The thing I love about making my own burgers is adding spices and flavors, making the overall flavor profile more exciting than just a regular ol' burger. I really don't understand when people take a package of ground beef and without adding anything, shape them into burger patties. There is SO MUCH more flavor to be had in your burgers!
This Jamie Oliver recipe jumped off the page at me with the addition of cumin, coriander, mustard and Parmesan added into the mix. I love the subtle lemony notes of coriander and the smooth smokiness of cumin.
Another peeve in burger recipes is chopped raw onion; the burger never gets hot enough inside to soften or mute the onion flavor, so they stay as these jarring hits of raw onion with eat bite of the burger you take. If I do add onion to my burgers I like to grate it first to get the flavor and moisture, but without the chunks. I was intrigued when I saw that Jamie Oliver sautes the onions first to mellow the onions and add a bit of sweetness to the burger. I hadn't thought of that before!
And really in the end, what made me try this burger was the title "The Ultimate Burger". I HAD to see what an ultimate burger tasted like.
Recipe by Jamie Oliver - Jamie's Dinners
Makes 8 burgers
2 lbs lean ground beef
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
A pinch of cumin seeds (or 1/2 tsp ground cumin)
1 tbsp coriander seeds (or 2 tsp ground coriander)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
A handful of freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 1/4-1/3 cup)
1 heaped tbsp English mustard (or whatever mustard you have)
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs
8 burger buns
4½ lbs large potatoes, skins left on, cut into chips ½ inch thick
1 whole bulb of garlic
Freshly ground black pepper
3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
Zest of 1 lemon
3 tbsp sea salt
Place the ground beef in a large mixing bowl. In a big frying pan, slowly cook the onion in a little olive oil for about 5 minutes until softened but not colored. Add the onion to the meat - it will give sweetness to the burger. Using a pestle and mortar, bash up the cumin and coriander seeds with a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper until fine and add to the meat (or if using ground spices, just add and skip the pestle and mortar). Then add the Parmesan, mustard, egg and half the breadcrumbs and mix well. If the mixture is too sticky, add a few more breadcrumbs.
Lay some wax paper on a tray or large plate and sprinkle over some of the remaining breadcrumbs. Shape the meat into 8 fat burgers and place these on top of the crumbs on the tray. Sprinkle more crumbs on top and press down gently. The burgers are better if they are chilled before cooking, so put them in the fridge for an hour or so.
Half an hour before you want to cook the burgers, put a large flat baking tray in the oven and turn the heat to 450°F. Parboil your chips (still with their skins on) for about 10 minutes in salted boiling water and drain in a colander. Heat some olive oil in a frying pan, smash the garlic bulb up and chuck in the cloves, then add the chips. Toss in the oil and season with freshly ground black pepper. Transfer the contents of the pan to the preheated tray and cook for 20 to 25 minutes until crisp and golden. Now make your rosemary salt. Remove the leaves from the rosemary and put them in a pestle and mortar with the lemon zest and salt. Bash up to make a green paste, adding more salt if the mixture is too wet. Push this paste through a sieve, and keep to one side until you're ready to serve.
Take your burgers out of the fridge and fry them in a little oil or place on the grill on a medium to high heat for about 8 to 10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the burgers and how you like them, turning occasionally. Serve them on toasted burger buns, with tomato ketchup, and your fat chips sprinkled with the rosemary salt. Other great things to top your burger with are layers of sliced tomatoes, thinly sliced cheese, raw onion rings, lettuce, a grating of fresh horseradish - even a fried egg.
Click here for printable version of The Ultimate Burger and Chips
Firing up the barbecue for the first time this Spring, sitting outdoors enjoying the sunshine and eating these burger and fries I cannot tell you how completely blissful I was. While ketchup is not my condiment of choice when topping my own burger, I took Jamie's suggestion and topped these burgers with thin slices of cheddar that oozed and melted all over the patty, lettuce, ketchup and a bit of prepared horseradish and the combination was perfect. The burgers were moist and juicy and the spices and flavor additions to the meat were wonderful. I felt like I was sitting in a nice restaurant and eating a burger and fries I just paid $20 for.
Oh and those fries? Out of this world! I make homemade oven fries quite often, but I will never go back to my old method after trying these. Parboiling the thick cut fries first allows them to spend less time in the oven on a very high temperature, allowing the outsides to crisp up and the inside to stay soft and pillowy. Just like a deep-fried french fry but without the added fat. I swapped out the rosemary in the rosemary salt for parsley, because it's the herb I had in the fridge. Rosemary is a much stronger tasting herb, but I still LOVED the lemony-grassy salt atop the fries. The fragrance of it just explodes when it hits the hot fries. You can keep the extra salt in a container in the fridge and use it for many other dishes...I just made more fries later in the week :)
Both of these recipes were a 5/5 and deserving of the title "The Ultimate Burger and Chips".
This is also a very inexpensive meal to make. For more frugal meal ideas, check out $5 Dinner Challenge.