Best burgers


It’s been a busy week so I’m not going to babble on – I’m just going to tell you about this brilliant burger recipe (similar to Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Bloody Mary burgers in River Cottage Everyday).

There’s nothing like a good burger and I always make my own because then you know exactly what you’re eating (not that I have anything against eating horse but I’d rather choose to do so). You do need decent quality steak mince though, preferably from a good local butcher.

If you’re not from Nottingham then you can skip this part because this is where I do a shameless plug for my two favourite local butchers. But this is only so that plenty of people use them and they don’t close down.

Coates Traditional Butchers – Bramcote Lane, Wollaton

Meat 4 U (don’t be put off by the terrible name) – The Square, Beeston


Makes 6-8 large burgers

  • 1 kg best steak mince
  • ½ onion grated
  • A good handful of breadcrumbs (these produce a less dense burger with a softer texture but if you don’t have any to hand it won’t hurt to leave them out)
  • 1½ tablespoons of tomato puree
  • 2 teaspoons of strong horseradish sauce
  • ½ teaspoon of celery seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 6-12 dashes of tabasco sauce (to your own personal taste)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Black pepper to taste

Take a large mixing bowl and add in all of the above ingredients. With your hands mix together, scrunching up the ingredients until they are evenly distributed. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave for at least 30 minutes so that the flavours mingle.

Divide the mixture into 6 – 8 portions (depending on the size of burger you want) and with your hands mold into burger shapes about 1 ½ cm thick. If you press the mix down inside a large circular pastry cutter you get a nice uniform shape but I don’t worry too much about this.

Ideally these should be cooked on the barbecue but it’s not quite the weather for that yet, so set your grill to its highest setting and cook the burgers for between 4 and 10 minutes on each side. I like them pretty well done (to recreate that charcoal barbecue like taste) so I cook for 10 minutes each side (as you can tell by the photo). You can reduce the time if you like them rarer (and this is fine as long as your mince is good quality) to 4 minutes on each side.

How you serve your burger is up to you, but for me it has to be a soft white cob with polish ketchup, mustard and gherkin.

Note: I like to make plenty of these as they are great sliced thinly the next day and eaten cold in a sandwich. This is a bit like a beef version of haslet and is delicious with mustard and mayonnaise.


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