Animal-Style Burger for Man Night

7 Dec

As I wrote in my first post on dinnerwithjonny, every Thursday is “Man Eats Alone and Watches Whatever He Wants” night, or something to that effect.  I have run out of the British Sherlock series, so my favorite murder mystery, The Midsomer Murders, on netflix will suffice just fine.  As we are having a guest tomorrow and I will be cooking steaks, tonight I had to come up with another idea for my solitary man-dinner.

Animal Style Final

Meet the homemade “Animal Style” Double Double inspired by In-N-Out.  Besides Texas and Toronto, it would seem, In-N-Out is mostly a California tradition.  It is spreading east for sure, which is good for them, as they will find out.

If you’ve never had In-N-Out, there’s nothing like it.  They make the best hamburgers around, flat.  If you’ve ever traveled around California and tried to go to In-N-Out at any location, it is always busy.  Always.

One of the many bitchin’ parts about In-N-Out is that they have a secret menu, sort of.  Their menu is basic, but if you know what to ask for, you can get all sorts of fun sides (hot peppers individually wrapped being one) and preparations.

One such preparation is called “animal style,” which can be had on both burgers and fries.  Basically, they smear mustard on the patties before grilling them, and then they add grilled onions with extra secret sauce, pickles, and cheese.  If you order fries like this, these extras are all dumped on top of them sans pickles.

Now I will be the first to admit, nothing replaces or can hold a candle to an original In-N-Out Animal Style Double Double.  That being said, it doesn’t mean you can’t try at home when you have all of the ingredients on hand.  There is nothing exotic about how it’s made, and it’s pretty friggin’ good even if it isn’t the same thing.  It’s kind of like mom trying to imitate McDonalds.

The best part is that it’s easy.

Animal Style Double Double at Home

Serves 1 (double this recipe to make two)


2  1/4 lb. beef hamburger patties (use whetever fat content you want, but I would go with 85/15)

Yellow mustard

1/4 cup grilled onions (in a small skillet, heat 1 tbsp. butter and brown the onions over medium heat, about 7 to 10 minutes, stirring here and there)

1000 Island dressing or a comparable secret sauce

2 slices American cheese

Meat Seasoning (I use Suzy-Q’s, the Santa Maria style BBQ secret)

A few leaves of iceburg lettuce

2 slices of tomato

1 regular hamburger bun

Makin’ It:

Once you’ve got the ingredients done and ready, like the grilled onions, it’s basically cooking a couple o’ burgers and putting it together.

Animal Style 1

First, though, coat the patties with the seasoning.  Then, smear a good amount of mustard on one side of the patty.  In a hot skillet (medium high heat), put the patties mustard-side down.  Then, smear the up side of the patties with more mustard, like this:

Animal Style 3

After about 5 minutes or so, flip them and cook another 5 minutes.  Put a slice of cheese on each right before they’re done and get the cheese to melt a bit, but not totally.

For the bun, smear a good amount of 1000 Island on each side of the bun.  On the bottom part of the bun, lay the leaves of lettuce, and then put the two tomatoes on that.  Mix some 1000 Island with the grilled onions and put those on the top part of the bun:

Animal Style 4

Lay the finished patties on the tomatoes, and cover with the top bun.  You will get a pseudo-Animal Style Double Double that looks like this:

Animal Style Final

Is it the real thing?  No.  But is it good?  To quote Vincent Vega in Pulp Fiction, “I don’t know if it’s worth five dollars but it’s pretty fuckin’ good.” And it’s a snap to make.

Drinks!  From Trader Joe’s I got a Chilean carmenere (that’s the name of the grape) called Found Object.  It’s pretty good and not expensive.  Give it a try sometime.

Until later, eat, drink, and peace out.

©Jon Marino, 2012


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