Bifteck Hache A La Lyonnaise - Ground Beef with Onions and Herbs

Considering myself to be a pretty good cook I didn't fully understand how much work Julie from the movie Julie and Julia must have gone through. Since I didn't have a Julia Child cookbook in my collection I found a used version of Mastering the Art of French Cooking on Amazon.com. My first attempt a few months ago was a chicken dish with an herb sauce. The chicken was fried in a stick of butter and I thought the butter would burn since chicken takes a while to cook so I added a little vegetable oil. Well, when I added the eggs to make the sauce it broke apart. 

Looking through the cook book the other night I was surprised to find recipes for hamburgers. I thought for sure this would be easy and I wouldn't mess it up. Following the recipe I began by sauteing some onions in a pan until they were tender but not brown.

Sauteed Onions

To the ground sirloin I added salt, pepper, 1 egg, and the onions. 

After combining the ingredients I dipped them in flour and began to saute them in equal parts butter and oil just as the recipe called for. The book said to use 1 or 2 skillets to hold the patties in one layer. Since I was working with 3/4 lb of beef and was making 1 toddler sized burger I decided to cook 2 patties and then finish the 3rd in the same pan. I've learned my lesson from now on to do exactly what Julia says. The flour from the first 2 patties burnt in the bottom of the pan. I definitely wasn't thinking but I was also trying to pacify a hungry toddler, Skype with grandparents, and take photos while doing this. When the burgers were completed the pan drippings were to be used as a sauce. I knew the burnt flour would ruin the sauce so I removed the partially cooked 3rd burger from the pan so I could clean it. With fresh oil and butter I finished cooking the 3rd patty and poured the oil out of the pan. The recipe offers 5 different liquid choices to make a sauce and I chose pinot noir. 

Before I tried this recipe I had no idea that sauteed onions and thyme made such a delicious hamburger. They were so good I think putting it on a bun with the traditional toppings would ruin it. It was excellent by itself and the sauce managed to make it seem gourmet. 

When my husband came home from work late that night I told him that I tried another Julia recipe but managed to mess it up too. He pulled his from the fridge, warmed it in the microwave, and devoured it standing over the sink. He looked at me and sarcastically said "yeah, that was horrible".

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