As it was National Burger Day this week, it seemed apt to finish our BBQ themed month talking about the staple of every good barbecue.

Named after the German city of Hamburg, although not even Wikipaedia can establish exactly why, few would argue that when you ‘think’ burger, the good old U S of A springs to mind.

This is probably because there are seemingly more burger restaurants across the Pond than there are people – ok, we exaggerate, but you get the drift.

Up until fairly recently, we were limited when it came to burgers in the UK, but with more good fast food restaurants making their way over to these shores, e.g. Five Guys (and Wendy’s on the way), combined with our own offerings such as Byron Burger and Gourmet Burger Kitchen, we are now spoilt for choice.

But whilst a visit to a ‘chain’ is acceptable, once in a while, it’s in our own bars, pubs and independent restaurants where burgers have really taken off.

It seems we have realised that a burger is not just about the meat, but what goes with it. So, for example, you are more likely to get your burger served in a fresh brioche bun than one of the ‘bread-like’ buns you grew up – you know, the ones that crumble as soon you pick them up!

And chances are in the bun, there will also be a pickle or two, fresh, fried onions, tomatoes, proper cheese and maybe the burger is even served with some pulled pork on top. And no burger is complete without mustard, American mustard that is, and forget your tomato ketchup or, God forbid, brown sauce – save that for your bacon or sausage sandwich.

So, there’s no reason why you can’t make a burger on the BBQ that won’t rival or even surpass what you pay £10-plus for in a restaurant – just make sure that you buy your burgers prepared by your local butcher – helping a small business during these difficult  times – or make your own from scratch.

And when cooking them on the BBQ, try to leave some pink in the middle – there’s a reason for the phrase ‘a juicy burger’.

The ‘Ultimate five cheese Juicy Lucy’

Cheese Mix:

  • 20g extra mature Cheddar
  • 20g goat’s cheese
  • 20g grated Monterey Jack cheese
  • 20g grated mozzarella
  • 20g soft cheese

Method:

  • Put all ingredients in a mixing bowl, season with salt and pepper. Separate into four 25g balls, flatten down. This is the centre of your ‘Juicy Lucy’s’.

Red Onion and Jalapeno Jam:

  • 3 large red onions sliced finely
  • 250g water
  • 40g olive oil
  • 1 jar of sliced jalapenos (drained)
  • 150g light brown sugar
  • 150g white wine vinegar

Method:

  • Boil onions, oil and water together until water has evaporated and the onions begin to fry. Once onions have started to fry, add the jalapenos, sugar and white wine vinegar. Cook and reduce mixture until a jam-like consistency is formed. Leave to cool.

Patty:

  • 880g organic beef mince
  • 25g cheese mix
  • Salt and Pepper for seasoning

Method:

  • Preheat grill. Divide mince into four 220g balls. Divide again into two, leaving you with eight, 110g balls. Using a round pastry cutter at approx. 10cm diameter, place one ball in the centre and flatten so that the base is covered.
  • Place the cheese mix on top, leaving a 1cm, border around the edge of the cheese (the mixture should not touch the side of the cutter). Place second ball of mince on top and flatten, sealing the edges by hand so that the cheese is encased. Season generously with salt and cracked black pepper.
  • Cook patties five to six minutes each side or until the cheese begins to bubble out.

Garnish and finishing:

  • 1 head baby gem lettuce (washed)
  • 1 large sliced red onion into 0.5cm slices
  • 2 large beef tomatoes, sliced
  • Sliced gherkins
  • 4 grilled toasted bread buns
  • 4 tbsp mayonnaise

Method:

  • Assemble the burger, by spreading a tablespoon of fresh mayonnaise on each half of a sliced, toasted bread bun. Place the patty on top, then spread a thin layer of red onion jam across the surface of the burger. Then add lettuce, tomatoes, red onion and gherkin slices to finish.
  • Serve with chips and a cold beer of your choice.
  • Happy Grillin’
Chris Brown
About Chris Brown
Sous Chef of SK Foods.
Your food. Our Passion.