Monday, August 11, 2014

Big Beef Burgers

When my kids were much younger, they all seemed to go through a phase where they didn't like to see anything in or on their burgers. I needed to add flavour to them somehow so came up with this easy recipe using my mother's trick of including soy sauce to enhance the umami or savoury flavour of the meat without adding a lot of ingredients. Many years and evolved palates later, I'm still making them!

Big Beef Burgers
makes 4 burgers

500g/1 lb lean ground beef
1/2 tsp kosher salt*
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp sodium-reduced soy sauce
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 large egg
2 tbsp plain dry breadcrumbs
* reduce this amount if using regular soy sauce

Preheat your grill/barbecue on high heat or set your oven to broil.

Put all ingredients into a medium bowl. Mix together, preferably with your hands, until just combined. Divide into 4 equal portions and form each into a rough ball. Press each ball into a disc. You can make the patties as thick or thin as you like...I make mine slightly larger than the bun they'll be served on so this batch was a little less than 2cm thick, and 13cm across (for a 10cm bun). Press down in the centre to make an indentation. They can be covered and refrigerated for several hours at this point, just remember to bring them to room temperature (about one hour) before cooking.
ground beef
Over-mixing leads to tough burgers
shaped meat ball
These are about the size of a tennis ball
shaped patty
The burgers will inflate as they cook - the depression ensures a flat burger
To grill the burgers, place the patties on the grill, reduce the heat to medium-high and cook for 4-5 minutes or until you see some juices collecting on the surface of the burgers. Flip the burgers (do this only once!), and continue cooking 3-5 minutes or until juices run clear. Transfer them to a plate and let rest 5 minutes before serving.

To broil the burgers, place the patties on a broiling tray and put them in the oven on a rack in the highest position. Cook for 5 minutes or until nicely browned and crusty and juices start to appear on the top. Flip the burgers and broil for an additional 2-3 minutes until juices run clear. Transfer them to a plate and let rest 5 minutes before serving.

Cooking time will vary with thickness so do check the centre to make sure no pink remains. If using store bought ground meat, the burgers should be cooked until well done.
Serve with toppings of your choice on your favourite bun. Or try them with these Big Burger Buns. This Grated Carrot Salad makes the perfect side. Enjoy!

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