I gave up on all of the other burger recipes I was experimenting with, after this one proved to be an absolute home run:
For Ground or Chopped meats:
Per 5 lb of meat
1/3 Cup Worcestershire Sauce
2 tsp Soy Sauce
2 tsp Liquid Smoke
1/8 Cup Corn Syrup (for sweetness and moisture retention)
1/8 Cup Honey (for flavor, sweetness, and moisture retention)
5 tsp Tender Quick
1 tsp Celery Salt
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
1-1/2 tsp Onion Powder
2 Tablespoons Rubbed Sage
2-1/2 tsp Fresh Ground Pepper
1-1/2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
For Mild flavor, that everyone can enjoy:
-Combine all wet ingredients, and all dry ingredients except for the Crushed Red Pepper and 1.5 tsp Fresh Ground Pepper. Mix into meat, thoroughly. Cover tightly with plastic wrap directly against the meat and allow to cure in your refrigerator in a casserole dish or large bowl, for 24 hours.
-After 24 hours, add the Crushed Red Pepper and additional 1.5 tsp of Fresh Ground Pepper. Mix thoroughly, and cure for another 24 hours.
-After another 24 hours, mix thoroughly, and dry as desired. I prefer rolling the meat out into sheets approximately 3/16" thick, then cutting strips out with a scraper or pizza cutter.
For a slightly more spicy product (but still very tame):
-Mix up all ingredients, except for the meat and Tender Quick, in a small container. Cover tightly, and alloy the liquid to draw some heat out of the crushed red pepper, overnight. (This works much better, for a more balanced flavor, than just adding more of the pepper.)
-The next day, mix in the meat and Tender Quick. As with the "mild" method, cure for 24 hours in your refrigerator.
-After 24 hours, mix thoroughly. Cure another 24 hours.
-Mix thoroughly, and dry as desired.
"Such is the strange way that man works -- first he virtually destroys a species and then does everything in his power to restore it."