Onions and bread crumbs in the patty make this hamburger reminiscent of a meat loaf. The spicy mayo is so good, you might want to double the batch.

Category : Summer Pairings

Serves 6

Olive Oil
2 medium red onions, peeled and finely chopped
4 slices of bread, crusts removed
1 1/4 pounds-quality lean ground beef
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 heaped teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 large egg, preferably free-range or organic, beaten
A handful of freshly grated Parmesan cheese

4 teaspoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon ketchup
A good pinch of smoked paprika or cayenne pepper
Juice of 1/2 lemon

12 slices of smoked bacon, the best quality you can afford
6 large or 8 small burger buns
1 butterhead lettuce, leaves washed and spun dry
4 tomatoes, sliced
6 gherkins, sliced
A few pickled chiles

I couldn’t possibly leave the great American burger out of this book. Sadly, the classic burger has gone from humble beginnings (as something brought over by German immigrants) to becoming a symbol of fast food and junk. But when made at home with quality ingredients, it’s an absolute joy. So, introducing my great American burger, and its little cousin, the “slider”, or mini burger…

You can make these burgers or sliders in an oven at full whack, on the grill, or in a hot pan. If you’re using the oven or grill, preheat it now.

Put a splash of olive oil into a large frying pan on a low heat and add your chopped onions. Fry for 10 minutes, or until the onions have softened, then put to one side and let cool completely. Blitz your bread in a food processor until you get a fine consistency. Oil a clean sheet pan and put aside. Put the cooled onions into a large bowl with the rest of the burger ingredients. Use clean hands to scrunch the mixture together, then divide into 6 equal balls for burgers and 18 equal balls for sliders. Wet your hands and roll the balls into burger-shaped patties about 3/4 inch thick. Put your burgers or sliders on the oiled sheet pan and pat with a little olive oil. Cover with plastic wrap and put the pan into the refrigerator for at least an hour, or until the patties firm up. This is a good time to make your spicy mayo, so put all the ingredients into a bowl, mix well, and put to one side.

If using a frying pan or grill pan, put it on high heat now and let it get really hot. However you decide to cook your burgers, they’ll want around 3 or 4 minutes per side-you may have to cook them in batches if your pan isn’t big enough. When your burgers or sliders are nearly cooked on one side, add the slices of bacon-whichever way you’re cooking them-then flip the burgers and cook the bacon until golden and crisp. When the burgers are cooked to your liking and it’s all looking really good, halve your burger buns and warm them through. Put the bacon on a plate lined with paper towels to drain.

When everything comes together pop your burgers or sliders onto their buns, add all your lovely toppings and your spicy mayo (you know how to put a bun together!), then tuck in with a lovely fresh salad and baked potatoes or potato wedges.

Wine Pairings
2010 Tempranillo