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  • Writer's pictureBig Rick Stuart

Make Ernest Hemingway’s Favorite Hamburger

recipe at Art of Manliness

What resulted was honestly one of the best burgers I’ve had in my life. I’m not just saying that. Hell, my wife told me it was bar-none the best burger she’s ever had. The seasoned meat, when cooked exactly as described, provides a savory umami bomb of complexity, and the drippings of the burger absorbed into the bun, making condiments entirely unnecessary. I can see why a man so well-traveled, indulged, and imbibed, would go out of his way to create such a pleasure. And like most of his work, I’m simply glad he took the time to record it for others.


1 lb. ground lean beef

2 cloves, minced garlic

2 little green onions, finely chopped

1 heaping teaspoon, India relish

2 tablespoons, capers

1 heaping teaspoon, Spice Islands Sage

Spice Islands Beau Monde Seasoning — ½ teaspoon

Spice Islands Mei Yen Powder — ½ teaspoon

1 egg, beaten in a cup with a fork

About one-third cup dry red or white wine

1 tablespoon cooking oil

Substitution Notes/Changes

Spice Islands discontinued its Mei Yen Powder several years ago. I substituted with 1 tsp. soy sauce, ½ tsp. kosher salt, ½ tsp sugar, combined and added into the meat mixture.

The other Spice Islands seasonings are still available. The Beau Monde is a unique blend, but the sage can be substituted with any other good quality sage.

India Relish. You can indeed still get this online, but often in bulk and usually for a pretty penny (for a jar of relish). The taste is described best as right down the middle, not too sour or sweet. I’m personally a dill relish guy, so I just substituted with my favorite dill relish and the result was spectacular.

Spice Islands Mei Yen has been discontinued, but you can make your own by combing: 9 parts salt, 9 parts sugar, 2 parts MSG

Combine and store in tightly closed container. To use, if recipe calls for 1 tsp. Mei Yen: use 2/3 tsp. substitute recipe and either 1/8 tsp. bouillon powder or 1/8 tsp. soy sauce.

stock Wix photo

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