The perfect burger recipe

A good burger is a truly wonderful thing – a real delight. Far from the atrocities many a fast food joint throws at us, a well-made burger full of high quality ingredients makes for one of the best meals. Here’s our recipe to celebrate the International Burger Month of May.

Mr & Mrs Romance - burger recipe - 2a title

It warms my heart to see the humble burger getting so much limelight these days. Lifted from its lowly fast-food late-night guilty pissed-up food status, the hamburger now finds itself peering down from lofty gourmet heights.

Mrs Romance and I do love a good burger – I’ve even listed my top 10 burgers list – though I think that will need revisiting again soon!

However, as much as we do enjoy a burger out, we also relish (excuse the pun) a big juicy homemade burger too. I’ve been working on my recipe for a while and I’m pretty pleased with the results.

Mr & Mrs Romance - burger recipe - 3 Charlotte Cafe

Here’s my basic burger patty recipe:

The perfect burger recipe

Here’s what you need

Makes 6-8 patties

– 500g beef mince

– 2 rashers of bacon finely chopped (optional)

– 1 egg

– ½ large onion very finely chopped

– 1 garlic clove very finely chopped

– 1tbsp white vinegar

– ½ cup – ¾ cup breadcrumbs – gluten-free work really well

– Salt and pepper to taste – don’t be stingy with the salt!

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Here’s what you do

1. Mix the egg, bacon, onion, garlic and vinegar together in a large bowl, then add the mince and mix until everything is well combined.

2. Add the breadcrumbs by sprinkling a layer over the surface of the mix and combining. Repeat this process until the mix isn’t completely wet but holds itself together well.

3. Scoop enough mix out to make a quarter pounder (or smaller) patty, squeeze hard into a ball, then flatten and shape into a disc.

I actually use a burger press to shape my burgers. It’s quicker, cleaner and easier. You put the mix in the press, which you line with a paper disc, then you flip the whole thing over and press the plunger on the top. This compresses the burger into shape and squeezes the mix so that the burger holds its form when you cook it.

I love my burger press – and not just because my mum bought it for me. Here’s the exact model you can buy too. And here’s a slightly different model, which does roughly the same thing.

Mr & Mrs Romance - burger recipe

The all-important extra bits

As I mentioned, this is just my basic burger recipe. I add lots of other things into my mix depending on what flavours I want.

Here are some of the things I add to my burger mix:

– Sesame oil, truffle oil or soy sauce for a bit of umami

– Tabasco sauce, chilli sauce or powder, or spicy sauce for barbecue hot wings for a punch

– Smokey paprika, sumac, mustard powder or Worcester sauce for a savoury note… in fact I use smokey paprika in pretty much everything. It’s the best ingredient.

– I sometimes add a dash of milk. The vinegar is a tenderiser, but so is milk. It also adds a bit of richness to the mix.

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I also find freezing my burger patties works really well. I wasn’t too sure to start with and was worried it would make them too watery, but it actually makes them easier to handle and they bind together better. Plus the water content in them causes a kind of burger concentrate, which emulsifies in the pan!

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Do you have a special ingredient that you add to your burger? Where’s the best burger joint near you? Tell us in the comments!

Images by Mrs Romance using an Olympus OM-D EM10 camera.

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