Lightly shape ground beef into 4 patties. Sprinkle each side with pepper and press down with the heel of hand. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Sprinkle a light layer of salt in bottom of heavy skilled, place over high heat and when the salt begins to brown, add the burgers. Cook, until well browned on one side and until the color reaches halfway up the burger.
Turn and sear the other side. When seared, turn down the heat, and cook about a minute longer for rare, adjusting the time for a more well-done burger.
Remove burgers from pan and drain most of the grease, keeping the well-browned drippings and bits behind in the pan. Working quickly, add a teaspoon of butter to each burger and add the lemon, Worcestershire sauce, and tabasco sauce to taste.
Add the same ingredients to the pan, this time the tablespoon of butter, a good squeeze of lemon (about two to three tablespoons), and then the Worcesterhire sauce and tabasco to taste. (Several dashes of Worcestershire and a dash or two of Tabasco.) Add about four tablespoons cognac. Swirl so the butter will melt and continue to stir over the heat until sauce becomes slightly syrupy (this will happen in seconds) then pour sauce over the plated burgers.
Top with garnish of parsley and chives or green onions as desired.
Keywords: Beef, Burgers, Family Recipe, Ground Beef, hot sauce, new york times