What can one say about the burger that has not already been said! Filling, juicy, yummy, perfect, and so many more adjectives can be applied to that enduring treat that so many of us look forward to on warm summer evenings.
Yes we all love to barbeque: ribs, chicken, fish, vegetables, an endless list of eating delights. And now, with great pride and pleasure, I present to you The Burger.
The sound alone, as the meat sizzles on the barbecue, is enough to drive my taste buds wild with expectation, knowing that the juices will flow out from between the folds of the bun; and that sensuous offering is coupled with mouth-watering trappings such as coleslaw, tomatoes, lettuce, cheese, bacon, cucumbers and onion, . . . oh, yes I am in heaven.
Does the burger’s size really matter? My answer is and always will be, how big is the bun? We love sliders, those hors d’oeuvres-sized mini-burgers, each and every one of us, but why just one bite when with The Burger you can have so many more. It’s my view that, if you are making your own burgers, you should purchase the buns before you make the patties. Why? Because when making the burgers you must always arrange to make them at least half an inch larger than the bun. This allows for shrinkage and a perfect-fitting burger for the bun.
1 large onion finely chopped
1 teaspoon freshly ground sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon chili pepper
1 cup bread crumbs
½ teaspoon fresh chopped sage
½ teaspoon fresh chopped thyme
1 teaspoon fresh chopped parsley
Place all ingredients in a large bowl. Blend together evenly so that all the ingredients are mixed completely.
After mentally calculating the size of a bun, take an appropriate amount of the mixture and, using your hands as a mold, shape it into a ball. Then place the ball onto wax paper and flatten it out, making the flattened meat disk larger than the bun. Create a series of disks by this process until you have used all the beef mixture; then cover with wax paper and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Turn your barbecue onto high heat, and clean with a copper brush. (Tip, I always spray on oil once cleaned; it helps prevent the meat from sticking.)
Turn down the heat to a medium temperature and place your burgers on the grill. Place the lid over the top of the barbecue to give the meat its smokey taste. Turn the burgers over after about seven minutes and cook for a further seven minutes.
Test the burgers when you believe that they are cooked, using a fork to prick them. If clear liquid emerges, they are cooked. Remove the cooked meat patty from the barbecue and pile on the trappings of your choice, and gear up to savour your luscious concoction.
Take your time – it’s a mouthful. Have fun. Enjoy.
Ian Leatt is general manager of Pegasus Publications.