Julia Child’s

Pan Fried Thin Burger

Recipe from Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home By Julia Child and Jacques Pépin. Random House, Inc, 1999.


  • 1 small minced shallot
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1-1/4 pound fresh ground chuck (preferably 15 to 20 percent fat)
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 red onion, sliced very thin
  • 1 tomato, sliced thin
  • Iceberg lettuce leaves
  • Small whole pickles
  • Thin Cheddar or Swiss cheese slices
  • Butter
  • Ketchup
  • Mayonnaise
  • 4 soft hamburger buns


  1. In a small sauté pan, over high heat, sauté the shallots in the butter until soft, about 5 minutes.
  2. Divide the meat into 4 portions. One at a time, flatten each by chopping and spreading the meat with light strokes of your chef’s knife.
  3. Season each with salt, pepper and 1/2 teaspoon of the shallots. Blend into the meat, chopping and turning it as you shape the portions into 4-1/2 to 5-inch round patties, 1/4-inch thick.
  4. Toast the hamburger buns and distribute them to your guests. Suggest that they dress the bottom halves of their rolls as they wish while you cook the burgers.
  5. Lightly dust the surface of a large, hot sauté pan with salt. When the pan is very hot, but not smoking, lay a patty in the pan. Rapidly add a second burger. Brown the meat, about 20 seconds. Turn patties to other side. Cook until done, about 1 minute. Remove cooked burgers to a warm platter. Repeat process with 2 remaining burgers. Place finished burgers onto guests’ buns as quickly as possible so they can add their finishing touches.