Beef Up Your Burgers

So it’s that time of year again when we all hope for the sun; where we can grab those shorts and flip flops and wait for the few days of the ‘great’ British summer before the dreary rain returns to us once more. Well what better way to make the most of it than with the nation’s favourite: a barbeque! The first thing on everyone’s shopping list are always the burgers, but before you go and buy any I’m going to show you a great way to make your own, which I promise will taste far better.

Makes: 4 large burgers or 6 medium burgers
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes (BBQ) or 20-30 minutes (Oven)

What you’ll need
(serves 2)

300 grams minced beef
300 grams minced pork
1 medium sized egg
2 slices of white bread
Salt and pepper

Optional Ingredients

Chorizo (the uncooked type)


The first thing to do is toast the bread for a couple of minutes – this makes it much easier to make into breadcrumbs later. Once toasted, cut off the crusts and set aside to cool.

While the toast is cooling, add the minced beef and minced pork to a bowl, and mix until the beef and pork are combined. The addition of the minced pork really works well as it gives a much juicier burger than beef alone. Once these are combined together, add the egg, which will help to bind the burgers while they are cooking, and a pinch of salt and pepper for flavouring.

At this point you need to make your breadcrumbs – if you have the luxury of a blender just cut your toast into pieces that will fit in and blitz it all up. If not you will have to do it the old fashioned way, with a cheese grater, which takes a little longer, but will still give you breadcrumbs. Once done, you can add your breadcrumbs to the meat a little at a time until the mix starts to hold itself together, forming a large ball in the centre of the bowl. Once the mix is at this consistency, you can stop adding the breadcrumbs.

It is at this point that you can play around with the mixture to get a burger perfect for you. If you’d rather not, that’s fine – just mould them into shape and cook them as they are, and they still taste great. Personally I like to add a few different things to my burgers; I once had a spare piece of Parmesan at the bottom of my fridge, so I grated it and added it to the mix, which gave them some great flavour and is definitely worth a go.

Another option is to add some chorizo to the mix. If you decide to do this you need to use the uncooked variety; if you use the ready to eat dried chorizo, there will be hard chunks in the burger, which doesn’t make for a very pleasant eating experience. The best way to add the chorizo is to first cut it in half, then remove the meat and discard the outer skin, finally add the meat to the mix – it’s a simple way of giving your burgers a massive injection of flavour. However, my favourite addition is to squash a piece of Mozzarella cheese into the centre of the burger when moulding it into shape. The cheese helps give a really moist burger, which when bitten into oozes creamy Mozzarella, so I’d definitely recommend you give this a go!

Once you have moulded your burgers into shape, place on the BBQ and cook for around five minutes on each side – make sure you don’t have the BBQ too hot though, or you’ll burn the outside of the burgers and not cook them all the way through. If you’re unsure whether they’re cooked, cut into the centre of one of your burgers and check if there’s a pink colouring to them. If so, return them to the BBQ for another couple of minutes. Alternatively, if the weather isn’t good enough for a BBQ (which is highly likely in our lovely grey country), you can cook them in the oven on a baking tray for 20-30 minutes – at 200°C turning the burgers once halfway through cooking. Enjoy!

Miles Harrison


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