Two places of note where I have had excellent burgers and they continue to supply fine beers alongside great burgers and fluffy crispy french fries or skins-on-chips are firstly The Holyrood [ http://fullerthomson.com/eating-and-drinking/holyrood/ ] located on Cowgate just off the Royal Mile in Edinburgh which has an extensive burger menu including chicken and numerous vegetarian options and the second is The Shipping Forecast [ http://www.theshippingforecastliverpool.com/ ] in Liverpool on Slater Street. Both places stick in my mind at the moment as the best places I have eaten a burger in recent memory anyway, but should I find any more, I will add them via a comment.
With regard making your own burgers, there are a number of recipes that I have tried, as mentioned above. The results were mixed, no doubt. However, upon taking advice, mainly from two people; one being my sister in law and using her approach to making meatballs/meat in a ragu sauce (which I incidentally used in my Mexican Chilli but never considered before); and the second from my friend’s Brother. He spent a great deal of time in Texas, being a geologist and drilling for oil, but was told if he was going to stay in Texas, he must learn to Barbeque properly. This involved making burgers; he always said to use the cheapest and fattiest mince (don’t forget fat = flavour!!) and to pound it within an inch of its life (if it had one) and then reform the mince into a patty.
Further inspiration was taken from the different styles of meatballs that people make, I recently read an article on the Guardian website written by Felicity Cloake in her ‘The Perfect…’ column [ http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/felicity-cloake+lifeandstyle/series/how-to-cook-the-perfect ]. Although for ultimate burger satisfaction, I will forego any breadcrumbs in my recipe.
Fret no more guys, because below you will find my standard burger recipe that has what I regard as an excellent savoury flavour and good texture. I’ve made it as simple as possible and removed a lot of superfluous stuff that used to pollute my wares. If you want to alter the recipe to your taste though, feel free, there is lots of ‘wiggle room’!
600g Beef Mince (or chuck – put through a mincer on finest setting)
400g Pork Mince
1 Red Chilli, finely chopped and de-seeded
1 Red onion, very finely chopped
3 Cloves of garlic
Salt and Pepper to season as required
What to do:
1. Make sure the chilli, onion and garlic are all very finely chopped to ensure even distribution during the mixing of the burger patties. In a large mixing bowl, use your hands to combine the beef and pork mince with the onion, garlic and chilli. Add seasoning as required at this stage, but don’t make it too salty, as the pork will provide much of the savoury kick needed.
2. If you’re making ½ pounders, then divide the thoroughly mixed forcemeat into four equal portions and shape each one into a burger patty using your hands. Now add a pinch of salt to each side of the burger patties and leave to rest for around 20 minutes. After the 20 minutes is up, take a paper towel and pat dry any water that is drawn out of the burger patties.
3. Fry the burger patties in a little oil in a skillet pan if possible on a medium to low heat to ensure they are cooked thoroughly (being so thick, you’ll need a while to ensure they are cooked). A giveaway to the burgers being cooked though is that the juice will run clear as you press the burger patty down using a slice or spatula; juice from an uncooked patty will be cloudy or bloody.
4. Allow the burgers to rest for 5 minutes once they’re cooked and then add to your bun with a relish or seasoning of your choice. With these burgers, I have found that some more red onions, a little mayonnaise and coarse grain mustard along with fresh rocket is absolutely fine!