National Burger Day is May 28th and the kind folks at ZoOSh who make outstanding dressings and mayonnaise asked me to come up with a burger guaranteed to put a smile on anyone’s face. I think I did it.
When I first moved to Australia more than twenty years ago, I had a lot to get used to. First, when John asked me what I wanted for tea and I said Earl Grey but he meant dinner. Then we went to a pub and he said, ‘Your shout,’ and I looked at him with a very bewildered stare. It was my turn to pay the bar tab. (Actually looking bewildered caused him to pay so my win.)
When we stopped at a fish and chip shop we went in and John ordered his and I asked for a burger and the kind man behind the counter said, “With the lot?” I was totally lost. “Uhhh, I guess so,” I said meekly.
Imagine the look on my face when a burger like this was passed across. “The Lot” turns out to be not only the burger and cheese but tomato, lettuce, mayonnaise, grilled onions, a slice of pineapple, a couple of slices of beetroot, some bacon and a fried egg. Yes, I was flabbergasted and asked how anyone could get their mouth around it.
It turns out, if you squish it all together, you can get a bite of most everything in each bite. (Australians can eat this one without so much as a dribble.) I was fairly new to Australia so I ate mine with a knife and fork – just like I did with the Aussie meat pie. I got way too many eye rolls and realised that I needed to learn to eat like the locals.
I make burgers at home a few times a year and I have some guidelines that ensure I’m able to put a well-cooked, juicy burger on the bun every time:
- Make your own burger buns (my recipe for brioche burger buns is below)
- Buy the right meat – a mixture of 80% lean to 20% fat.
- Don’t muck around with the meat. Don’t make a meatloaf out of it, just lightly form it into a circle larger than the bun and definitely don’t smash it in a press.
- Repeat: Make the burgers bigger than the circumference of the bun as the meat will shrink as it cooks and nobody wants to hunt in the bun for the meat.
- Make it big enough to taste. Paper thin burgers are for fast food joints.
- Poke an indentation in the top (this will be the bottom when you flip) – it will keep the burger flat.
- Toast the buns. That little bit of toasting makes a big difference in taste.
- Salt and pepper the side going on the grill just before you plop it on. Salt and pepper the top just before flipping.
- I never close the grill as I don’t think they cook right with the cover closed. I’d never roast a burger.
- I also never smash the juices out of the burger with the spatula thing while they’re cooking as the burgers end up tasting like cardboard.
- Put them on a hot grill, flip after 5 minutes when just a bit of juice comes to the top indicating turn time, then turn down the grill and cook another 3-4 minutes. Once you’ve flipped, wait one minute before adding cheese.
- Remove from the grill and tent with foil while you toast the buns
Today I served our burgers with home made fries and onion rings and served them with some ZoOSh Garlic Aoili made from free range eggs. This company won my heart by treating humanely the hens who give them their eggs. I probably didn’t need the deep fried goodies on the side but hey, it’s National Burger Day on the 28th and that calls for fries AND onion rings and that might be a rule, I’m just not sure.
Do YOU have a ‘yummy face?’ I definitely do after eating my burger.
ZoOSh also has a line of salad dressings that I’d love to try – the Mango Chilli and Lime sounds really good. I’d also want to use some of their Rock’n Ranch as a raw veggie dip.
My thanks to ZoOSh for not only sponsoring this post but also introducing me to some really good products. “ZoOSh is a trademark of Mondelez International Group used under license.”
Here’s my brioche hamburger bun recipe!
- 1¼ cups milk, warmed (about 43C/110F)
- 2 tablespoons instant yeast
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ⅓ cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 large egg
- 3¼ cups to 3½ cups bread flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg beaten for the egg wash
- In the mixing bowl add the warm milk, the sugar and the yeast. Stir for a few seconds and leave to activate the yeast. If this doesn't happen, you have dud yeast - start over.
- Add in the butter and egg and mix to combine.
- Switch to a dough hook and add in the flour and the salt and knead for about 6 minutes or until the dough is elastic and smooth.
- Place in a greased bowl and leave to rise in a warm place for about 40 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 200C/400F and grease a baking sheet or line with baking paper.
- Punch down dough and dump onto a floured surface or silicone mat (won't need flour for that)
- Cut the dough into 80 gram/3 ounce pieces and shape into balls and place on the baking sheet. Once all are on the sheet, flatten with your fingers.
- Let rise for 30 minutes or so and then brush with the egg wash before placing them into the oven for 20 minutes.
Here’s how I made and stacked my Aussie burger with The Lot.
- 500 grams beef mince 80% lean, 20% fat
- 1 onion sliced and sauteed until translucent
- 3 slices of cheese
- 6 slices of tinned beetroot, patted dry on a piece of paper towel
- 9 slices of pickle
- 3 pieces of lettuce - use your favourite
- 3 large pieces of bacon, cooked crispy
- 3 fried eggs
- 3 slices tinned pineapple
- 6 slices of fresh tomato
- 6 teaspoons ZoOSh Free Range Egg Mayonnaise
- 3 hamburger buns sliced (I made brioche buns, recipe below)
- Slice and grill the onions
- Drain beetroot and pickles
- Fry eggs
- Slice buns in half
- Heat a BBQ grill to hot
- Divide the beef mince into 3 equal portions.
- Gently make 3 balls and lightly press down to flatten. You don't want to smash the beef or it will be tough.
- In the center of each patty, press down with your fingers until you nearly make a hole - this keeps the burger from puffing up in the middle.
- Sprinkle salt and pepper to the bottom side of each patty (the side without the indentation) and toss the seasoned side down on the hot grill and leave it there for about 5 minutes (every grill is different)
- Sprinkle salt and pepper and flip each burger and cook for 3-4 more minutes.
- After a minute or so, add the cheese to each burger.
- Remove from the grill and place on a plate and tent with foil.
- Toast the buns until golden brown
- On a plate place the bottom bun then add
- burger and cheese
- fried egg
- slices beetroot
- fried onions
- pineapple slice
- tomato slices
- slices of pickle
- Then spread the top bun with the mayonnaise and it's ready to serve.