© David Loftus
a cracking burger
There’s nothing better than a homemade burger. Everyone loves them, they’re easy to make and, if made with quality, fresh ingredients (and not over laden with greasy stuff), they certainly don’t have to be unhealthy, especially if served with a salad. Once you’ve mastered this tasty basic recipe, you can make it your own with different herbs, spices and toppings. The sky’s the limit – that’s why cooking is so exciting.
To make your burger:
1. Wrap the crackers in a tea towel and smash up until fine, breaking up any big bits with your hands, and put them into a large bowl.
2. Finely chop the parsley, including the stalks. Add the parsley, mustard and minced beef to the bowl. Crack in the egg and add a good pinch of salt and pepper.
3. With clean hands, scrunch and mix everything up well. Divide into 6 and pat and mould each piece into a roundish shape about 2cm thick. Drizzle the burgers with oil, put on a plate, cover and place in the fridge until needed (this helps them to firm up).
To cook your burger:
4. Preheat a large griddle or frying pan for about 4 minutes on a high heat. Turn the heat down to medium.
5. Place the burgers on the griddle or in the pan and use a spatula to lightly press down on them, making sure the burger is in full contact. Cook them to your liking for 3 or 4 minutes on each side – you may need to cook them in two batches.
To serve your burger:
6. Wash and dry a few small lettuce leaves, tearing up the larger ones. Slice the tomatoes. Peel and finely slice the red onion. Slice the gherkins lengthways as finely
as you can. Place all this on a platter and put in the middle of the table with plates, cutlery, ketchup and drinks.
7. Remove your burgers to another plate and carefully wipe your pan or griddle clean with kitchen paper.
8. Halve your burger buns and lightly toast them on the griddle or in the pan. Also great with a chopped salad.
Adapted from Jamie's Ministry of Food
• 12 Jacob's cream crackers
• 8 sprigs of fresh flat-leaf parsley
• 2 heaped teaspoons Dijon mustard 500g good-quality minced beef
• 1 large egg, preferably free-range or organic • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• olive oil
• 1 cos or round lettuce
• 3 tomatoes
• 1 red onion
• 3 or 4 gherkins
• 6 burger buns
optional: 6 slices of Cheddar cheese
Griddle or frying pan