There are so many burgers out there, it’s amazing. Just google it, the list is endless. Every one claims the best burger. I don’t. I think ‘the best burger’ simply doesn’t exist. It’s all subjective, it varies from country to country, region to region or is simply what you grew up with.
Some people like it simple and basic—good quality meat, a little salt and pepper and maybe a drop of Worcestershire sauce—while others like it spicy and load up on tabasco. Some like them topped with vegetables, others just want a little cheese. Sauces vary as well.
As for me; I like a bit of everything. An outburst of different but subtle flavors, a little heat, a little cheese, some fresh veggies and a light hint of sauce. I don’t want my burger to drown, so I glaze them. I do prepare my burgers slightly different than most people do.
1 pound, lean ground beef
1/2 medium onion, minced
1 clove garlic, grated
1/2 chili pepper
1 tbsp brown sugar
5 tbsp breadcrumbs
2 tsp salt (or less)
1/8 to 1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 paprika powder (smoky is the best)
nutmeg (I grate my own)
1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
4 tbsp piccalilli
4 tbsp sweet chili sauce
Optional: red onion
Here’s some of the things I put into my burgers.
Mince your onion, grate the garlic, ginger and chop the chili pepper. I’ve also tried this with finely minced bell pepper, but felt the flavor was too overpowering, so I scratched it. Mix everything up. I love doing this with my hands, but by all means, feel free to use a fork! I promise I won’t laugh at you. Not too hard, that is!
Now here comes the part I’ve always had trouble with. Getting the perfectly shaped patties. It’s near impossible for me. I guess you’ll always see they’re home made for some reason. Not that it’s a bad thing, I just wonder what the trick is. Anyone know the secret? Tell me! Please? I’ve got cookies? Please?
Here it comes. Brace yourself.
Stick your finger in there. No, I mean it! I’m serious. Go on, put your finger in there and make a hole. No arguing, you simply have to do it, this is my recipe, remember?
Feels good to do something out of the ordinary, eh? Now make holes in all of them. Yes, that one burger is indeed orange/yellowish. I spiked it with 4 oz carrot puree for the munchkin. You see, I’m compulsive, I have to put veggies in everything, not even burgers are sacred here. What can I say? I’m a mom.
This solved my ‘center cooked properly but edges overdone’ problem, that I’m sure ‘no one’ ever has when you ask them about it! Well, I had that issue, and this solved it for me. The burger also holds a better shape and it prevents me from constantly having to press down the meat with a spatula. It just cooks more evenly. The hole also serves another purpose, but you’ll that see later on. Stick with me! (<– tempted to say kiddo here)
Now bake the burgers as usual, indoors or outdoors. For me ‘usual‘ means tossing them on a hot grill (stove top), sear them quickly and get those pretty grill stripes, transfer them to a oven dish, cover with foil and then finish them in a 400 (200C ) oven for about 20 to 25 minutes (depending on how long you grill them first). You can also bake them in butter or oil. Whatever you prefer/are used to. I always do it this way because, well, it means less fat, and I know for sure they’ll stay golden brown, won’t end up charred and are properly cooked.
Mix the piccalilli with the chili sauce. Use as much (or little) sauce as you like, as long as you use equal amounts. You can also add some tabasco if you like, but the chili sauce will provide enough heat, and remember there’s also chili pepper inside the burger.
Piccalilli is always a bit coarse, keep whisking until you have a creamy and smooth sauce. This is one of my favorite sauces. It hits all the right spots. Fresh, sweet, sour, spicy. Can also be used as a dip with, say, raw veggies or potato chips. Also great with french fries!
I couldn’t get sesame buns; those would have been my first choice. Lightly grill the buns on both sides. I butter them, we butter bread here, yes. Put mayonnaise on bread in stead of butter and you’ll be frowned upon in the Netherlands. I kid you not!
Of course there’s pretty green lettuce. How could there not be? And red! Gorgeous, juicy, red tomatoes.
Layer the lettuce, tomatoes and cheese (I’ve used cheddar), and place the burger on top. Glaze with the sauce -and this is where the hole comes in handy- it’s perfect to fill up with a little extra sauce. Use the glazing sauce, mayonnaise, ketchup, piccalilli, whatever you like. The best part is, it’ll stay put making the burger look much prettier when you serve it.
I love thinly sliced raw red onion on my burger, but not everyone does. So I serve it on the side. This burger is also fantastic with caramelized onions.
Can’t wait to sink my teeth in this one. I just have a thing for (reasonably healthy) junk food!