Skip to content

Reflections of a working writer and reader



Hemingway’s Hamburger

“We like avocados but we don’t want them every day. When you serve an avocado, do not also serve tomatoes, radishes, or peppers. The avocado is enough for us.”

1 lb. ground lean beef

2 cloves garlic (minced)

2 small green onions (finely chopped)

1 heaped teaspoon India relish (this is pickled cucumber onion cabbage and spices, so chutney should do in Europe)

2 tablespoons capers

1 heaped teaspoon sage

1/4 teaspoon Mixed Spice

1/4 teaspoon Mei Yen Powder (this was made of equal parts salt, sugar and a little MSG – I’d lose the MSG but it’s up to you)

1 egg (beaten)

85ml dry red or white wine.

1 tablespoon cooking oil

Break up the beef with a fork and scatter the garlic, onion and dry seasonings over it, then mix them into the meat with a fork or your fingers. Let the bowl of meat sit out of the fridge for ten or fifteen minutes while you set the table and make the salad. Add the relish, capers, everything else including wine and let the meat sit, quietly marinating, for another ten minutes if possible. Now make four fat, juicy burgers with your hands. The burgers should be an inch thick, and soft in texture but not runny. Have the oil in your frying-pan hot but not smoking when you drop in the burgers and then turn the heat down and saute the burgers about four minutes. Take the pan off the flame and turn the heat high again. Flip the burgers over, put the pan back on the hot flame, and after one minute turn the heat down again and cook another three minutes. Both sides of the burgers should be crispy brown and the middle pink and juicy.

The Hamburger recipe was chased down by Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan and published in The Paris Review

Comments are closed.