White Trash Motherlode: Brazilian Hamburgers

April 16, 2010

In my house, growing up, Daddy was the sole master of the grill. Nobody else in the family touched it.

I, personally, was afraid of the thing. It arrived, unassembled, in a gi-normous box one Spring day, and Daddy vowed to put it together on the weekend. The box boasted that the grill only took about an hour (with minimal tools) to assemble.

Well, it took Daddy about six hours to put together. I remember riding my tricycle around the neighborhood and passing by our garage, and there was Daddy, counting screws, re-reading directions, throwing screwdrivers across the garage in frustration.

I’d ride into the garage on occasion, just to check on him. It was pretty swell entertainment, actually.

As dusk approached, I parked my tricycle in the garage, stood by Daddy for a few minutes and then went inside for some Hi-C.

“Is your father still out there?” Mama asked.
“Uh-huh,” I said, gulping my juice.
“It’s not ladylike to swill like that, Miss,” Mama reminded.
“Sorry.” I put down my glass. “Hey Mama?”
“What does ‘Goddamnsonofabitch’ mean?”
My mother put down her potato peeler and looked at me sternly. “Now just where did you hear that word, Miss?”
Wide-eyed,I pointed to the garage. “Daddy said it. He’s talkin’ to the barbeque.”

He did, eventually, get it put together, but there were a few mysterious stray screws lying around that nettled him.

With all of the effort it took to assemble the grill, you’d think Daddy would’ve given more thought to his grilling technique. Alas, he never did.

Daddy would cheerfully take out a plate of juicy chops or plump burgers, plop them on the grill, and then get distracted. Even when Mama remembered to set the timer, he’d somehow manage to overcook whatever foodstuff graced that grill.

Diligently, we’d chew our way through burgers the consistency of hockey pucks, slathering on copious amounts of Heinz 57 sauce.

Daddy cooked “Puck Burgers” for most of my childhood. He’s gotten better at the grilling thing with age; perhaps because he’s not so easily distracted anymore. Or perhaps because he got a new grill a while back–a pre-assembled one.

Anyways, the following recipe is an old one. I’m not sure where Mama got it, but it greatly reduced the chance of us getting “Puck Burgers” for dinner. The egg, water, cheese and herbs add moisture to the meat, so even if you cook them a little South of where you like, you won’t need that bottle of Heinz 57.

Brazilian Hamburgers*
makes 4

1 pound lean ground beef
1/4 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup finely chopped green onion
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon ice water
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
dash cayenne

Mix all ingredients together; shape into 4 patties. Grill 4 minutes per side or until desired doneness. Serve bunless, or open-faced.

Personally, I like mine topped with a little onion jam (Boar’s Head) and a sprinkling of Parmesan.

* I do not know where these burgers got their name. As far as I can tell, there’s nothing inherently “Brazilian” in the recipe. All of the ingredients are pretty plebian. Perhaps it’s because the burger is served bunless/topless? Would a recipe dare to be that racy in the early 70’s? Your guess is as good as mine.

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Corinne April 16, 2010 at 5:45 pm

I have always been scared of grills, I have no idea why other than my dad putting the fear of God into me that one could explode in my face if I got too close to it :)
This made me smile at so many of the details!


becca April 16, 2010 at 6:24 pm

Loved this story Kitch! From the picture of you so serious on your little bike, to the image of your dad putting the grill together, to you "chewing your way through" the burgers… pure joy for me. Interested in the name "Brazilian burgers". I always think of "totally bare" when I think of Brazilian. That and "OUCH!". These burgers don't look totally bare though and I'd imagine they don't cause pain so, did I miss the explanation? I like puck burgers. I'll need to rename some of my way-too-hard meat dishes by this name.


Leslie April 16, 2010 at 6:52 pm

lol.lol…my Dada was the same impatient person as yours!


The Nervous Cook April 16, 2010 at 8:03 pm

This story is hilarious. And I'd eat the heck out of that burger! Makes me wish we had a yard and, therefore, a grill.


Linda Pressman April 16, 2010 at 11:00 pm

My mom always mixed her hamburger meat in a large wooden salmonella-laden bowl by hand. She just start kneading the eggs and bread crumbs and hamburger meat together, but, of course, she was the mother – she'd touch anything.

Love the two trikes. I'd forgotten that there were gigantic trikes and little tiny ones. What happened to tricycles?


Life with Kaishon April 17, 2010 at 6:10 am

These sound delicious for sure : ) And I LOVED the story about the grill assembly. How fun. What a great memory : )


ezsrecipes.com April 17, 2010 at 9:36 am

Wow, these are very unique and delicious looking. My husband loves to try different kinds of burgers… I wonder if he'd like these!


Ink April 17, 2010 at 10:38 am

LMAO about the "new word" you used.

And really, Heinz 57 isn't a delicacy? It was in our house. ;)


Nan Sheppard April 17, 2010 at 2:40 pm

Looks like a great recipe… will try it! Fortunately, my husband is really good with a grill!


BigLittleWolf April 17, 2010 at 2:56 pm

Love the puck burger tale (and why are there always extra screws post-assembly??) – does the Brazilian burger come with a thong?


Contemporary Troubadour April 17, 2010 at 6:04 pm

Topless burgers are *perfect* for me and D. (We have to halve our bun intake because of the carbs.) Now I can feel all exotic when we make these instead of just slightly deprived :)


Wendi April 17, 2010 at 6:11 pm

Maybe I was lucky to have a grill free childhood?? But then again, I had to eat liver and onions. Maybe a puck burger would have been better.


Katie @ Cozydelicious April 17, 2010 at 7:35 pm

Hilarious! And a bit scary… all that swearing at the grill (and the occasional hocky puck) reminds me of my husband. Yep, right here in 2010. Thankfully, I have learned to use the charcoal beast myself! But still, any burger that stays moist is a winner in my book!


Jennifer April 18, 2010 at 5:18 am

You mean right after the sexual revolution of the 60's? Yeah, I'm pretty sure they would be that racy.


Velva April 18, 2010 at 6:08 am

You cannot beat a simply made delicious burger. Your mom's recipe is a good one.


theUngourmet April 18, 2010 at 8:23 am

The conversation between you and your mom cracked me up! It's funny that you mention onion jam. Yesterday morning my kids and I were joking around and trying to think of crazy jam flavors and I said onion jam. I didn't know there was such a thing! :)


Kathleen April 18, 2010 at 11:36 am

Lol! My dad couldn't cook to save his life. If ever he made dinner it was beenies and weenies ala a can of beans!


Chiara "Kika" Assi April 18, 2010 at 12:42 pm

Hahaha I love this story. Something similar happened when my boyfriend had to put together the kitchen cart that we got for Christmas. Never heard so much swearing in my life.


~Laura April 18, 2010 at 6:50 pm

That picture of you on the tricycle is adorable!! I can relate to your dad because no matter what I do to grill burgers, they almost always seem overdone. I just can't get it right for some reason. This recipe sounds delicious though. We will give it a try!


ck April 18, 2010 at 9:28 pm

My dad had a similar knack for mix-matching vulgarity, though his subjects were usually of the electronic persuasion. I learned quickly that "f*ckface" was not the model name of our canister vacuum. (Though I think it might be the name of the one I have now…)


Camilla Baker April 19, 2010 at 12:28 am

That's a great story, I'm scared of all boxes that have building instructions, after six hours a few more colourful words would of been pouring outta my mouth!
Sexy burger by the way


Aidan Donnelley Rowley @ Ivy League Insecurities April 19, 2010 at 2:14 am

Isn't it amazing the things we remember so crisply? I love this story, how your father was the grill man, how you all humored him by eating his pucks?

These burgers sound absolutely delish!


LJ April 19, 2010 at 12:21 pm

I swear, we HAVE to have the same parents. My Dad also managed to make very tough meat on the grill every single time he would grill anything. In fact, I think he even ruined a package of wieners once. lol

These sounds very NOM NOM!


Kelly April 20, 2010 at 12:24 pm

Is that you on the little trike? The little girl looks like a doll next to such a big girl!

My darling mountain man is of the Puck Society. I'm so heartened to hear that one day we may not have to eat leather during grill season.


Gibby April 20, 2010 at 7:55 pm

I KNEW it. We are sisters. We apparently have the same father!!


Web Directory July 12, 2012 at 5:01 pm

3PhNdn This is one awesome article.Thanks Again. Fantastic.


austin search marketing company July 16, 2012 at 1:48 am

Appreciate you sharing, great article post.Really looking forward to read more.


Zebra Zoologist July 16, 2012 at 5:17 pm

nice page you should write a weekly newsletter :)


Cancel reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: