How do you like yours? Loaded with all the trimmings: lettuce, tomato, cucumber, mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup, onions, pickles, cheese, bacon? Marinated in beer with all sorts of other goodies? Stuffed with cheese, waiting for that gooey ooze of hot mouth-watering cheese to explode in your mouth? Smoked, then barbecued? Roasted and finished on the barbecue? There are so many ways of preparing a hamburger and in my opinion every one is simply stunning. Let us know your favourite. Who knows, if it’s a winner we may even ask you over! Here is one burger we like to make at our office, anytime of the year.
1 kilo ground beef
2 cups bread crumbs (freshly made)
1½ large onions
Salt and pepper to taste
Creating the perfect beef-burger is like making a miracle happen, and its appearance should be something pretty special, too. We’ll get to that later.
To begin, prepare the beef. Make sure your bowl is large enough, and place the ground beef inside. Add the onion, finely diced, then the two cups of fresh breadcrumbs. (I make my own breadcrumbs, always-adding chopped parsley, white and black pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika, oregano and other herbs.) And finally the two large eggs beaten. Mix the ingredients together and then mould into round patties. Size is up to you. Place in the refrigerator for at least four hours before use.
Cooking time is important. Slow-cooked burgers are a treat, and of course if a man is making them they’re going to be cooked on the barbecue. The big mystery, and joke, is that all men like to barbecue but won’t cook in the kitchen. No one has adequately explained why.
Heat the barbecue to the required temperature, usually around 300 degrees. While you are waiting for the barbecue to heat, take the burgers out of the refrigerator and cover one side with a sauce of your choice. Then place the burger on the barbecue sauce side down; spread sauce on top. Some people say you should only turn burgers once, keeping the juice in, but temperature is the real key. Turn the burgers when the blood starts to show and keep doing this until the burgers are blood free.
What you put in the bun with the burger is up to you. Here’s my formula.
Slice the bun open and on one side spread mustard (usually Dijon) then on the other side spread the mayonnaise. Place an onion slice on the bottom part of the bun, then add sliced tomato, cucumber and lettuce. Then place the burger on top, add a pinch of salt and pepper for taste — and enjoy. Let us know how you get on.
I mustn’t forget to add that the burger doesn’t have to be just beef. There’s nothing wrong with pork, chicken, lamb, fish … Any burger is a great burger.