Recipe: the explosively juicy burger from The Harbord Room’s Cory Vitiello

Recipe: the explosively juicy burger from The Harbord Room’s Cory Vitiello

Toronto Life Cookbook Recipe 2012: Burger

By Cory Vitiello
The Harbord Room

PREP TIME: 15 minutes
COOK TIME: 8 minutes
Makes 8 burgers and 3 cups of aïoli


4 fresh large egg yolks
2 tbsp each grainy mustard, lemon juice and sherry vinegar
1 tbsp each thyme leaves and kosher salt
6 garlic cloves, chopped
2 cups canola oil
¾ cup olive oil


3 lbs ground beef brisket
2 tsp salt and freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil
8–16 slices aged cheddar
8 fresh, soft but sturdy buns or large brioche buns

1. Place all aïoli ingredients except oils in a food processor. Whirl until mixed. While machine is running, slowly pour in both oils until emulsified. Add salt and pepper to taste.

2. Just before cooking patties, place meat in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Using your hands, mix just until combined, then loosely form into 8 patties.

3. Coat a cast iron pan or skillet with a little oil and set over medium-high. Cook 4 patties until browned, about 4 minutes, then flip. Top with cheese. Continue cooking for 4 more minutes (for medium-rare) until browned. Repeat with remaining patties. Serve on buns with aïoli.

Toronto Life Cookbook Recipe 2012: Burger
A meat grinder yields the freshest results. Use a hand-cranked stainless steel large dice grinder and grind a second time to remove any sinew.

Toronto Life Cookbook Recipe 2012: BurgerCORY VITIELLO

Cory Vitiello began his culinary adventures as a 16-year-old running a catering business out of his parents’ kitchen in Brantford. He eventually trained at the Stratford Chefs School before moving to Toronto to app­rentice at Scaramouche. As the chef-owner of the Annex’s pink-painted Harbord Room, Vitiello creates the kind of food that tickles his own palate. A burger, as it happens, is the dish he always orders when he dines out alone. His much-lauded version—juicy, easy to make and zinged with aïoli—beat out 24 competitors when Toronto Life published a burger face-off in spring 2012.

Recipes developed by Victoria Walsh. Recipe photography by Ryan Szulc. Portrait photography by Raina and Wilson. Illustrations by Aleksandar Janicijevic. Interviews by Denise Balkissoon, Ariel Brewster, Andrew D’Cruz, Jennifer Goldberg, Matthew Hague, Claire Hastings, Bronwen Jervis and Simone Olivero.