HOW TO CREATE THE PERFECT BURGER, AND THE ART OF CLOSHING
More fat means more flavour, and getting the right ratio of meat to fat into a burger is easy if you know how. You need a patty that has at least 20 per cent fat. We use chuck steak (braising steak) and mince it on a medium-coarse blade so it has structure on bite-through. Closhing will help melt all the flavours of your burger together and is easy to do at home on the grill. All you need is a large frying pan and a metal dome, such as an upturned metal mixing bowl, to help create a steamy environment.
Makes 4 BURGERS
600g chuck steak with about 20 percent fat content, minced on medium-coarse blade
300g smoked streaky bacon, minced on fine blade
25ml Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp salted butter, plus extra for buttering the buns
1 large white onion, sliced into rounds
4 tsps of your favourite homemade or readymade BBQ sauce
8 slices burger cheese
8 slices streaky bacon, peppered
4 large glazed unsweetened brioche or potato buns, sliced in half and very lightly buttered
4 tsp mayonnaise
2 pickled cucumbers sliced into rounds
4 tsp yellow American mustard
Flaked sea salt and freshly ground
1. Place the steak, bacon and Worcestershire sauce in a bowl and mix well with your hands. Form into four patties and place them on a tray lined with a sheet of greaseproof paper. Place the patties in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up.
2. Melt the butter in a frying pan over a low heat. Add all except four of the onion slices and fry until golden brown. Set aside on kitchen paper to drain the fat off. Pull the burger patties out of the fridge and leave them to rest until they reach room temperature. Get that barbecue grill ready!
3. Before you grill the burger patties, push your thumb into the middle of each one to create a deep dimple (but be careful not to create a hole). This will help the patties to cook evenly. Season liberally with salt and pepper and place them on the grill.
4. Grill each patty for 2–3 minutes on each side, or until they are cooked to medium. After you have flipped the patties, place a teaspoon of BBQ sauce on the cooked side and top each patty with two cheese slices. Place the peppered bacon slices on the grill, and cook until crispy.
5. Meanwhile, place your griddle or frying pan directly over the heat of the barbecue and let it heat through fully. Toast each of the burger bun halves on the grill for 1 minute or so. Spread the bottom buns with a teaspoon of mayonnaise, top with a thin slice of raw onion and a few slices of pickled cucumbers. Place the bottoms on serving plates.
6. Spread a teaspoon of mustard on the top halves of the buns and set the top halves aside. Turn over the bacon and crisp the other side. Once ready, place two rashers on each patty, over the cheese. Now it’s time to build the burgers and closh!
7. Place a tablespoon of fried onions on each patty over the bacon, then place the top half of the bun on top of each patty. With a spatula, pick up the patty from the grill and place in the middle of the hot frying pan, ensuring you leave enough space on the outside of the pan to place the metal mixing bowl in the pan without touching the burger patties. Add a few tablespoons of water to the frying pan, and cover with the mixing bowl, creating a steamy environment to help melt the cheese and add moisture to the bun top. After about 15 seconds, remove the mixing bowl (without burning yourself!) and place the bun tops on the bottom buns on the serving plates. Allow the burgers to rest for a few minutes, then serve.
TIP: Bun choice is personal, but avoid anything with an overly chewy crumb or tough crust. We like unsweetened brioche or potato buns. Pretzel rolls are great too, but you will need to steam them using the closhing method.
Recipe from LET THERE BE MEAT: The Ultimate Barbecue Bible by James Douglas & Scott Munro, published by Orion (hardback: £25, ebook: £12.99)
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