The trick is to use freshly ground beef, not the processed, filler-laden, pre-packaged junk. I was happy to have an excuse to convince my mom to let the butcher freshly grind my hand-picked cuts of beef. If it had been any other Sunday she might have "sssshhhed" me and told me it's the same difference. Well, it's not. The butcher is usually thrilled to talk about different cuts and to grind your pickins'.
I have read lots of different suggestions about which combinations of cuts yield an ideal burger. If you feel like experimenting, you can check out some options here. If you are lazy, you can follow in my footsteps and ask the butcher which cuts are the freshest and will create ideal ground beef for a burger (80% lean, 20% fat is the standard). Obviously, it would be dumb to take an expensive cut like filet mignon and ground it up, so don't do that. Chuck and sirloin work wonderfully (I use 50/50) and they are usually on the cheaper side of the steak spectrum. Score. Class it up, buy some nice rolls and killer cheese (cheap potato rolls with high fructose corn syrup don't count- think brioche and cheddar) and all the other fixins' your Dad enjoys.
To make the burgers, you only need salt and pepper. Make the patties by hand, salt and pepper each side and push a thumb print into one side. If your dad is king of the grill, let him to cook them to perfection! You may even want to allow him to take credit for how awesome those burgers are. It is father's day after all...
What makes this bite better?
Ground beef is often highly processed and chock full of fillers and preservatives. This not only affects the quality and nutritional value of the meat but also the way the meat renders and caramelizes. In order to make a delicious, preservative-free burger, ask your butcher to freshly grind your steak at the store. If you have a meat grinder (lucky duck) you can do it yourself. If not, your butcher is usually more than happy to do it for you. They also usually share a bit of knowledge and will remember you the next time! Double bonus!!
Enjoy every bite :)