So burgers are my ultimate treat, whenever I think of an indulgent cheat meal that will satisfy all of my cravings I think of burgers. I think of juicy meat (pink on the inside and chargrilled burn on the outside) soft bread buns(brioche is the best), crisp fresh salad and indulgently melted cheese. Perfection. Match made in heaven.
Ever since I got into cooking and recreating my favourite dishes at home I’ve been trying to perfect a burger, I wanted that moist meat, juices running as you bite into it and flavours. I need flavours. After a good couple of years of practising I can finally make a burger that melts in your mouth.
For my birthday a few weeks ago I received a Byron Burger cookbook(BEST. GIFT. EVER) and last weekend I’ve decided to recreate the Juicy Lucy burger. I’ve followed some of the guidelines but added my own twists. The book gives very good introduction to burger making, the meat cuts and even how to make your own buns and sauces(ALL the sauces!). So here is my version of a VERY Juicy Lucy:
- 500 grams of 15% beef mince(always buy the best meat you can afford)
- 1 egg
- pinch of salt
- pinch of pepper
- pinch of garlic powder
- 50-60 grams of Manchego cheese thinly sliced
- 2 brioche buns cut in halves
- 6 slices of pancetta
- lettuce finely shredded
- 1 beef tomato thinly sliced
- 1/4 red onion thinly sliced into rings
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
- 1/2 tablespoon sriracha or any spicy sauce of your choice
- In a large bowl mix your mince, garlic, pepper, salad and an egg. A lot of recipes don’t use eggs. I don’t think egg is needed to hold the burger together but I definitely think it helps with keeping it moist
- Separate the mixture into 4 equally sized patties, put half of the cheese on top of one of the patties leaving about 1cm rim cheese free, cover it with another patty. Using your fingers carefully mould the mince to close any gaps and turn 2 patties into one. Make sure there is no tears, otherwise cheese will melt away before it gets into your mouth. Repeat the process with the rest of the cheese and patties
- Cover patties with cling film and place them in the fridge for an hour
- After patties have been refrigerated use a solid pan to cook your burgers, heat up a tablespoon of olive oil and once it’s ready place your burgers in the middle of the pan, make sure they don’t touch. As these burgers are fairly big use a flat lid to carefully squash them to increase the cooking time.
- Fry for 4-5 minutes on each side(if you don’t have a flat lid add extra minute to each side), this will leave them crisp on the outside and medium rare on inside. If you want your burgers well done then increase overall cooking time by another 2-3 minutes
- While the burgers are being cooked, quickly grill your brioche buns. They will take about 30-40 seconds under a preheated grill and 3 minutes on a dry pan
- Pan fry the pancetta( you won’t need any oil)
- Once the buns are grilled smother them with mayo and sriracha, place lettuce, tomato, onion and pancetta on top. If you want to cover both parts of buns in sauce then use slightly more mayo and sriracha
- When the burger is ready place it on top of your loaded buns, cover it with the second half of bun and enjoy!
Your burger should be moist and tender, with juices running as soon as you bite into it(there is no pretty way to eat it), manchego cheese will be lavishly melted and the combination of all the flavours hopefully will blow you away. You can serve your burger with a simple salad or your favourite chips. Always keep an eye on your burgers when cooking. Everyone has different hobs, different pans and if you don’t want a dry burger check on it, once the juices have started running pay close attention. Wash it down with a nice glass of Rioja or a cold refreshing IPA.