A friend of mine is a brilliant cook and knowledgeable foodie, who has an advanced palate and understanding of flavour.  He frequently challenges my work, eats my food and helps me be better at what I do.  He has been talking about how he makes his burgers and I was a little sceptical about some of the ingredients.  Fortunately I was afforded the opportunity to check this out, play in the kitchen with him, and experiment with the mincing of the meat.

He wanted to try and cut up the meat very finely, and see if the texture would add value.

Still feeling slightly unsure, I was keen to try out my hand mincer which I dug out and had never been used before, just in case the chopped version didn’t work.

So I bought a 650gm of ribeye steak (A grade, grain fed and aged). Laurence cut it in half.  He chopped up the one half very finely, and I minced the other half in the mincer. So much fun! I’ve got big plans for this gadget in the future.

debut mince making
minced on the left, chopped on the right

After you have your mince, or just bought some nice mince you need the following to make 4 large patties (65ogms meat)

  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp smoked chilli flakes (or normal chilli flakes)
  • 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp maldon salt (we used smoked)

All of the above go in the pestle and mortar and get ground up.

fantastic combination of spices

The amount of spice is dependent on the amount of meat – so adjust accordingly.

Puree half a large red onion with one clove of garlic. This adds to the flavour as well as binds the meat together. No egg, no bread, just pure quality beef and fantastic spices.

Add the spices and the onion/ garlic mix to the meat as well as:

  • a splash of smoked Tabasco (WHAT a stunning product, adding a smokey BBQ vibe and a bit of heat)
  • a splash of Worcestershire sauce (always a winner)
  • a few drops of sesame oil (this adds depth and a wonderful smell which kind of lingered around for a long whole)

Then smush all together with your hands.

Mould into 4 nice big fat burger patties.

Heat a griddle pan, brush the patties with olive oil and cook, for about 3 minutes per side, or until done to preference.

burgers grilled with toasted buns

The burgers and the buns are the basic components. The build is the other. I like to toast the rolls face down on a dry, hot griddle pan. Laurence likes fresh basil leaves, finely sliced pickled onions, a bit of cheese (either mature cheddar or a nice blue) and tomato sauce. So this is how we had them, and they were amazing. The pungent fresh basil blending in with the spiky, but yet subtle pickled onion, surprised me in its simple awesomeness.

Just do what you like here, sliced tomato, gherkin, lettuce, mustard etc.

On the comparison between the chopped vs. the minced, the chopped was the winner.  Both had the same flavour and were very juicy, but the texture of the meat was far superior.

chopped rib-eye steak to the left vs minced to the right

Burgers are right up there amongst my favourite food and to take the time and effort to make them like this is well worth it for me.  If you factor in the cost of the steak and all the other bits, you are looking at around  R20 per burger.  So gourmet, so tasty, so succulent – this is a real winner.  

Laurence took this pic with my camera, on a summers day in winter under the frangipane

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21 Comments

  1. Laurence

    Loved my time in the kitchen with you – and the taste is still lingering – mmm

  2. Greg de Klerk

    Damn. Those do look good! Who would have thought I would dream of hamburgers for breakfast!

  3. No burger would be complete without coriander!!! Interesting experiment..chopped or minced?
    I have never thought of doing that!!

  4. Sounds amazing…. wow! Interesting re the chopped vs minced. x

  5. drizzleanddip

    The texture is much more delicious, but the meat was very tender and cut very finely. The sesame oil added such a nice depth which was the most interesting part for me

  6. Looks absolutely stunning, and I don’t even have to go out and buy a mincer!

  7. drizzleanddip

    I agree coriander a total must!

  8. I’d vote for the chopped, too. You do want some nice texture to sink your teeth into. Otherwise, you might as well just have meatloaf. 😉

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  10. Ok I knew i shouldn’t have popped past, the burgers look so edible, i am almost licking my screen, nice one, i usually put some cinnamon in mine but am def gonna try the coriander, thanks and yum

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  13. drizzleanddip

    Thanks Sophia, I may just do that. Love your blog, got stuck on the NYT choc chip recipe thread and am so going to be baking those. Love the idea of the salt. S

  14. Kelly Leiva

    Funny thats how you made them, I did like the looks of the ground beef in my butchers today so I did the very same thing with different spices, I used parsley, garlic and red salt with some freshly ground pepper and topped them with carmelized onions, mushrooms, garlic and a splash of cognac, atop fresh spinach and sbrinz cheese! An amazing burger:)

  15. drizzleanddip

    Wow Kelly your burger sounds amazing!

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  19. Marcia Michalitsianou

    Oh drroooollll !! Now I REALLY want a chopped rib-eye beef burger. All I need, is find a rib-eye steak on a Greek Island !! Thanks, it looks fantastic.

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