It’s no secret to my friends nor my faithful blog readers that I love Julia Child. Though I was quite young when she was cooking up a storm on PBS, I remember her as a vision in the kitchen-the merry, enthusiastic, sophisticated woman who had no fear of bird, beast, or any other ingredient! She was a pioneer, the first “Iron Chef.”
PBS is honoring what would have been Julia’s 100th birthday with a ten-day celebration of her food. They’ve asked their viewers to cook and photograph her dishes and share them online with other PBS viewers and food fanatics.
You know I’m up for the task.
I began with an easy recipe, one of the first I tackled when my copy of “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” arrived in the mail two years ago. It’s one of my girls’ favorites-in fact, my eldest daughter dislikes hamburgers-except those cooked Julia’s way. A little butter and cream (or a lot, in this instance) makes everything better.
I also like this recipe because it’s relatively quick to make. I cannot say that about most of the other Julia creations I’ve tried!
• 1 pound hamburger
• ¾ cup finely minced yellow onion
• 1.5 teaspoon salt
• 1/8 teaspoon pepper
• 1/8 teaspoon thyme
• 1 egg
• 1 tablespoon oil
• ½ cup flour, spread onto a plate
• ¼ cup beef stock or canned beef bouillon
• 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
• Salt and pepper
• Pinch nutmeg
• Lemon juice
• 7 tablespoons butter
• 2 tablespoons Herbs de Provence or mixture of parsley, chives, tarragon, chervil, or parsley
Cook the onions slowly in 2 tablespoons of butter for about 10 minutes until they are tender but not browned. Place in mixing bowl. Add the beef, 2 more tablespoons of softened butter, and egg to onions and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon.
Add salt, pepper, thyme. Form into patties (I made six).
Heat 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. The butter will start to foam-when that subsides, roll each patty in the flour on the plate.
Shake off excess flour and sauté each patty until it reaches your desired level of doneness. (I did five minutes on each side). Arrange patties on platter and keep warm.
Pour fat out of skillet. Add stock and boil down rapidly, scraping up coagulated cooking juices, until reduced to almost syrup (see photo below).
Pour in the cream and boil down rapidly for a minute or two until it has reduced and thickened slightly. Season to taste with salt, pepper, nutmeg and drops of lemon juice.
Off heat, swirl in 2 more tablespoons butter by half tablespoons until it is absorbed. Add the Herbs de Provence and spoon sauce over hamburgers. Serve!
For more info or recipes from the Cook for Julia event, click here!