Being able to make a really good burger at home is one of the most satisfying things any meat-lover can do. Many of us grew up having take-away burgers as a special treat on weekends when we were children. My siblings and I loved almost any take-away burger, because the ones we tried to make at home just never tasted as good.
Well, the tables have turned. I now believe that anyone can make a burger at home that can beat the best gourmet burger in most restaurants. If you use care and source the best ingredients you can find, you can make a pretty amazing burger – so amazing that you might not want to get take-aways ever again.
Although I’m a huge fan of the classic beef burger with cheddar cheese and pickles, this juicy lamb burger is a total knock-out for a special occasion.
Here are my top 3 tips for creating an awesome burger:
- Buy fresh, soft burger buns, and always toast the sliced sides with butter before assembling your burger.
- Use coarsely ground great quality fresh meat for your pattie. That means 100% leg of lamb or 100% pure beef rump.
- Don’t overcook your meat – it should still be juicy in the middle.
Ingredients: (makes 4 large burgers)
- 600 g boneless leg of lamb, minced (ask your butcher to do that for you)
- 2 rounds (about 80g) of feta cheese, crumbled
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 punnet fresh mint
- 1 punnet fresh parsley
- 50 g cashew nuts
- 60 ml (1/4 cup) extra virgin olive oil, plus more for frying
- salt & pepper
- 4 round soft hamburger rolls, buttered and toasted in a pan
- double cream yoghurt (the thickest you can find)
- a handful of watercress
- finely sliced cucumber
- Mix the lamb mince, crumbled feta, salt & pepper in a mixing bowl – using clean hands works best. Divide the mixture into 4 balls, then flatten them carefully, shaping the edges to form a round disk. Always make the pattie a bit wider and thinner than the end product that you have in mind, because they shrink back to a thicker, smaller pattie in the pan. Set aside.
- For the pesto: in a food processor, add the mint, parsley, cashews and olive oil. Season with salt & pepper, then process to a course paste. Scoop into a smaller serving bowl and set aside.
- In a non-stick pan, heat some olive oil over moderately high heat, then fry the patties about 3-4 minutes a side, taking care when you flip them over because the feta tends to stick (use a spatula). You are looking for a crisp outer layer and a juicy center. I prefer my center to still be pink. Remove from the heat and transfer to a plate to rest.
- To assemble the burgers: Place the bottom half of a toasted bun on a plate, then add the watercress, burger pattie, some yoghurt, some pesto, some cucumber and then the top half of the bun. Enjoy!
This post was originally written for The Pretty Blog by Ilse van der Merwe from The Food Fox.
Recipe, food preparation and text: Ilse van der Merwe
Assistant: Elsebé Cronjé
Photography: Tasha Seccombe
Styling: Tasha Seccombe
Venue for shoot: the demo KITCHEN