The burger. The foundation, nay bedrock of all good BBQs. Whether you elect to penny pitch and go for the budget supermarket variety or maybe the butcher, or even make your own. Here’s how we do ours & what you should expect on the 26th.
The key to any good burger is the spice mix. Getting that right really elevates the burger beyond the average. Ours includes cumin, paprika, chilli powder, parsley, salt, pepper. Cumin and Paprika are your friends here, with the cumin really emphasising the meaty taste.
You’ve got several ways to bind your burger, our burgers are a dense packed meat as opposed to a loose packed, and we opt for a few breadcrumbs and a whole egg. Refrigerating them overnight and bringing them up to room temperature just before they hit the grill.
Good quality beef steak pre-minced from the butcher, and I usually add a little bit of pork fat usually from deskinned good quality sausages to create that golden 80/20 rule that the Americans have lived by for decades.
A little indentation in the middle of the Pattie allows them to cook through thoroughly and they are shaped at different thicknesses dependant on how high temp they will be grilled at.
This will make approx. 8-10 burgers.
- 900g of minced semi-lean beef
- 100g of pork sausage fat (deskin some good quality sausages)
- 3 tpsn of Paprika
- 3 tpsn of Cumin
- 3 tpsn of Chilli powder
- 3 tpsn of Freshly chopped Parsley
- 3 tpsn of breadcrumbs
- 2 whole eggs
- Salt & Pepper
- Olive oil
Mix by hand all these ingredients in a bowl. Get the mix dense enough to form but not so tightly compressed you break down the meat & turn it to sludge. You should be able to mostly make out the minced beef and it should have a nice mixed texture. Add the eggs, seasoning & salt & pepper and then form into uniform patties. You can use a burger mould, or you can use your own judgement forming balls in your hand and then pressing them out.
Once formed put them on a well-oiled plate, give a final seasoning & put in the fridge overnight ready for the big day.
Assuming your BBQs 350-400 degrees, once at room temperature get them on the grill on your hot side to sear for 3 minutes each side, before moving them over indirect heat to carry on cooking for a further five minutes. The last minute you can spray with some water & cover them in cheese and put a klosh over them to steam them and give them that juicy finish.
Unlike a lot of meat, the trick to BBQ’ing a good burger is to actually keep turning them once they are seared – this allows an even cook through to the middle. It also stops the outside from burning.
Serve on good quality toasted brioche buns, with lettuce, beef tomato & some lightly friend onions (never raw) and ketchup, mayo & pickles.
- Buy skewers. Not only do these keep the burgers in once piece if you’ve stacked them high, but you can also label them for your guests with various toppings.
- Never a bread bun – Always use brioche & toast them, serving a good quality burger on a plain bread bap is in my mind, a sin.
- The pinch – that little indentation I recommended you make, doesn’t sound like a big deal but that’s honestly the difference between cooking them through properly, and having an awkward raw bit in the middle of your burger.