My son-in-law (good God, that makes me MOTHER-IN-LAW, doesn’t it??? How horrendous it sounds) makes mean burgers. I had a Bank Holiday treat of being served homemade burgers and they were simply epic.
He says there’s nothing special about them, he seasons the mince with just salt and pepper and shapes them with his hands, not particularly meticulously, but the whole assembly is expert: buns, dipped in the burger fat and toasted in a frying pan, cheese melted on the burgers briefly under the grill, layers of lettuce, tomato, onions, gherkins (no good burger without gherkin) arranged in perfect order, a dab of sauce – it’s a towering construction but still possible to handle with your hands. Which is how burgers should be eaten, always.
So let’s make it a burger week this week, and related recipe ideas. CJ’s recipe is his secret (he says there’s none but I don’t believe) but mine is not too shabby either – for beef burgers that is. My secret is a little Parmesan and a pinch of nutmeg.
It doesn’t have to be beef – chicken burgers are as nice. Or go for the fishy version: chunky salmon burgers, or prawn ones. Both really good. Vegetarians will enjoy halloumi burgers with grilled vegetables, gorgeous enough to tempt meat eaters too.
I might as well mention related recipes because there will be absolutely nothing wrong in putting a meatball or two in a bun with salad and toppings, likewise a lamb kofta. And all this will be elevated to a feast if you bake the buns yourself, be it standard soft burger buns with sesame, or brioche rolls made with Japanese tangzhong starter.
On the side, there’s nothing like coleslaw or perhaps crunchy cabbage salad. And we must have fries, or triple cooked chips. I know, synchronising it all is a mission, but so, so worth making an effort every now and then.
And for dessert, I suggest my version of Eton mess but with crushed filo pastry instead of meringues. Hope you enjoy it!