‘21’ Club Hamburger

  • Serves

    makes 4 Burgers


John Greeley, the chef at the '21' Club in New York City, grinds beef chuck and beef round with a couple of tablespoons of duck fat to make this tasty burger. Store-bought ground beef is a fine substitute.


  • 2 lb. ground beef
  • 14 cup minced yellow onion
  • 2 tsp. minced fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. minced fresh rosemary
  • 14 tsp. ground coriander
  • 14 tsp. ground fennel seed
  • 18 tsp. cayenne
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2-3 tbsp. melted duck fat, at room temperature (optional)
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 4 hamburger buns, toasted


Step 1

In a large bowl, gently mix together the beef, onions, thyme, pepper, rosemary, coriander, fennel, cayenne, egg, and fat. Season with salt. Divide the meat into 4 portions; shape them into 1"-thick patties. Wrap patties in plastic wrap; refrigerate until cold. This will help to firm them up, as they're moister than most burgers owing to the addition of the duck fat and the egg.

Step 2

Prepare a medium-hot charcoal fire or heat a gas grill to medium-high (or heat a tablespoon of canola oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat). Cook burgers, flipping once, until cooked to desired doneness, about 12 minutes total for medium rare. Serve on buns.

Pairing Note The Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 ($42), from the Napa Valley, has layers of ripe red fruit and earth that nicely complement this classic burger. —Ania Zawieja