The perfect burger.

I love good burgers. Hell, I love the terrible burgers you buy at the end of a night out. I’ve also been quoted as saying McDonald’s double cheeseburgers are the greatest in the world. They’re not. They’re most definitely not. What is clear however; I love all burgers.

So what makes a good burger? 3 things simple things. A good patty, perfectly cooked to retain juices and flavour. A solid combination of toppings that introduce different textures as well as flavours. A bun that takes a bit of a backseat, but is beautifully fresh and in my opinion when light and airy. With all this in mind, here’s my take on a great burger. Remember to let me know your favourite toppings are in the comments!

What goes into the patties?

Onions? Egg? Breadcrumbs? Herbs? No no no no. BEEF is all you need. And of course seasoning. I usually use 10% fat mince meat; its a good balance between being lean and keeping retaining flavour – remember, fat = flavour, so don’t be scared of it.

Big burgers or little burgers?

I usually weigh out about 100-150g of mince meat and roll it into a ball. I then hammer it out to about 5mm thick with a meat hammer. This is definitely down to preference, but I find thin burgers retain so much more juice and flavour vs thick burgers as they cook quicker. Burger patties also naturally contract when you cook them as the fibres in the meet tense up, so they’re going to end up thicker than 5mm anyway.

How to cook them?

Preferably flame grilled on a barbecue. Next best thing is a cast iron griddle pad. To be honest, after this I’d probably just make bolognese instead – frying, grilling or baking a burger is just blasphemy in my book.

Finally, toppings!

Hugely personal but this recipe is a little combo I always seem drawn to – sriaracha, mayonnaise, cheese (mozzarella, feta, cheddar, plastic crap – everything is ace so go nuts!), paprika, red onions, spinach and relish.

…bun?

Light and airy brichoche bun every time, charred just before plating up.

With all this glorious sunshine, fire up the barbecue, give this a try and let me know what you think!

  • Ingredients
  • Method
  • 200-300g of 10% fat beef mince meat and a good pinch of salt and pepper
  • 2 handfuls of spinach
  • 1 red onion + a splash of balsamic onion and seasoning
  • Cheese of your choice, I used feta this time
  • Sraricha hot sauce
  • Mayonaise
  • Paprika
  • Burger relish
  • 2 brioche buns
  1. Halve the onion and slice. Add to a pan on a medium heat with a glug of olive oil and season. Cook these to your preference; I usually have them quite soft.
  2. Split the mince meat, roll into balls and hammer out with a meat hammer or rolling pin. Aim for about 5mm thick; they'll thicken up when you cook them.
  3. With the burgers flat sprinkle each side with sea salt - treat them as you would a good steak.
  4. When the onions are cooked, turn off and cover with a lid. At this point prep all the other ingredients which pretty much means getting them out of the fridge!
  5. Turn up the barbecue / grill pan to full whack and when it's screaming at you throw the burgers on. You want to cook them for about 3 minutes each side and only rotate once.
  6. Just before the burgers are cooked add cracked black pepper and cheese to them. If you want you can cover them at this point to help melt the cheese.
  7. Next, half the buns and add to the grill pan / barbecue. Char the inside first, then the outside.
  8. Whilst he outside is charring you can assemble the burger - keeps it nice and hot!
  9. Sriracha and mayonnaise on the base, then add the burgers with now melted cheese, sprinkle the paprika atop the cheese, then spinach, then red onions, burger relish and finally the top bun.

Thats it. Eat immediately and make sure it oozes out over your chin!