Homemade burgers and tangy tomato relish

Yesterday the other half said he was hankering after a burger. I’m not really a big burger fan, don’t get me wrong, I like a good gourmet one now and then, but it’s not something I would usually decide to make at home. After much Googling around on the debate over whether or not a burger should include a binding agent such as egg or not, we decided to fall on the side of the meat purists. According to them, a burger should hold together no problem as long as you press the meat between a burger press or similar and allow to chill in the fridge for long enough.

For the burgers;

  • Good quality steak mince
  • Finely chopped fresh parsley
  • Dijon mustard
  • Plenty of salt and pepper

We mixed together the mince with the parsley, mustard and seasoning, then used our customised burger press (the plunger of a cafatiere, some cling film, and a small bowl!) to press into compact burgers. Then we popped them in the fridge and left to chill for a good few hours. I think next time I make these, I would be a little more adventurous and perhaps add some little chunks of apple or something similar to add another flavour dimension, but these make for a good classic burger.

Everyone has their own ideas on what their ideal burger toppings are, this is what we decided to use for ours;

  • Crispy onion
  • A cheap and nasty cheese slice
  • Sliced gherkins
  • Tangy burger relish

To achieve the crispy onions, we thinly sliced half an onion,  fried it  in a hot pan on a high heat for a minute or two, until slightly caramelised, and then baked at low to medium heat for another few minutes until browning.

I decided instead of tomato ketchup, to try and make a tangy tomato burger relish. I’m not sure what the usual ingredients would be for such a condiment, I kinda just kept chucking things into a bowl until I reached something I was happy with. It turned out pretty well. Here’s what I used;

  • Handful of finely chopped on the vine tomatoes
  • Good squidge of tomato puree
  • Splash of red wine vinegar
  • Large pinch of caster sugar
  • A few drops of tabasco
  • Touch of tomato ketchup
  • Touch of barbecue sauce
  • Salt & pepper

I had also planned to add a little finely chopped red onion, but didn’t seem to have any!

For the all-crucial burger bun, we were lucky enough to happen on a roll that was a happy medium between too crusty and too cloying and cotton wool like (which I hate, eugh!). We toasted the inside of the rolls under the grill, but left the outside bread-like. There’s definitely room for a little tweaking with this, but as a first attempt at the classic beef burger I was pretty pleased with it, and you can go crazy with the toppings, whatever you fancy!