Zuni Burgers

We believe chef Judy Rodgers's juicy, meaty burger, served at Zuni Café in San Francisco, is the best burger in America. The key is using freshly ground chuck. The taste is accentuated by the light salt cure given to the chuck before grinding it. If you don't have a meat grinder, ask your butcher to grind the beef for you. All-Time Favorite Burgers



  • 1 3/4 pound boneless beef chuck, cut into 3-by-1-inch strips

  • Fine sea salt

  • Freshly ground pepper

  • 4 squares of focaccia, split

  • Slices of tomato and red onion


  1. In a bowl, toss the meat with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cover with plastic and refrigerate overnight.

  2. Coarsely grind the meat in a grinder and shape into 1 1/4-inch-thick patties; work quickly so that the meal remains chilled.

  3. Light a grill or heat a grill pan or a cast-iron skillet. Season the burgers with salt and pepper and grill or pan-fry over moderately high heat, turning once, about 4 minutes per side for medium-rare or until done to your liking. Let rest for 2 minutes, then serve with the focaccia with the tomato and red onion.

Suggested Pairing

Burgers call for a red wine with plenty of fruitiness to wrap around the meaty taste. Look for a lusty young Australian Shiraz.

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