Normally I would buy the leanest meat available to cook with – this is not inclusive of burgers though. Why? Well I’ll tell ya… A good burger, made with whatever you like, is a juicy burger. Those burgers that cannot contain themselves in the waxed paper origami dressing they often come in, those are great. The moisture comes from fat, this is unavoidable. Sorry, no fat-free burgers will be found here today! Without the fat you end up with a hockey puck.
Most ground turkey meat where I live is at least 90% lean, so this requires some flavourful ingenuity. To create a better turkey burger you will need bacon and/or cheese, I prefer using both if possible. Dice up the bacon fairly small and sauté over low heat to release some of the fat and concentrate that bacon flavour. Shred your cheese, the sharper the better or use blue if you’re into that. Let the bacon cool so you can handle it. Combine the turkey meat, cheese, bacon, fresh herb of choice, finely diced onion, salt and pepper in a bowl. Your hands are the best tool for this and don’t over mix, you want to see the extra ingredients well distributed. Divide into equal portion patties then cook, flip only once.
Tip: Leave the burgers alone when you put them down to cook. No squashing, scooting, or poking! This keeps more juices (aka fat) inside the burger as it cooks resulting in a better burger.
I made some rosemary and herb focaccia bread as my bun for this burger. I could have eaten the bread all day on its own or with a dab of butter. Bread machines really do work!
The turkey burger was built with the focaccia, mayo, spicy mustard, more cheese on top, tomato slices and fresh basil leaves. If you’re a smart bacon lover like yours truly, you would also have cooked some slices of bacon to top your burger while those little diced pieces were frying. Go ahead and put those slices on the burger now. Avocado would also work here, if you have it.