The burger, the universal fast food, immortalized by the Americans and enjoyed by the rich and famous, the down and outs and all the rest of the world as well.It can be a feast or a travesty simply a burger in a bun or an elaborate creation with lots of sauces and pickles. Burgers, love them or hate then they're here to stay and with a bit of effort they can be Simply Delicious. The secret of really good burgers is the quality of the mince, it doesn't need to be an expensive cut but it is essential to use the freshly minced beef on the day it is minced. A very small percentage of fat in the mince will make the burgers sweet and juicy – between 10 – 20%.
15g (1/2oz/1/8 stick) butter
75g (3oz/3/4 cup) onion, finely chopped (optional)
450g (1lb) freshly minced beef - flank, chump or shin would be perfect
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped parsley
salt and freshly ground pepper
pork caul fat, optional
burger buns (see recipe)
Melt the butter in a saucepan and toss in the chopped onion, sweat until soft but not coloured, allow to get cold. Meanwhile mix the mince with the herbs, season with salt and freshly ground pepper, add the onions and mix well. Fry off a tiny bit on the pan to check the seasoning, correct if necessary. Then shape into burgers, 4-6 depending on the size you require. Wrap each one coarsely in caul fat if using. Cook to your taste on a medium-hot pan or grill pan in a little oil, turning once.
1. If the burgers are to be wrapped in caul fat, wrap loosely to allow for contraction during cooking.
2. If the burgers are being cooked in batches make sure to wash and dry the pan between batches.
Lay a slice of cheese on top of the burger and pop under the grill until the cheese begins to melt. Garnish and serve.
1. A little finely chopped sweated onion can be added to the raw mince to add sweetness and succulence.
2. Burgers can plump up in the centre while being cooked. To avoid, make an indentation in the centre of each raw burger with your thumb.