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Classic Burgers

by Si King and Dave Myers from The Hairy Bikers’ Meat Feasts (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)

For us, this is the perfect burger. The beauty is in its simplicity – just chuck steak (a.k.a braising steak) instead of mince & a little seasoning. If you are up for it, the bone marrow does give extra flavour & juiciness. The burger sauce is lip-smacking good & you can serve the burgers as they are or with bacon and/or cheese as well as lettuce, slices of red onion, tomatoes, pickles & so on. The choice is yours, so enjoy.

Serves 4


800g (1lb 12oz) chuck steak, trimmed of any gristle or hard pieces of fat

50g (1¾oz) bone marrow, finely diced (optional)

4 burger buns, split

Flaked sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

For the burger sauce

100g (3½oz) mayonnaise

2tbsp tomato ketchup

A squeeze of lemon juice

1 large gherkin, finely chopped

1tsp garlic powder (or 1tsp minced garlic)

½ tsp chipotle paste or other hot sauce


First prepare the meat. Make sure it’s well chilled – in fact, you can freeze the meat, then let it thaw partially and you’ll find it much easier to cut.

Put the meat through a coarse mincer or chop it very finely by hand. It should be fine enough to stick together when you squeeze a handful. Add the bone marrow, if using. Season the mixture with salt and a little black pepper, then divide the mixture into 4 and shape into round patties 2cm-2.5cm (¾in-1in) thick. The mincing and chopping will help bring the meat to room temperature, but if it’s still cold, leave the burgers to stand for a while.

Heat a non-stick frying pan or your barbecue. When the pan or grill is too hot to hold your hand over, add the burgers – there’s no need for oil, as some fat will render out of the meat. Leave for 4 minutes, by which time the burgers should be very well seared and have a thick crust.

Flip them and cook for another 3 minutes for rare meat, 4 minutes for medium rare, 5 for medium and up to 6 for well done.

If you want a cheesy topping, add it once you’ve flipped the burgers. Once the burgers are cooked to your liking, leave them to rest for a couple of minutes.

Meanwhile, put the burger buns cut-side down on the pan or barbecue to toast very slightly and take up some of the meaty flavours. Serve with your choice of toppings.

To make the burger sauce, mix all the ingredients together and season with salt and pepper.

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