How to make the perfect burger
The origin of the hamburger is not particularly clear but one plausible version is that at the end of 1800s, European emigrants reached America on the ships of the Hamburg Lines and were served meat patties quickly cooked on the grill and placed between two pieces of bread. Despite its European origins, it was the Americans who really saw the potential of sticking a meat pattie between 2 pieces of bread. Take a look at the story of McDonalds and Ray Kroc.
They may be a fast food, but there is a lot of culinary art to creating the perfect burger, whether you are cooking outdoors or inside on a hot griddle pan. We would say that that there is no place for lean, or finely ground beef in a burger. Both produce a dry, crumbly pattie unworthy of the name. John Torode from Masterchef advocates 40 per cent fat to retain moisture. We are not sure we would go that high but we take the point.
1kg of Minced Beef
2 small onions, peeled and grated
1 bunch of fresh chopped parsley
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1-2 tsp Tabasco sauce
2-4 tbs of sunflower or olive oil
6 burger buns, to serve
Fillings of your choice, lettuce, onions, tomatoes and cheese often find their way in to our burgers
Place the minced beef in a bowl with the chopped onion. Add parsley, salt and pepper, and the Tabasco and mix together lightly with your hands until everything is thoroughly combined.
Form the mixture into six large burgers, using wet hands to prevent the mixture sticking. Ideally, chill the burgers for at least 30 minutes before grilling. This will allow the meat to firm and helps it to stay together when cooking.
Line the grill pan with foil and preheat the grill for about five minutes before cooking. Brush the burgers with oil on one side. Lay them, oiled-side down, on the grill and brush the tops with oil.
Grill, about 10cm from the heat, for about two to three minutes on each side for rare burgers, four to five minutes for medium, and six minutes for well done.
Add your chosen toppings.
A tip on burger buns.
There is nothing worse than a soggy bun that sticks to the burger. So we would suggest hunting out a brioche burger bun made with cream, egg and butter. They hold everything together much better than ordinary burger buns. Either heat them in the oven for 5 minutes or toast them under the grille.