquid over the top until the cucumbers are completely submerged in the brine. Let sit for 10 minutes then top off with liquid.
  6. Screw the cap on and place in the refrigerator for 5-7 days at which point it is ready to serve.

Learn pro techniques for more of your favorite foods in ICE's Culinary Arts program.

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