© David Loftus
burgers & sliders
I couldn’t possibly leave the great American burger out of this book. Sadly, the classic burger has gone from humble beginnings (as something brought over by German immigrants) to becoming a symbol of fast food and junk. But when made at home with quality
ingredients, it’s an absolute joy. So, introducing my great American burger, and its little cousin, the “slider,” or mini burger . . . Have fun with your toppings and flavor combos and enjoy.
You can make these burgers or sliders in an oven at full whack, on the grill, or in a hot pan. If you’re using the oven or grill, preheat it now.
Put a splash of olive oil into a large frying pan on a low heat and add your chopped onions. Fry for 10 minutes or until the onions have softened, then put to one side and let cool completely. Blitz your bread in a food processor until you get a fine consistency. Oil a clean sheet pan and put aside. Put the cooled onions into a large bowl with the rest of the burger ingredients. Use clean hands to scrunch the mixture together really well, then divide into 6 equal balls for burgers and 18 equal balls for sliders. Wet your hands and roll the balls into burger-shaped patties about ¾ inch thick. Put your burgers or sliders on the oiled sheet pan and pat with a little olive oil. Cover them with plastic wrap and put the pan into the refrigerator for at least an hour, or until the patties firm up. This is a good time to make your spicy mayo, so put all the ingredients into a bowl, mix well, and put to one side.
If using a frying pan or grill pan, put it on a high heat now and let it get really hot. However you decide to cook your burgers, they’ll want around 3 or 4 minutes per side – you may have to cook them in batches if your pan isn’t big enough. When your burgers or sliders are nearly cooked on one side, add the slices of bacon – whichever way you’re cooking
them – then flip the burgers and cook the bacon until golden and crisp.
When the burgers are cooked to your liking and it’s all looking really good, halve your burger buns and warm them through. Put the bacon on a plate lined with paper towels to drain.
When everything comes together pop your burgers or sliders onto their buns, add all your lovely toppings and your spicy mayo (you know how to put a burger together!), then tuck in with a lovely fresh salad and baked potatoes or potato wedges.
For the burger mix:
• olive oil
• 2 medium red onions, peeled
and finely chopped
• 4 slices of bread, crusts removed
• 1¼ lbs good-quality lean ground beef
• 1 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1 heaped teaspoon freshly
ground black pepper
• 1 large egg, preferably free-range
or organic, beaten
• a handful of freshly grated
For the spicy mayo:
• 4 teaspoons mayonnaise
• 1 teaspoon ketchup
• a good pinch of smoked paprika
or cayenne pepper
• juice of ½ lemon
• 12 slices of smoked bacon, the
best quality you can afford
• 6 large or 8 small burger buns
• 1 butterhead lettuce, leaves
washed and spun dry
• 4 tomatoes, sliced
• 6 gherkins, sliced
• a few pickled chiles