I can’t stop eating burgers at the moment. Brilliant burger joints are popping up all over Cardiff and with the sun out I want to BBQ every night.
For me, there are just two secrets to a great burger at home – keep it simple and don’t overcook it.
Very simple, in fact – the ‘recipe’ is just well-seasoned beef. If I’m eating burgers, I want them to taste of beef (or lamb or pork etc). For 500g of beef – enough to make four good size burgers, I add two teaspoons of salt and a good grind of black pepper. With lamb, I’d replace the pepper with cumin seeds and for pork, fennel seeds.
The way you mix is key – warm hands will start to melt the fat in the mince and prevent it sticking together and too much pressure when mixing will result in ‘tight’ burgers that can be dry. So, mix gently and stop as soon as the seasoning is combined. Split the mix in two, then two again, gently form each one into a ball and press down to form a patty. Let them rest for 20 mins in the fridge if there’s chance – it’ll help them to hold together.
To cook, get the BBQ/griddle very hot. Oil the burgers and start them off – don’t be tempted to flip them until they’ve sealed as that’s what’s going to keep them juicy and held together. Flip and seal the other side – as soon as that’s done, flip a few times per minute. It’s a Heston technique for cooking steak which I think works brilliantly for burgers.
I personally don’t have an issue with eating rare burgers – I”m lucky enough to have a brilliant butcher I’ve used for years. But it’s really up to you – my preference is to leave the burgers rare in the middle then rest them for 10 mins which will finish them off to medium. For me, it’s the best way to keep them juicy and bring the best of the flavour out. Any juices that come out are great poured into the buns.
My tip for this – get a meat probe (stop sniggering at the back). It’s the best/safest way to make sure that you get meat off the BBQ at the point where it’s just done and before it dries out. You can pick them up for less than a tenner – I use mine all the time for roasts, fried chicken, grilled chops…
So, there’s a super simple burger recipe that’ll be cheaper than buying readymade and you know absolutely what’s gone into it. Taste bloody good too.