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Hamburgers with Fried Eggs

In this version of “eggs on horseback,” fried eggs top grilled hamburgers. The soft egg yolk in each sandwich breaks and seeps into the beef, making a heavenly combination of tastes and textures. Serve with Potatoes Lyonnaise (see related recipe at left), simple fried potatoes or seasoned tomatoes for a special morning treat. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lb. ground beef, preferably chuck 
  • 1 tsp. salt, plus more, to taste 
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper, plus more, to taste 
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter 
  • 4 eggs 
  • 4 large rolls or hamburger buns, split and warmed 
  • Mayonnaise for serving (optional) 

Directions:

In a bowl, combine the beef, the 1 tsp. salt and the 1/2 tsp. pepper. Gently toss with a fork. Dampen your hands and form 4 patties, each about 3/4 inch thick. Place on a plate, cover and refrigerate until ready to cook. The burgers can be prepared a day in advance, wrapped tightly and kept in the coldest part of the refrigerator.

Prepare a medium-hot fire in a grill and oil the grill rack. Or, preheat a broiler.

For a grill: Using tongs, place the hamburgers over the hottest part of the fire or directly over the heat elements and grill, turning once, for 5 to 7 minutes per side for medium-rare, or until done to your liking.

For a broiler: Arrange the hamburgers in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and place in the broiler about 6 inches from the heat source. Broil, turning once, for 5 to 7 minutes per side for medium-rare, or until done to your liking.

Meanwhile, in a large fry pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. When the butter foams, break the eggs into the pan, spacing them about 2 inches apart. Reduce the heat to low and season the eggs with salt and pepper. Cover the pan and cook until the whites are set and the yolks are just beginning to firm around the edge, about 5 minutes.

Spread the cut sides of the rolls with mayonnaise. Place the burgers on the bottoms of the rolls and set an egg on top of each burger. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with the tops of the rolls. Arrange on individual plates and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Breakfast and Brunch, by Georgeanne Brennan, Elinor Klivans, Jordan Mackay and Charles Pierce (Oxmoor House, 2007).