Us Brits tend to think our American cousins are the connoisseurs when it comes to burgers. It’s not surprising either, given the fact more than 70% of all beef consumed in American restaurants is in the form of a burger. However, Brits are firmly on top of the burger trend too, with gourmet and customisable burgers leading the way in the UK. The burger bar market alone is said to be worth more than £3.2 billion per year.
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE BEEF
Many of us would buy a packet of minced beef from the supermarket and be done with it. However, this is not necessarily the best beef to use to create the perfect beef patty. The beef needs to have a high-fat content so it doesn’t taste too dry. In the least, avoid any minced beef labelled as being lean. Mince sourced from prime cuts of beef such as rump steak will also have a lower fat content than other cuts. Many top chefs recommend using a combination of chuck and short-rib meat. Either roughly mince the meat yourself or ask a butcher to do it.
SEASONED TO THRILL
The right meat and seasoning to suit your taste is the crucial combination of items you need to make your perfect burger. Herbs are a must, but the exact mix of herbs you choose depends on your taste. After all, making a burger bespoke is all part of the journey to creating the perfect burger. We think fresh parsley is an absolute must in the ideal burger patty, along with a pinch of chopped, fragrant thyme. Very finely chopped, lightly cooked onion mixed in with the meat gives a punchy but sweet kick to the burger, and is another must-have. As well as salt and pepper, choose some seasoning of your choice to give your perfect burger a bit of extra punch; we recommend paprika, cayenne pepper or cumin.
SIMPLE BUT PERFECT BURGER RECIPE – SERVES 4
- 600g chuck mince
- 50g very finely chopped onions
- 2 tbsp chopped herbs of your choice
- 1tbsp oil
- 1 egg
- 1tsp salt
- Black pepper
- Other seasoning of your choice: try paprika, cayenne pepper or cumin, depending on your taste
- Fry the onions in the oil until soft but not browned. Set aside to cool.
- Put the beef mince in a bowl and add the cooled onions, herbs and all the seasoning. Mix together with a fork.
- Beat the egg in another bowl and then stir it into the beef mince to make the mixture sticky. If your beef has a particularly high fat content, you don’t need to use the egg.
- Divide the beef mixture into eight helpings of the same size and manipulate them into burger patty shapes. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
- Cook the burgers on a hot grill or barbecue them, turning the patties over halfway through cooking. Cook for 7 minutes in total for rare burgers, or 10 minutes if you like them well done.
- Serve your burgers alongside a selection of breads, sauces and condiments, to help your guests attain their very own version of perfect burger heaven.