While looking for a friend's of a friend blog posts about D&D, I came across Bobby Flay's Burger Palace. In the same day, a Khymos post sent me on a link journey to a comment in the Ideas in Food blog, and I started Jonesing for a good burger. I ended up making two too-big burgers for $4. $2 each for juicy heaven.
12 oz 80/20 ground beef - 800 calories - $2.40
2 potato buns - 180 calories - $0.33 or $0.50 (from a package of 12)
2 strips of store brand bacon - 80 calories - ~$0.42
1 tablespoon of butter - 100 calories - $0.09
2 oz colby jack cheese - 200 calories - $0.50 (because we didn't have goat cheese!)
2 spare slices of onion
2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons of flour
a square foot of plastic wrap
I chopped the onion and bacon into small pieces, then browned them in a little steel skillet with a little fat from some other bacon. Then I mixed the bacon and onion into the beef with the Worcestershire sauce (maybe put the butter in there too, next time), packed the beef into a "log" (it was only 2" thick) and wrapped it in the plastic, then put it in the fridge to rest for an hour. I took out the log, cut it in half to make the two patties. I floured the patties, then fried them in the butter while lightly toasting the buns. I put the cheese on the patties after flipping them.
That's it. We did not put anything else on these succulent burgers. These blew away every other fancy burger I've had, so juicy and delicious. One of my regular complaints about burgers at restaurants (I'm not talking about the awful trash at fast food joints) is that the buns are too big. I don't want an enormous roll engulfing my burger and making it hard to fit in my mouth, giving me a lot of flour taste over the beef and fat. The small, generic, potato buns from any supermarket are the perfect meat-holders for me.
Our only lament was that we had no goat cheese. A little chevre from Trader Joe's would have topped this off nicely. Actually, we also decided that 4 ounces is the right size for a burger. The 6 oz burgers were delicious, but unnecessarily large.
So, each burger I made had about 650-700 calories and cost $2, but I would happily use a third less meat and swap the Colby Jack for some chevre ($0.50/oz), shaving off over a hundred calories and about $0.25 per burger.