After watching a BBC programme on meat/burgers, we decided that it’s best to eat burgers cooked medium, not medium rare, unless you mince your own meat from scratch (highly recommended). The main takeaway from the programme was that minced meat is more likely to be contaminated than steaks, and so better eaten cooked to medium.
There is also a lot of debate amongst chefs, about whether or not to add salt to the meat before shaping the burgers. I have tried both methods, and the family prefers the version where there’s a little salt in the mixture and then another round of salt is added to the surface just before cooking them.
Click here for the Soft Burger Buns
Click here for the Polenta Fried Onion Rings
Beef Burgers with Soft Burger Buns & Crispy Onion Rings
The recipe below uses the left over pan juices and fat to quickly fry some onions which are a great accompaniment to the burgers. To make the whole experience more luxurious, serve with polenta coated onion rings, which are a cinch to make.
Mix together all the ingredients for the burgers quite gently. Don’t knead hard, and keep meat quite loose. Form into 4 burger patties and make a deep indent in the middle of each burger to avoid the burger from bulging in the centre whilst cooking. Cover and keep chilled until ready to cook. Take out of the fridge about 30 min before you plan to cook them.
Heat a large cast iron griddle or pan. If using a frying pan, add a tiny bit of oil just to give a light coating on the base of the pan.
Before placing in the pan, season the patties generously with sea salt on the outside and place that side down into the hot pan.
Season the other side (now on top) and leave them to cook, undisturbed, for 4-5 min. Flip over and cook for another 4-5 min. I am aiming for medium, (see my note at the start of the recipe).
Once done you can check the temperature, if you have a thermometer – for medium it should be 60C (140F)
Cover the burgers and keep warm.
Pour out excess fat from the pan and retain about 1 tablespoon, and quickly fry the sliced onions on a relatively high heat until they are slightly browned at the edges. These make a nice accompaniment to the burgers.