Who doesn’t love a good burger. We have experimented with many varieties over the years and this one is up there with the best of them. There was some discussion around how it compares to Jamie Oliver’s ‘Insanity’ burger, and we eventually agreed that some elements of both may make the ultimate experience. I think my other half is leaning towards this one in truth. It is very very good.
We found the recipe in one of the new additions to the cookery bookshelf named ‘Let There Be Meat – The Ultimate Barbeque Bible’ by James Douglas and Scott Munro. A perfect gift from my sister-in-law. I already know it’s going to make lots of appearances here over the coming summer months. ‘The perfect burger patty’ is just that…partly because a third of it is made up of minced smokey bacon. Oh yes, that’s bacon IN the patty. You know where this is heading.
The cooking process involves a technique called ‘closhing’. You do this at the end by placing the fully constructed burger (minus bottom bun) in a frying pan over a high heat, and covering it with a metal bowl surrounded by a little water. This steams the burger, helping to combine all of the flavours together.
To make our version of this burger (serves four) you will need:
– 600g of steak mince (roughly 20 percent fat)
– 300g of minced smoked streaky bacon
– 25ml of Worcestershire Sauce
– One tablespoon of salted butter
– One large onion (sliced into rounds)
– Eight slices of burger cheese
– Eight slices of streaky bacon
– Four large buns (preferably brioche but we used granary)
– Four tablespoons of mayonnaise
– Four large gherkins (sliced)
– Four teaspoons of American mustard
– Tomato ketchup (as desired)
– Salt and black pepper
– Place all of the mince and the Worcestershire sauce into a large bowl and mix together well. Mould into four equal patties and refrigerate, covered, for half an hour.
– Melt the butter in a frying pan over a low heat. Fry the onion slices (reserving four) until golden brown and drain on kitchen paper. Set aside. Leave the patties to rest until they are at room temperature.
– Heat a griddle or pan to a high heat. Make a dip in the middle of each burger with your thumb which will help them to cook evenly. Season well and place on the grill.
– Griddle each one for two to three minutes on each side or until they are cooked to medium. After flipping them, top each one with two cheese slices on the cooked side. Meanwhile, fry the bacon slices until crispy.
– Heat a frying pan to a high heat and lightly toast each burger half for roughly one minute. Spread the bottom buns with the mayonnaise and top with a raw onion slice and some sliced gherkin. Finish off with some tomato ketchup if desired and transfer to a serving plate.
– Spread a teaspoon of mustard on each of the top buns. When the bacon is ready, place two rashers on top of each patty, over the cheese. Next add a tablespoon of fried onions on to each patty. Put the top bun in place.
– With a fish slice, place each patty in the middle of a hot frying pan, leaving enough space in the pan for the metal bowl to cover the burger without touching it. Add a few tablespoons of water and cover with the bowl to create some steam. This will help the cheese to melt and the top of the bun to moisten. Leave for no longer than fifteen seconds then remove and place onto the bottom buns.
-Rest for a few minutes then serve and enjoy.
I’ve sampled many a burger in my time, but this even challenged my carnivorous tendencies. It takes the words ‘meaty’ and ‘flavoursome’ to another level, largely because of the additional high bacon content. We agreed that it could possibly do without the extra bacon slices next time and I suggested the introduction of a little something more to cut through the meatiness. Perhaps some lettuce or even just more ketchup! That aside, it’s a burger enthusiast’s dream. Burger cheese, gherkins, yellow mustard…it has it all.