Merle, Phyllis’ husband, grills all year round here in Pennsylvania despite snow, sleet, and hail.
Some of us aren’t that die-hard.
But even if you don’t use your grill when the cold winds begin to blow, that doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself of a good burger.
Sure, you can fry burgers on the stovetop or cook them under the broiler, but when our grill goes into hibernation for the winter, we also pull out our trusty slow cooker and the recipe for Big Juicy Burgers. Then we call the kids into the kitchen because, well, this recipe is so simple, the kids can make it with very little supervision. (And they love doing it because they can use their hands to mix up the hamburger patties.)
Usually the kids make the hamburger patties the night before, let them refrigerate overnight, and then pop them in the slow cooker in the morning before school. When the burgers are ready, the kids put them on the table beside their favorite toppings and dinner is served.
It sure beats standing in the cold to flip a burger. (Unless you like the cold and snow, of course.) And boy, are those burgers big and juicy!
Big Juicy Burgers
Fix-It and Forget-It Kids’ Cookbook, pg. 30
Makes 8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 7-9 hours
Ideal slow cooker size: 4- or 5-quart
1 cup chopped onions
¼ cup chopped celery
2 lbs. ground beef
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
2 cups tomato juice
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 Tbsp. ketchup
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
½ tsp. salt
1. Place chopped onions and celery in your slow cooker.
2. Place the beef, 1 tsp. salt, and pepper into a large mixing bowl. Use your hands to mix the salt and pepper into the beef. Divide the dough into eight balls, each the same size.
3. Flatten the eight balls of beef so they look like hamburger patties. Place the patties in the slow cooker on top of the onions and celery. Try not to stack them. If you have to, stager them so they don’t lie exactly on top of each other. Wash your hands well.
4. In a medium-sized mixing bowl stir together the tomato juice, minced garlic, ketchup, Italian seasoning and ½ tsp. salt. Pour this sauce over the patties in your slow cooker.
5. Cover your slow cooker. Cook the Burgers on Low for 7-9 hours.
Serving Suggestion: To serve, place each Big Juicy Burger with a bit of the sauce on a hamburger roll. Feel free to add toppings of your choice: cheese, pickles, lettuce, tomato or mustard if you wish. Serve with crackers, chips, or fries if you wish.
Tip: You can buy chopped onions and celery in the grocery store. You can also buy minced garlic in the grocery store.