Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Hemingway Hamburger

Ernest Hemingway having diner with a cat

While not every writer is a great cook, all of us know how to eat.

I believe that comes from the tradition of other people buying writers breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Whether you are meeting with a publisher or a producer, the unspoken rule is the guy who wants the book, TV show or movie pays.

They usually get to pick the restaurant too, so you can find yourself in a lot of trendy, nouvelle places, where the cuisine often takes a backseat to being seen. But hey –- if they’re buying, what the heck.

Writers are also pretty good at writing about eating. One of my favorites in this regard is Jim Harrison, author of “Legends of the Fall” as well as the screenplays for “Revenge” and “Wolf”.

Harrison used to write a food column for Esquire magazine which became about the best book about eating ever written – “The Raw and the Cooked”.

It was through Harrison’s columns that I also found Bob Sloan’s astonishing “Dad’s Own Cookbook” which has the power to turn any writer into a remarkably accomplished chef.

Among the writers who were apparently exceptional cooks was Ernest Hemingway. And while you’d expect Hemingway to excel at Tuna steaks or “Criadillas de la Corrida” he apparently specialized  at grilling –- hamburger.

Ernest Hemingway Original Copy of his Burger Recipe

Above we have Hemingway’s original recipe, with his own hand written notes. But it includes items common in his era that are hard to find today, so I’ve simplified it for you below.

1 lb. ground lean beef

2 cloves minced garlic

2 little green onions finely chopped

1 heaping teaspoon Chutney

2 tablespoons capers

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon soy sauce

1 egg (beaten)

1/2 cup dry red wine

1 tablespoon cooking oil

Once you’ve gathered all that:

Crumble the meat and add the garlic, onion and dry seasonings, mixing it all together by hand.

Let the mixture sit fifteen minutes while you fire up the BBQ and dump tequila and lime juice in the blender.

Add everything else (except the cooking oil) work it into the meat and let it sit for another fifteen minutes while you have your first Margarita. 

Make the patties. At least one inch thick.

Brush the patties with cooking oil.

Cook on high heat –- no more than four minutes per side.


Write something macho.

And stay away from shotguns.

1 comment:

Birgit said...

Margaitas aside, I am not surprised that he still added some alcohol to his burgers:)