All men are expected to have a handful of dishes that they can expertly prepare. While relatively simple, few dishes will garner you more man points than a perfect burger. It’ll also make you popular at barbecues and with kids. There really are only two parts to the humble burger: the bun and the meat patty.
First and easiest is the bun. As I have mentioned, the bun is half the equation, so don’t set yourself up for failure by getting that cheap and bland burger bun that comes in a plastic bag. Get yourself a couple of brioche buns. Slice and grill them right before you eat. This will heat them up and give them that toasted goodness. I prefer to grill them in the pan or on the BBQ right after the burgers are done so that they can absorb a little of the flavour.
Next is the meat patty, and frankly it’s not much more complicated. Here’s the shopping list:
- 800g of quality rump steak mince (don’t be lazy, go to the butcher to get it)
- 1 finely chopped onion
- 1 finely chopped garlic clove
- 1 finely chopped large chili
- 1 tsp of tomato purée
- 1 grated beef stock cube
- 1 egg yolk
- optional, a little thyme
Start by frying the onions until golden; don’t throw everything in at once as the onions will take a little longer. Once the onions are getting soft, add the garlic and chili, fry for another 4 to 5 minutes on a medium to low heat. Let it cool before mixing with the meat
Now, you’re going to get your hands dirty. In a mixing bowl, mix what you’ve been frying with the rest of the ingredients. The egg may seem a little odd, but it’s there to serve as glue, holding everything together. Add salt and pepper. I personally am a big fan of thyme. If you share my affection for the herb, add some to the mix now. Once everything is well worked and thoroughly mixed, cover the bowl with a towel or cling film and let it sit in the fridge for 60 minutes (30 will do, but if you have the time might as well give it longer) so that the meat has a chance to really absorb the flavour.
Roll into 4 balls and gently press down on the middle to make the patties. Then cook to your preferred level. Make sure you don’t forget about the buns, add your preferred cheese and other condiments, grab your favorite beer, and enjoy!
A final note on toppings
In an attempt to make the “best” burger, people have come up with some pretty funky stuff. It’s great to see what restaurants can think up, but it just comes down to taste. Don’t be afraid to try different toppings. Some classic winners are caramelized onions, grilled mushrooms, and bacon. For cheese, you can never go wrong with comté!