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The Great Burger

by John Torode from John Torode's 'Beef' (Quadrille)

Photography: Jason Lowe


So you want to know the secret of a great beef burger?  You want it to be big and juicy even when it is cooked well done.  There are a couple of tricks.  A good burger needs fat.  I try to mince with 40% fat – it sounds a lot but you need it to keep the meat moist while grilling.  My other secret is to use Chinese oyster sauce instead of salt.  Salt makes the mixture dry and crumbly because it draws the water from the meat.



Cooking time: 15-20 mins

 

Makes 6 burgers

 

Ingredients

1.5kg fatty minced beef

2 red onions, diced

1 large handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped

2 tbsp oyster sauce

2 tbsp tomato ketchup

1 egg yolk



Method

Mix the beef, onion and parsley together in a bowl.  Add the oyster sauce and ketchup, then the egg yolk.  Mix well and knead until thoroughly combined.  Divide the mixture into six equal portions and roll each one into a large ball.  Place them in the fridge and, if possible, leave them to chill for a good hour.

 

To cook, either have your barbecue good and hot with coals glowing or heat a griddle over a medium heat.  Do not add oil.

 

Place the burgers on the barbecue or griddle plate and leave for a few minutes until the edges start to colour.  Slide a fish slice under each burger and turn them over.  Repeat on the other side.


Turn the burgers again but, if using a barbecue, move the burgers to the side or another area where it is slightly cooler, if using a griddle plate reduce the heat underneath.  Leave the burgers to cook for a good 15 minutes if you would like them well done.

 

Serve your burgers with whatever you want.  At Smiths we top them with a piece of grilled bacon and a slice of good-quality cheddar and put them under the grill for a few minutes until the cheese has melted.  We toast the buns and spread them with mayonnaise, not butter.  Cooked salad is disgusting so any salad should be served separately, along with mustard and a wally.  You’ve got to have a wally on the side!

 

Tip: Taking the mixture straight from the fridge, making sure it is very cold, will help the meat bind and stay good & moist.


Drinks tasted on air alongside the drinks.

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