Hamburger Au Poivre

Hamburger Au Poivre
4 servings
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2 pounds good ground beef
4 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
4 teaspoons butter
Tabasco sauce to taste
Worcestershire sauce to taste
Lemon juice to taste
2 tablespoons cognac, warmed (optional)
Chopped parsley
Chopped chives

1. Shape the beef lightly into four cakes and sprinkle each with pepper. With the heel of your hand, press the pepper into the meat and let stand thirty minutes.

2. Sprinkle a light layer of salt over the bottom of a heavy skillet, place over high heat and, when the salt begins to brown, add the hamburgers. Cook until well browned on one side. Turn and, to produce a rare hamburger, cook thirty seconds over high heat, then lower the heat to medium and cook one more minute, adjust heat and time to cook the hamburger to a greater degree of doneness.)

3. Place a teaspoon of butter on each cake in the pan and add Tabasco, Worcestershire and lemon juice to taste. Ignite the cognac and add.

4. Transfer the patties to a warm platter and keep hot. Lower heat. Swirl the sauce in the skillet, pour over the meat and sprinkle the patties with parsley and chives.