I couldn’t possibly leave the great American burger . Sadly, the classic burger has gone from humble beginnings (as something brought over by German immigrants) to become a symbol of fast food and junk. But when made at home with quality ingredients, it’s an absolute joy. So, introducing my great American burger, and its little cousin, the ‘slider’, or mini burger. . . Have fun with your burger and flavor combos and enjoy.
For the burger itself, ideally ask your butcher to mince chuck steak because it has a great balance of fat and flavorsome meat. However, if you can’t do that, use minced beef with 20% fat content.
Divide the mince into four balls and then, using the flat of your hand, press each ball out to a burger-shaped disc. Mine ended up about 10cm wide. Put on an oiled plate and chill in the fridge until needed.
I like to only cook 2 burgers at a time to achieve perfection, so get two pans on the go – a large non-stick pan on a high heat for your burgers and another on a medium heat for the bacon. Pat your burgers with oil and season them with salt and pepper. Put 2 burgers into the first pan, pressing down on them with a fish slice, then put half the bacon into the other pan. After 1 minute, flip the burgers and brush each cooked side with ½ a teaspoon of mustard and a dash of Tabasco. After another minute, flip onto the mustard side and brush again with another ½ teaspoon of mustard and a second dash of Tabasco on the other side. Cook for one more minute, by which point you can place some crispy bacon of each burger with a slice of cheese. Add a tiny splash of water to the pan and place a heatproof bowl over the burgers to melt the cheese – 30 seconds should do it. At the same time, toast 2 split buns in the bacon fat in the other pan until the burger has a golden color. Repeat with the remaining two burgers.
Put a splash of olive oil into a large frying pan on a low heat and add your chopped onions. Fry for 10 minutes or until the onions have softened, then put to one side to cool completely. Blitz your crackers or bread in a food processor until you get a fine consistency. Oil a clean baking tray and put aside. Put the cooled onions into a large bowl with the rest of the burger ingredients.
When the burgers are cooked to your liking and it’s all looking really good, halve your burger buns and warm them through. Put the bacon on a plate lined with kitchen paper to drain.
When everything comes to together pop your burgers or sliders on their buns, add all your lovely burgers and your spicy mayo (you know how to put a burger together!), then tuck in with a lovely fresh salad, baked potato or potato wedges.
- 800 g minced chuck steak
- Olive oil
- 1 large red onion
- 1 splash of white wine vinegar
- 2 large gherkins
- 4 sesame-topped brioche burger buns
- 4-8 rashers of smoked streaky bacon
- 4 teaspoons American mustard
- Chipotle sauce
- 4 thin slices of cheese
- 4 teaspoons tomato ketchup
FOR THE BURGER SAUCE:
- ¼ of an iceberg lettuce
- 2 heaped tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 heaped tablespoon tomato ketchup
- 1 teaspoon Tabasco Chipotle sauce
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon brandy , or bourbon (optional)