In honour of Burger Day on 28 May, we thought we’d celebrate the humble burger as this month’s Sinful Sunday treat. Served with a wonderful melted cheese topping, creamy slaw and gorgeous twice-fried chips, this is one of our favourite naughty meals.
I’ve got two patty recipes to share with you. A wonderfully quick, utterly delicious recipe from Mich, a self-confessed burger lover. A second, little more decadent patty recipe, from a buddy, Dale, who is a serious foodie and restaurateur who knows how to make among numerous other things, killer twice-fried chips.
THE 5-MINUTE FUSS FREE BURGER PATTY
Ingredients: Makes six large patties
1kg beef mince, we used the Woolies lean free range mince
Fresh coriander, one large handful de-stemmed and finely chopped
1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 large free range eggs
salt and pepper to taste
Optional: one stick of celery finely chopped
Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, making sure all the condiments are evenly dispersed. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and roll each into a ball. Place the burger patties on a board or tray and pat gently to flatten, keeping them reasonably thick. Fry the patties in a little avocado oil at a relatively high heat until cooked to your required level of doneness.
THE FOODIE BURGER PATTY
Ingredients: Makes 8 large patties
500g beef brisket
500g beef chuck
500g beef short rib
100g Pancetta or smoky bacon
3 teaspoons (10ml) garlic powder (1 teaspoon per 500g meat)
3 teaspoons (10ml) onion powder (1 teaspoon per 500g meat)
Salt and white pepper
This mixture of meats has a much higher fat content and different textures making this a wonderfully unctuous burger patty.
Remove the meat from the bone and mince. Add the remaining ingredients making sure everything is evenly distributed. Divide the mixture into 8 equal portions and form 8 patties. These can be fried in a pan but are best cooked on a BBQ where the fat content melts into the patties which then also gain a wonderful smoky flavour.
While you can put just about anything on a burger, we feel that the humble cheese burger remains king. This is what you’ll need.
The perfect burger bun is a large soft, vaguely sweet white bun, with a sprinkling of sesame seeds. The Woolies Ultimate Burger Bun perfectly fits the bill.
The burger toppings
The freshest, crispiest lettuce.
Firm ripe tomatoes, sliced.
Dill pickles, sliced length ways.
Onion, choose between some caramelised white onion or slices of, tangy sweet red onion.
Monterey Jack is the perfect cheese for a burger. It has a mildly strong flavour and is perfect for melting. Cheddar is probably the most popular burger cheese because its strong flavor holds up to other robust flavours. I also love a good Emmental or Gruyere.
Your cheese must be sliced and placed on top of the burger patty during the last couple of minutes of cooking time so that it can melt a little. Woolies sells pre-sliced cheese for added convenience.
You can simply serve your burger with a good quality tomato or barbeque sauce. I like this sauce courtesy of Dale.
120ml tomato sauce – I used the Woolies organic tomato sauce
120ml mayonnaise – I used a super creamy, French-style mayo
5-6 dashes of Tabasco sauce, to taste
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
Add all the ingredients in a sauce pan and allow to heat slightly to incorporate the smoked paprika and release its smokiness into the sauce. Do not let this boil, you really just want to warm it up.
Place some sauce on either side of your burger bun. Top the bottom half with your crispy lettuce, a slice of tomato and then your sliced dill pickles. Place the patty with its melted cheese on top and finish with your caramelised or sliced onion. Top with the other half of the bun, smash down a little and enjoy!
THE BEST HAMBURGER SIDES
We need to look no further than a fresh, crispy slaw and some golden fries!
I think coleslaw is always best when you purchase fresh whole cabbages and carrots, and shred them yourself. You can find my favourite coleslaw recipe here. I like to use a mixture of white and red cabbage for colour and love mustard in my dressing. Instead of apple cider vinegar you can also use a white balsamic vinegar which provides a wonderful sweetness to the dressing. I skip the celery seeds.
Perfect twice-cooked fries
Woolies, our savior in convenience, has some great oven-bake chips. However, every now and then it’s worth the effort to make your own and these twice-cooked fries are the bomb!
Use 1½ medium sized potatoes per person. You want potatoes that don’t have too much starch. Dale knows his fries and recommends Up-To-Date or Van Der Plank for perfect fries.
Peel the potatoes and cut into sticks that are about 1cm wide. Rinse the cut potatoes in cold water to remove any excess starch. If you have the time, soaking them in ice water for 30 minutes will yield even better results. Drain the potatoes before frying and pat them completely dry.
The first fry is to cook the potato through. The second fry at a higher temperature is to crisp them up.
The first fry
Melt duck fat and sunflower oil in a heavy-bottomed pot with high sides. You need enough to make sure that your fries are completely covered when cooking them. Heat the fat to about 160 degrees Celsius.
Cook the chips in small batches to avoid dramatically dropping the temperature of the hot fat. After about 5 to 7 minutes, test the doneness by poking a chip with a knife. The knife should slide in and out with no resistance.
Once the potatoes are cooked, remove them from the pot with a slotted spoon, and drain on a tray covered in paper towels. Allow to cool.
The second fry
When you’re ready to serve your burgers, raise the heat under the pot and bring the melted duck fat and sunflower oil to about 180 degrees Celsius.
Return the chips to the pot, in batches, and fry until golden brown which should lonely take another minute or 2 if the fat and oil mixture is hot enough. Drain on fresh paper towels, season and enjoy!
(Related Posts: Find more of our Sinful Sunday recipes here.)