How To Make 3 Epic Burgers From A Delicious Diner Cookbook

Are you man enough for these monster cheeseburgers?
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When Tom Byng first chomped into a burger at the old-school Silver Top Diner in Providence, Rhode Island, he realized it was wayyyy better than anything he had tasted back home in the UK. Years later, Bying brought American-style burgers to London with his diner-inspired eatery, Byron. His new book, Byron: The Diner Cookbook, written with head chef Fred Smith, has recipes for more than 20 belly-busting sandwiches as well as toppings, sides, sauces, drinks, and other classic diner dishes.

But at Byron, as in life, burgers reign supreme. Here's how to make three standouts from the restaurant's tasty new cookbook:

1. The B-Rex 

Byron B-REX

Inspired by chef Fred Smith's memory of being taken to see Jurassic Park as a kid, dig into this dino-sized riff on the diner cheeseburger.

(Makes 4)

Ingredients 

1 medium onion, very finely diced

4-6 oz. hamburgers (see page 14)

4 buns, halved

16 pickles slices

2 ½ tablespoons Byron spicy barbecue sauce (see page 89)

4 tablespoons mayonnaise

4 tablespoons drained pickled jalapeno slices (available in most supermarkets)

8 slices of American cheese, roughly the same size

as the hamburgers

12 slices of crispy pancetta (see page 97) 

4 onion rings (see page 67) 

4 dill pickles

Method 

1. Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil and add the diced onion. After 10 seconds, drain through a strainer. Run the strained onions under cold water until cool. Set aside.

2. Preheat the broiler to high.

3. Cook the hamburgers to your liking following the instructions on pages 16–17.

4. Meantime, toast or broil the cut sides of the buns.

5. Add the blanched onions to the toasted bottom halves of the buns.

6. Top the onions with 4 slices of pickle and a teaspoon of Byron Spicy BBQ Sauce. Spread another teaspoon of the BBQ Sauce on the top halves of the buns.

7. Spread the mayonnaise on both halves of the buns. Add the jalapeño slices to the top halves of the buns.

8. Once the hamburgers are cooked, transfer to a small roasting tray. Top each one with 2 slices of American cheese and 3 slices of Crispy Pancetta. Place under the hot broiler on the highest shelf. Watch carefully and remove the tray from under the broiler as soon as the cheese has melted. If using a BBQ, follow the instructions for melting cheese on page 16.

9. Carefully place the hamburgers on the bottom halves of the buns. Top with an Onion Ring and bring the 2 halves together.

10. Serve with a dill pickle on the side.


2. The Juicy Lucy 

Byron Juicy Lucy

Here's Bryon's take on the Minneapolis classic, the Juicy Lucy. The trick, by the way, is to melt the cheese without overcooking the beef.

(Makes 4)

Ingredients 

1 lb. 9 oz. ground chuck steak

8 homemade cheese slices 

4 buns, halved

¼ head of iceberg lettuce, finely shredded

7 tablespoons Byron sauce

½ beef tomato, cut into 1/4 inch thick slices

1 small red onion, peeled and cut into 1/8 inch thick rings

2 large pickles, sliced

4 dill pickles 

Method

1. Shape the ground steak into 8 3 oz. balls. Flatten them following the instructions on page 14, until they are all 4 ¾ inch wide. They will be thinner than usual.

2. Put a pair of patties on a cutting board and place 2 Homemade Cheese Slices on top of them. Fold over the corners to make the cheese vaguely circular. You should have a hamburger with a small circle of cheese inside, leaving a border of meat about 3⁄8 inch wide around it.

3. Place the second patty on top. Use your thumb and forefinger to press the edges of the 2 patties, working your way round. Make sure everything is sealed; you don’t want any breaks or gaps.

4. Shape the edges of the hamburger, cupping the sides and pressing into your cupped hands, as you would with a normal hamburger. You should be left with a hamburger that is very slightly thicker than usual.

5. Cook the hamburgers following the instructions on pages 16–17, but for a little longer on each side. As you flip the hamburgers, be careful not to tear the meat which will allow the melting cheese center to escape.

6. Meantime, toast or broil the cut sides of the buns.

7. Place the shredded lettuce on the bottom halves of the buns. Spread a spoonful of Byron Sauce on both halves of the buns.

8. Top the lettuce with a slice of tomato. Separate the onion into rings and place 5 of these on top of the tomato.

9. Place the sliced pickles on the top halves of the buns. When the hamburgers are cooked, carefully place them on the bottom halves of the buns and bring the 2 halves together.

10. Serve with a dill pickle on the side.

3. The Ronaldo

Byron Ronaldo

This two-patty beast is named after a famous Brazilian soccer player (“El Fenomeno”), rumored to be partial to a burger or two.  

(Makes 4)

Ingredients

8-6 oz. hamburgers

4 buns, halved

2 large pickles, sliced

8 slices of American cheese, roughly the same size as the hamburgers

16 slices of crispy pancetta

½ cup crispy onion pieces (can be store bought) 

4 dill pickles

Method

1. Preheat the broiler to high.

2. Cook the 8 hamburgers to your liking following the instructions on pages 16–17. About 1–2 minutes before they are ready, top with the Buttered Onions.

3. Meantime, toast or broil the cut sides of the buns.

4. Place the pickle slices on the bottom halves of the buns. Squirt a spiral of ketchup and about half as much mustard on both the top and bottom halves of the buns.

5. When the hamburgers are cooked, transfer them to a roasting tray. Top each one with a slice of cheese and 2 slices of Crispy Pancetta. Place under the hot broiler on the highest shelf. Watch carefully and remove the tray from under the broiler as soon as the cheese has melted.

6. Place 2 hamburgers on the bottom half of each bun and cover completely with the crispy onion pieces.

7. Bring the 2 halves together and serve with a dill pickle on the side.