Jim’s Famous Hamburger

Most summer grilling is done for large groups and as such is not too fancy – burgers, hot dogs, steaks, and the occassional kabob. For this recipe I’ve borrowed a tip from my good friend Jim Honniball – a way to dress up a simple hamburger.

Everybody should have a friend like Jim. He can swim a mile, bike thirty, and still have the energy to cook up a batch of his legendary hamburgers for his friends. Jim learned to cook from his mom and loves nothing more than to see everyone’s delighted faces as they bite into something delicious he’s prepared. Especially satisfying after a hard day of body-boarding and surfing are his hamburgers which are seasoned with fresh rosemary from the garden and A1 sauce.

At the time of this writing I did not have a grill, so to simulate the high heat grilling environment I went to Williams-Sonoma and bought a heavy-duty cast iron grill pan for the task. They also sell calphalon pans (for about 5 times the price) but the calphalon simply cannot hold the high heat that cast iron can to match the heat of a real grill. Eventually the heat will warp the caphalon. The brand I picked up was “Lodge” for about $22. They also carry Le Creuset for somewhat more.

The recipe:

Jim’s Famous Hamburger Recipe



  • 1 lb hamburger meat
  • 2 heaping tablespoons of chopped fresh rosemary leaves (not the stem)
  • 2 Tbsp A1 sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste (perhaps half a teaspoon of each)
  • Buns
  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes, sliced
  • Onions, sliced
  • Avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced
  • Mayonaise, ketchup, mustard


Mix the rosemary and A1 sauce into the hamburger meat, distributing evenly. Add salt and fresh ground pepper. Form out the hamburger patties. If the meat is low-fat, you may want to add some grapeseed oil or olive oil to the mixture, or after the patties are made (but before cooked), rub some oil over them. Place on a hot grill or grill pan. If you are indoors with a grill pan, be sure to use your stove fan. If on grill pan, lower the heat to medium high. Grill on one side until you can see the juice begin to run at the surface. Flip over and grill on the other side, again until you can see some juice coming through. If you wish, grill the buns on remaining grill surface. Onions can be either served fresh with the hamburger or sautéed a little in olive oil.

Serve burgers with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, avocado, mayo, ketchup, and or mustard. (For the low-carb version skip the bun.)

Serves 3 to 4.

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Safety tip: Try to get your hamburger meat from a butcher who grinds their own. That way you know where the meat came from. Bacteria love raw hamburger, so once you have some in your fridge, eat it up quickly - no more than a day or two at the most after you've bought it or defrosted it.

Lodge Cast Iron Grill Pan

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Showing 4 of 11 Comments

  • John Aldrich

    Just as an interesting addition. When you mix the meat try a bit of Sambal Chili sauce. You can find it at most asian markets. Does wonders for adding a spicy flavor :-)

  • Elise

    Hi John, Hmm, I’ve never heard of Sambal Chili sauce. I’ll have to keep a look out for it. Thanks for the suggestion!

  • Brian

    This recipe sounds delicious! I’m going to make these burgers tonight for some friends. I like to add an egg into the hamburger mix – it holds the meat together well. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Sheeijan

    I made this tonight – I cut the rosemary down and added some parsley (I have no idea if that made any difference or not), but I liked this. I made it low-carb, so I cooked them up, added low-carb ketchup, and a slice of tomato (no bun). It was a quick and easy dinner, with some leftover for tomorrow’s lunch.

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