Spring has arrived, a flourish of foliage appearing on the trees & new growth in the garden. This is also a time of Spring cleaning & doing all those jobs you wanted to do over the Winter, but it was too soggy & cold. A little bit of sunshine does everyone the power of good too. While we were out recently, we decided to have a little treat for lunch – a small cheeseburger & fries. It was not my finest decision & reminded me of a line in a film – “what’s wrong with this picture?”. The fries were hot but tasteless (no salt) & the burger was sad, cold & rather flat in every respect. You could have bounced the bun down the motorway, it was that stale! On the way home, my Husband suggested we make our own burgers. Although it’s not my forte, I said “hold my spatula!” & that’s how the delicious Dunn Burger happened (named by my wonderful Husband).
It’s been almost 27 years since I last made a proper beef burger. My Son was a baby, we had gone fishing for the weekend (aka sunbathing with benefits) & took along some of my homemade meatballs. Someone suggested we make them into burgers instead & they ended up on the grill next to the trout we had caught. A little surf & turf barbeque ensued & the rest is history.
Fast forward to today & I’ve recreated my delicious burger with a few supporting acts – homemade buns, crispy baked onion rings & my chunky “Aimée chips”. It took me a whole afternoon to make everything, but it was definitely worth it & let’s face it, if you’re going to do something, might as well do it properly. Also, I’m no expert on burgers, this is just the way I do it.
To make it easier for you to recreate this dish, I’ve split everything into three sections: burgers, buns & sides. Not everyone is going to want the buns or side dishes, so this recipe is just for the beef burgers & I’ve put links to the others at the bottom.
Ready to bake it happen? Hands washed, aprons on & here we go!
What you need (this makes 4 burgers):
500g Minced Beef (10-15% fat content – if you cut the fat, you cut the flavour)
8 rashers Streaky Smoked Bacon
A little Sea Salt & freshly ground Black Pepper
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (for extra pepperiness)
25g Salted Butter
50g Grated Cheese (I used Medium Cheddar)
Ketchup or Relish
Pickles (I used pickled Cornichons & sliced them)
Crisp Iceberg Lettuce, washed & patted dry
Large Tomatoes, sliced
What to do:
Get 5 pieces of greaseproof paper ready for your raw burgers, approx 6 inchs square – one for each burger & one spare.
Divide the beef into four equal pieces & gently shape each one into a ball. Be careful not to squeeze them too much, otherwise they will be tough & won’t cook properly.
Put each ball onto a square of greaseproof paper & put the spare piece on top. Press down evenly to flatten out your burger slightly, until about a half an inch thick. Remove the top square of paper & use your hands to shape the burger into a circle, flattening down any uneven areas gently. Repeat with the other three burgers.
Wash & dry your hands again, then sprinkle a little sea salt & pepper over each burger, flipping them over & repeating on the other side.
Stack them up with the greaseproof paper still on them, put them on a plate & wrap in clingfilm. Place in the fridge for about 30 minutes to rest, as this will help them hold their shape when you cook them later.
Remove the burgers from the fridge & set them aside while you cook the bacon. Heat a large frying pan or skillet on a medium heat & add the bacon rashers. There’s no need to add oil at this stage, you want them to render their fat into the pan. Do not be afraid of the fat – fat is flavour & this is a treat (you won’t be eating burgers for every meal every day).
Once the bacon has started to get some colour to it, transfer the bacon to a baking tray & cover with foil.
Add half the butter to the frying pan & place your burgers into the pan. Press each one with a spatula, so they make full contact with the hot surface.
Cook for approximately 4-5 minutes each side. Now I like my burgers cooked well-done, so if you like them more on the rare side, cook them for less time. When you flip the burgers, press again for a moment to maintain contact with the pan & if desired, add the rest of the butter.
Once your burgers look gnarly & you’re happy with them, pile up a little cheese on each burger & cover with a large saucepan lid or cake tin for a couple of minutes – this will help to melt the cheese. If you use a cake tin, remember it will get hot, so use tongs to lift it off your burgers.
When the cheese is melted, they’re ready to serve & it’s time to pack those flavour layers into your bun!
Serve these delicious burgers with a side of chunky chips, crispy baked onion rings & a generous green salad. Usually, I make a dish of homemade mayonnaise too, just for dunking the chips & onion rings in.
Fabulously flavoursome, this fine burger is a tower of taste. You might need both hands for this one! Stay hungry! Aimee 😉 x
PS: Here are the links for the buns & sides:
For the buns – You’d Better Bun-lieve It!
For the side dishes – Sides by Side!