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Homemade Maid-Rite Burgers

1 pound lean ground beef 1 tablespoon sugar 1 teaspoon dry mustard 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon pepper 1 tablespoon Worcestershire powder 1/2 teaspoon onion powder (optional)

Maid-Rites aren’t greasy, and I’ve figured out how to make a non-greasy version at home. Get a plastic colander that is microwave-safe and break up the ground beef into it, then set that inside a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at full power for 3 minutes, or less if yours is more powerful than 700 watts. Break up any lumps of cooked meat with a knife, and stir it around so you get lots of crumbles. Drain the grease from the bowl, then dump the beef from the colander into the bowl. Add the seasonings above, tweaking the amounts for your own taste; this are just the levels I like. Stir seasonings into the beef crumbles, then return the bowl to the microwave for 3 more minutes. (If you cook it the second time in the colander, you’ll lose the flavor and the meat will turn out a little dry.) Stir again when you take out the bowl, to further loosen up the bigger chunks of beef. Serve loose on a fresh bun with whatever trimmings you like, wrapping the sandwich in wax paper. Be sure to use lean meat for this. A supplier once told me the original Maid-Rites were made from “bull hinds (hindquarters), which had all the fat and sinew carefully trimmed away.” Enjoy! Readers with questions or comments for Dave Kessler may write to him in care of this publication.