I think the picture says it all: a homemade burger stuffed full of succulent deliciousness. Yes!
600g Scotch fillet (rib-eye steak)
1 Tbsp finely chopped shallot
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp whole-grain mustard
1 tsp soy sauce
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 medium onions, peeled and sliced
Burger buns or baps, split in half
Mayonnaise (use a ready-made premium brand)
Iceberg lettuce leaves, shredded
Tomato ancho salsa
Tomato ketchup, optional
Gherkins (pickles), mopped and sliced
1 To make the patties, trim meat removing any tough or scrappy pieces and excess fat. Slice into fat strips, then chop coarsely. Work meat briefly in a food processor, about a third of it at a time, taking it no further than a coarse purée; if you process it too long it will turn pasty. Transfer meat to a bowl as it is prepared. Mix in shallot, garlic, 1 teaspoon of salt, mustard, soy sauce and 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
2 Roughly shape into 4 thinnish patties, but don’t squash or compress. The patties don’t have to be perfectly round – mine never are (I go for a rustic look!). Put patties on a plate, cover with plastic wrap and chill for 1-4 hours.
3 Put onions in a medium saucepan with 1 tablespoon each of oil and butter. Cook gently for about 40 minutes, until soft and golden; stir often, especially towards the end of cooking, to prevent onions catching and burning.
4 Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large heavy-based frying pan (skillet) over medium-high heat. Drop in 2 tablespoons of butter when it is hot, and add patties when it is sizzling. Don’t move patties around, leave them where they land, but spoon butter and oil over them as they cook to keep them moist. Once patties are nicely browned, turn and cook the other side. Keep anointing them with the oil and butter. Transfer to a plate and season generously with salt and black pepper. Alternatively, cook patties on a preheated lightly oiled barbecue hot plate (cast-iron griddle) over medium heat, and brush with olive oil as they cook.
5 Toast buns and spread with mayonnaise. Put some lettuce on each bun bottom and top with a pattie. Drizzle with ancho salsa, and add a little ketchup if liked, then add fried onions, gherkins and more lettuce. Put bun lids in place and serve immediately.
Mincing or grinding your own meat gives you the opportunity to cook burger patties to medium-rare if that is your preference, keeping them nice and moist. If using minced or ground meat it is safer to cook the patties right through Minced meat
The whole deal here is to have sufficient fat in the meat to make a succulent pattie. Scotch fillet (rib-eye steak) has fat threaded through the meat so it’s ideal – save fillet (tenderloin) steak and minced beef for other recipes.
Another important tip – once you put the patties in the pan (skillet) or on the barbecue hot plate (cast-iron griddle) resist the urge to move them around because, firstly, they are likely to stick to the cooking surface until they are browned, so moving them can break them up, and it also interferes with the cooking momentum, slowing it down. If this happens, they might start to stew!
Photography Aaron McLean http://www.aaronmclean.com
Optional extras for a hamburger feast