Beer wise we’re living in good times, as a home brewer your most likely into your craft beers as I am. The explosion of the craft beer scene over the last decade or so has resulted in beer being paired with just about every food you can think of. Chocolate, cheese, seafood, pasta, fruits, the list is endless…….
I’ve fallen for the American influence, they are, after all pioneer’s of the craft beer scene. As my taste in beer has changed from a Carlton Draught to an interestingly hopped IPA or luscious Imperial Stout, so has grown my taste in burgers from the typical Aussie with the lot (not that there’s anything wrong with the Aussie burger) to something a little more interesting and refined. I’ve had some amazing burgers in the States and most recently in some great gourmet burger places in Sydney, and I’ve taken note!
There are only 2 rules you should abide by when making burgers in my option….
(1) Like any chef will tell you, use the best quality ingredients you can get.
(2) This may be hard for you, but trust me! Move away from the more is better “Aussie with the lot” mindset. The best burgers I’ve ever had only have 3-5 toppings. A few impressive toppings is so much tastier, refined and easier to eat than trying to fit half the crap in your fridge in between those buns.
So here’s my recipe for you- The Onebedroombrewer Burger! Serves 4
I’ve taken elements from some amazing burgers and developed this recipe myself…
It pairs with most lighter coloured beer, but exceptionally well with an IPA…
4 Buns- Brioche Buns are my favourite, a tad sweet and hold there form better than your average hamburger bun, and they sell them now at Baker’s Delight. SUB- if you don’t like Brioche Buns just whatever you like, but make sure you get them fresh from a bakery, there’s nothing worse than a dry stale bun.
Beef burger- salt, pepper, any type cooking oil, 500g minced beef- Simple, minced beef preferably from a good butcher, but from the supermarket will do. Sorry, for this ingredient there is no substitute!
Coleslaw- 1/4 cabbage, 1 carrot (optional), mayonnaise, horseradish cream- if you’ve never made coleslaw yourself, it’s dead easy. Ready made coleslaw is often soft and watery, making it fresh guarantees that little bit of crunch from the cabbage, you can make it too your tasting and once you have the mayonnaise and horseradish cream, in the long run, so much cheaper to make yourself. SUB- this is the one element of the burger with crunch, so any fresh lettuce if your not keen on coleslaw.
Pineapple Jam- small tin pineapple in juice, brown sugar, chilli sauce (optional)- ok, stay with me now, keep open minded, jam on a burger? It’s not overly sweet and more like a relish, it plays nicely against the slightly sour and creamy coleslaw, if you like a bit of heat add your favourite chilli sauce. SUB- if your not keen on pineapple swap out the tin of pineapple for an onion and 1/2 cup water- onion jam- just brown off the onion first in some butter or oil before adding the water and sugar.
BBQ Sauce & Cheese- the ingredients so far are already great flavours, but just a few months ago I came across this Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce, I’ve tried many a BBQ sauce in my time, and as far as store bought sauce goes this is the bomb! Smoky, sweet, tad sour, delicious (its available at Woolworths). SUB- your favourite tomato, BBQ sauce or relish. Below is also my favourite cheese, it’s pretty strong and sharp, but any cheddar or tasty cheese will do.
Optional Extras- Bacon….mmmmm- next time, pickles, onion (or if you make onion jam, pineapple). Rememberer though, limit the topping, don’t add all of these, restraint!
(1) Make the Pineapple Jam- Add the tin of pineapple (including juice), 3 tablespoons of brown sugar, and chilli sauce if you like…..to your tasting into a small saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat. Mash up the pineapple a bit, and stir more constantly as the liquid reduces, its ok if it boils a little crazy, but be careful towards the end not all the liquid is gone and it burns. It should take about 15 minutes, when you have something resembling jam, your done! Leave aside to cool, you can even make the day before use.
(2) Make the Coleslaw- Discard a couple of the outer leaves of the cabbage, dice it up to your liking, I like it a little chunky, if you prefer closer to store bought, chop it up fine. Give the diced cabbage a rinse with cold water in a strainer, drain, and pat with paper towel so it’s mostly dry. Grate in the carrot, add 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon of horseradish cream, mix together, done! You can adjust the levels of mayonnaise/horseradish cream it you want more creamier or more kick, but don’t add salt, it will draw moisture from the cabbage making you coleslaw watery.
(3) Cook the burger patties- You don’t need to fire up the BBQ, if I can make a good burger on my 1970’s hotplate….anyone can do it! Divide your mince into the size you want you patties to be (500g should make 4) . If you like your burgers medium rare like me, make your patties closer to the shape of a ball (1). If you prefer cooked all the way through, make it flatter like a pancake (2).
Add a few shakes of salt sand pepper, rub a little oil over them (I used olive oil), and your good to go! Breadcrumbs, egg, etc, forget about it, this is the way a burger should be, just beef, don’t worry it will keep together. Cook you burgers in a fry-pan, preferably non-stick, over a medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes on one side. If there’s room in the fry-pan you can toast the inside of your buns at the same time, just press the inside of the bun down in the fry-pan for 20-30 seconds. After 3-4 minutes, flip your burgers and add some cheese on top, cover with a lid an d cook for around 2 mins, or until cheese melts, done!
(4) Assemble your burgers and serve- Cover the bottom of your bun with the Pineapple Jam, add the burger, BBQ sauce, top with the coleslaw, Boom! Enjoy!
A couple of beer recipes are coming soon! I strive to bring you quality advice, so I want things perfect before I share.
I’m off to China for a few weeks, but will back blogging on my return.
Until then, happy brewing!