How to make the ultimate burger
Chef, butcher and food writer Richard Turner talks us through how to make the ultimate beef burger, step by step.
- For the beef burgers, remove the bone marrow from the bone using a teaspoon, then finely dice it into 3mm cubes. Gently mix it through the mince, then roll into 2 equal-size balls and flatten. Chill in the fridge, covered (see Make Ahead).
- For the burger sauce, put the egg yolk, mustard, lemon juice and vinegar in a bowl and whisk until combined. Slowly pour the oil into the egg mixture while whisking, so it thickens like a mayonnaise– doing this slowly prevents the sauce splitting (you could use a blender or food processor instead.) When the sauce has thickened, add the ketchup and season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a sealed container and store in the fridge until ready to use.
- Before cooking, bring the beef burgers up to room temperature (see Make Ahead). If not cooking on a barbecue, heat a large griddle pan over a high heat and brush with oil. Season the burgers generously with salt and pepper [F], then put them on the barbecue/griddle pan.
- Cook for 5-10 minutes on each side until browned and cooked through [G].
- Remove the burgers from the heat to rest for a few minutes while you prepare the remaining ingredients. Split the burger buns and toast the insides on the barbecue/griddle pan for 2 minutes or so until golden.
- Layer the lettuce and pickles onto the buns [H], add the burger, cheese and burger sauce, then top with the tomato and the bun tops.
Richard’s tips for success
- Don’t overwork the meat in the burger – gently mix in the diced bone marrow.
- Season the outside of the burger, not the mixture, just before cooking. Salt starts curing it, as in sausage making.
- Aim to undercook and over-rest the burger. I find that 10 minutes is the absolute minimum resting time.
- This recipe is for a summer barbecue. In winter, lose the tomato and replace with onion marmalade: slice 2 onions and gently cook in a pan, stirring every now and then, until caramelised, sticky and brown. Think hot dog onions.
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