When it comes to comfort food, Barefoot Contessa host Ina Garten reigns supreme. Not only are her hundreds of recipes approachable and so easy to follow, but she also has an entire cookbook, Modern Comfort Food, dedicated to making some of the best — and most mouthwatering — comfort food dishes. Among those dishes? Garten‘s Smashed Hamburgers with Caramelized Onions: an intermediate-level recipe that features a couple unique (and delicious) twists and techniques.
“My Smashed Hamburgers with caramelized onions and gruyere is definitely my favorite hamburger,” Garten says on an episode of Barefoot Contessa of her burger recipe.
To make Garten’s Smashed Hamburgers, you’ll need to gather your ingredients and cookware, from red onions, ground beef, gruyere cheese and red wine vinegar to a 12-inch saute pan. But the most important, essential ingredient and cookware you’ll need to truly pull off this dish? Dry mustard powder and a 12-inch cast iron skillet.
To make the spice mixture for the burgers, “the first thing is mustard — and I use dry mustard because it has like a real sharpness about it.” According to Garten’s recipe, adding just one-and-a-half teaspoons of dry mustard to the ground beef will do the trick.
“It’s going to give it great flavor,” she says.
As for the cast iron skillet, this cookware helps give the burger a crispy exterior while keeping the inside of the burger super-juicy. And for those who don’t have a cast iron skillet, we highly recommend picking up Lodge’s affordable 12-inch cast iron skillet, which boasts more than 117,000 mostly positive reviews on Amazon.
“The key to these hamburgers is that when you smash them in a cast iron skillet, it gets a really crusty outside; and then I kind of undercook them a little bit, so they’re really juicy inside,” Garten says. “One thing I love about this burger is you don’t even have to light the grill. You can just do it inside on a cast iron skillet. So, it can be a nice, rainy day and you can still have great hamburgers.”
The other important step to Garten’s popular Smashed Hamburgers? Freezing the patties. Freezing the freshly ground beef patties for 15 minutes before cooking them helps give the burgers that crispy-on-the-outside, moist-on-the-inside balance.
“And no longer than exactly 15 minutes!” Garten stresses.
Get the full recipe at Barefoot Contessa.
Before you go, check out Garten’s best dinner recipes below: