A great burger is one of life’s great pleasure’s. I love eating with my hands. I love to feel the food, to taste the food, to have full control over how wide I can open my mouth and stuff that great burger in – not so classy? Please be kind and hold all judgement on my eating style until you cook this burger pleeeaaase. For me, a burger is also one of the nicest and simplest meals on a warm summers night and even better enjoyed with a table of friends. Burgers offer a very relaxed and easy way to entertain.
So what seperates a burger from being, “that was truly awful” (and we’ve all had that burger I am sure) to “it’s was okay” and then there is the “oh my word – amazing and I cannot wait to do that again and again and again”? Perhaps I’ll rent ‘When Harry met Sally’ again sometime soon – was it a Wagyu burger she was eating? As much as I’m a girl who loves a crunchy soft bun and all of the glorious burger accompaniments, I’m here to tell you that for a great burger, it all comes down to the patty itself. The meat, well, it has to be a little bit fatty and a whole lot flavoursome. This summer, I have played around a lot to get burger perfection and I declare that I am elated with my final take – it takes me to burger heaven and well…….we all like to go there from time to time! So what meat do I use for my patty? I use wagyu. Wagyu (和牛, which literally translates to Japanese cow, refers to several breeds of cattle who are genetically predisposed to intense marbling and to producing a high percentage of unsaturated fat. Wagyu beef is high quality eating. It has a naturally enhanced flavour, tenderness and juiciness. The increased marbling also improves the ratio of monounsaturated fats to saturated fats. More and more good butchers are stocking wagyu beef these days. Wagyu does cost a little bit more but that first bite will be all you need to assure you that you got great beef bang for your buck (try chanting “great beef bang for my buck” 10 times whilst whoofing down your Wagyu burger – you see, arent you glad you held back on your judgement of my eating style earlier? !
If you do cook this (and I truly hope that you do), I’d love to hear from you and I hope you enjoy every whopping sweet mouthful!
The Wagyu beef burger
250g (approx) of caramelised onions – you will get this quantity from caramelising 2-3 onions
400 g wagyu, coarsely minced (your butcher will likely be happy to mince it for you)
50 g dried fine breadcrumbs (don’t use from a packet if you can help it. Making fresh breadcrumbs is a sinch and makes a big difference here)
1 egg, lightly whisked
1 tbspn grapeseed oil or olive oil
4 thin slices of vintage cheddar
4 Soft burger bun rolls (Phillipa’s bakery make a lovely one simply sold as ‘Soft roll’ but I am also very partial to their campagnard roll as pictured)
Greenery – baby cos or iceberg are my preference
Relish Mama beetroot and balsamic Relish (or substitute for a good quality Relish of your choice)
Place the caramelised onions in a bowl and add the wagyu mince, breadcrumbs and egg. Mix with your hands to combine. Season to taste. Mould into 4 patties, place on a tray, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 220o C. Heat grapeseed oil in an ovenproof frying pan and sear burgers over medium heat until browned (1-2 minutes each side). Transfer to oven and cook for 2 minutes, then top each patty with a slice of cheese slice and cook until cheese just melts (1-2 minutes). Meanwhile, preheat a grill on high heat and lightly toast the cut-side of the soft burger buns / rolls and then spread with mayonnaise whilst still warm. Top bun bottoms with lettuce, followed by the wagyu patty , caramelised onion and beetroot relish. Add the top and serve straight away, preferably with some sunshine and an icy cold glass of your favourite liquid. Enjoy!