Cook a classic beef burger from scratch - Recipe & Wine Pairing
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Serves four people
Everybody loves a burger, right? Meaty, savoury, flavoursome… they are the perfect taste of summer days, whether cooked in the kitchen or grilled on a barbeque.
The possibilities of what to do with a burger are more or less endless, too; neverending variations on sauces, salads, cheeses and pickles get piled on and stuffed between pillowy buns, but the star attraction is, and should always be, the meat patty that lies within.
Making your own tasty burgers is as easy or as complicated as you want it to be, but this simple, straightforward and superb recipe is all you need to get started. Once mastered, you can start experimenting with spices and condiments, and before long, you’ll never buy your burgers from the supermarket again.
What you’ll need:
- Approximately 800 grams of good quality chuck steak, with the fat trimmed off and any hard gristle removed
- 50 grams of finely diced bone marrow
- Flakey sea salt
- And all your favourite burger essentials: like brioche bun, tomatoes, mayo, mustard, cheese and whatever else tickles your pickle.
You'll need to get the meat prepared. Many chefs prefer to freeze the meat first, in order to be cut evenly and easily. You should, at the very least, handle it as straight out of the fridge.
Push the meat through a mincer (you can ask your butcher to do this for you) or chop it as finely as possible by hand with a good, heavy knife. It should be of a consistency which sticks together when you handle it and squeeze into shape.
Season with the sea salt, and mix in the chopped bone marrow. Some black pepper never goes amiss in a burger.
Separate the mix into four even mounds, and flatten and shape to form firm patties. They should be between 2.5 and 3 centimetres thick and well packed together to stop them from separating in the pan.
Place the burgers on a hot, non-stick pan, or onto your barbeque. There’s no need to use oil here, as the fat will render unctuously out of your burgers. You’ll want to cook them for four minutes on one side (don’t move them about too much), and then flip them and cook for three minutes on the other for a rare burger, four minutes for medium. They’ll have a lovely dark sear and a good crust on them.
When they’re done enough for your liking, leave them to rest for three or four minutes - this will draw back in all those lovely meat and marrow juices. When well rested, it’s time to stick them into a bun and get creative with your toppings!
Wine pairing for beef burgers
Wine and burgers - it’s a great outdoor eating combination that allows for plenty of experimentation.
Bear in mind, though, that burgers are generally accompanied by all sorts of side dishes which range from vinegary pickles to spicy sauces and crisp, fresh salads and tomatoes, so there’s a lot to take into consideration when choosing a good wine to pair with.
What you want is a robust wine which is at once full of deep, savoury flavours, while still being easy to drink and good in the sunshine. Possibly the best pairing for a classic beef burger would be a Shiraz. Tannic and aromatic enough to stand up to all those flavours, while the smoky and spicy notes which characterise this versatile red wine will complement the charred meat beautifully.
And there you have it; the recipe for cooker beef burgers from scratch and the perfect wine pairing.