I love making a burger from scratch at home and I’ve experimented with quite a few different recipes over the years. There has been a few that have definitely stood out (for example a double bacon cheeseburger by James Martin if I remember correctly) and this one is up there. I have to say, I don’t think ever made tastier burger patties that the ones made in this recipe before, and I have Nathan Outlaw to thank for this.
These burgers were so good they don’t need much more than a few well selected toppings. Using softened and slightly caramelised onion in the patties was new to me but it’s something I’d probably always do now, instead of adding raw onion. The flavour the cooked onion adds is subtle and slightly sweet, perfectly complementing the flavour of the beef. These would be fantastic on a barbecue, though I cooked mine on a hot griddle pan instead.
I followed Nathan Outlaw’s recipe pretty closely, but one potentially substantial difference would be that I used a mix of veal and steak mince – 400g veal + 100g steak mince. I also used spinach in my burgers, instead of watercress, though any green salad would do. As I say, the patties themselves were outstanding so whatever you decide to use, just make sure it is good quality fresh mince.
Nathan Outlaw’s Burgers
Serves 4 | Prep 10 mince | Cook 15 mins
- olive oil for cooking;
- 1 onion, finely chopped;
- 500g good quality mince – I used a mix of veal and steak mince, though you can use either;
- 3 tbsp breadcrumbs;
- 4 slices Cheddar cheese;
- 4 burger buns, halved;
- 2 ripe plum tomatoes, sliced;
- Spinach (or other green salad leaves);
- Tomato ketchup (or relish);
- 2 large gherkins, sliced.
Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a frying pan. When it is hot, add the onion and cook for 5–6 minutes until softened and lightly browned. Leave to cool.
Put the minced meat into a large bowl and scatter over the onion, breadcrumbs and season generously with salt and freshly ground pepper. Mix together with your hands until evenly combined, but don’t overwork the mixture. Fry off a little piece of the mixture in an oiled pan and taste, then adjust the seasoning of the main mixture as necessary.
Divide the mixture into 4 equal portions and shape into balls then flatten to make patties. Chill the patties until you are ready to cook – I cooked mine straight away. If you’re cooking the burgers on a barbecue, light it around 30 minutes before you are planning to start cooking.
When you’re ready to cook the burgers, heat a frying pan or griddle, or check your barbecue is hot. Place the burgers in the pan, or on the griddle or barbecue and cook, without moving, for 3–4 minutes to seal the burgers and get a good colouring underneath. Turn your burgers over and place the cheese slices on top. Cook for a further 4 minutes for rare, 5 minutes for medium-rare, 6–7 minutes for medium, or 8–9 minutes if you like them well done. Remove from the heat and allow the burgers to rest for a few minutes.
While the burgers are resting, toast the buns on the pan or barbecue until golen. Put a dollop of mayo on each bun base and add some tomato slices and spinach/lettuce. Place a burger on top, then add some gherkin slices and spoon on some tomato relish or ketchup. Top off with the bun lids.
We served ours with oven baked potato wedges on the side.
Original recipe by Nathan Outlaw, available online here.
Previously posted on the 8th of June: