I love burgers. There is something about a mound of minced beef, seasoned and either grilled, bar-b-q’d or fried, then slapped between two bits of bread, sauced up and then biten into it. It’s heaven. Pure heaven.
I’ve never been a big fan of the burgers from a certain well known chain with a pedo looking clown as its marketing piece. I used to have nightmares about that.
I was surprised that in the states their burgers are exactly like those chains we despise so much. But after tasting burgers from the Shake Shack and the Burger Joint, I realized we are doing it all wrong.
We use way too many fillings, sauces etc over here. I mean who wants or needs their burger dripping with some concoction of a sauce. That’s for ribs, not burgers. I want to be able to taste the meat, not swim to get a bite out of it.
I used to have to make the burgers for a while at Café Boheme. They were piss easy to do, and it’s still the way I make them today at home.
- Take minced beef
- Season with salt and pepper
- Weigh out to 150g
- Mould into a burger shape. We used to do this with a lid from a large jar of black peppercorns
- Cover and pop in the fridge for a while to set
- Cook on the griddle until done. Medium rare is my preferred doneness
- Pop between a toasted bun, pop in some sliced onion, a slice of tomato and enjoy
Sometimes now, I may add an extra seasoning like cumin powder or merquen (Chilean smoked pepper flakes), but that is generally about it. My mince normally comes pre ground from either HG Walter by Barons Court tube or the Ginger Pig. Both sell excellent meat, so I’ve never needed to experiment with buying different cuts of meat and then grinding it yourself. It would be interesting to try that though.
As I do not have a griddle, I am using a large frying pan to cook the burgers. It works very well. Just need to remember two things. Let it get smoking hot, and only oil the burger not the pan.
I cook them for a time on one side until they self-release, then flip them over and add a slice of cheese to the top, and as it finishes cooking the cheese slowly melts over the burger. I then pop it under the grill to melt a tad more then whack it between two buns.
The toppings all depend on how organized I am. Which at the moment is pretty much none of the time. But these could range form a slice of tomato and some onion. I like to sweat off onion slices until they are soft and starting to take on some colour, then I whack up the heat and fry them until they are a dark brown colour. Man they taste good on a burger.
Burgers done this way may not look like gourmet burger but they will taste a 100 times better than a certain kiwi chain I know of.