Remember when you got hamburgers from the corner fish & chip shop? Remember when they were a massive handful of bread roll, beef patty, salad, bacon, cheese and onion that you struggled to get your mouth around? And the flavour! …. Beats the pants off those poor relations that the fast food chains churn out.
This recipe recreates the hamburger experience of my childhood and teenage years, but with a healthy spin. And yes, there’s still bacon….
500g lean beef mince
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tbs soy sauce
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
A few drops of Tabasco sauce
6 lean short cut rashers of bacon
1 medium onion, extra, sliced
1 tbs olive oil
6 multigrain rolls
Tomato or BBQ sauce
Place mince, chopped onion, sauces and egg into a large bowl and mix well with your hands. You can use a spoon, but it’s not as effective, so don’t be squeamish… Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and with wet hands, shape into balls, then flatten into patties. Place on a plate, cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for at least half an hour. (You can skip this step if you’re in a rush, but they stick together better if they sit in the fridge for a while).
Heat a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat and when hot, add the olive oil. Use an egg-lifter to spread the oil across the pan surface, then add the beef patties, flattening them to about 1.5cm thickness and cook until done, turning once. Remove to a plate and keep warm.
Add the bacon and onion to the pan and cook until bacon is beginning to crisp and onion is browned.
While the bacon and onion are cooking, cut the rolls in half horizontally and lightly toast the insides under a griller.
Assemble burgers – place lettuce and tomato on the base of a roll, add a beef patty, slice of bacon, fried onion and BBQ sauce, then the top half of the roll and you’re all set. Serve with extra salad.
I made mine (pictured) with two beef patties, as I was short on calories for the day, but stats for an open burger with one patty and only half a roll are:
My family prefer their beef patties with extra carbs, so I take a couple of slices of wholemeal bread and process it into breadcrumbs in my food processor. Stale bread works best, but if you only have fresh, you can lightly toast it, then let it cool completely before processing. Then just combine the breadcrumbs with the raw meat mixture. I remove my share before adding the breadcrumbs, to keep my meal balanced.
Note: The mix sticks together better with the bread in it. If making the breadless version, don’t turn the burgers more than once – the less handling there is, the less likely they are to fall apart.
One or two chopped red chillies in the mix adds a nice kick too, but if you’re serving this to kids, you might want to leave those out.
Of course, you can add anything you like to your finished burger – fried (or poached) eggs are popular with my men-folk, as are cheese slices, and sliced canned beetroot is an Aussie classic. Just remember that everything you add contributes to the overall calorie count.