louie and gennaro’s ‘ultimate’ cheeseburgers
When you’re buying your chuck, don’t go for the lean variety – you want it to have a bit of fat as this will keep the burgers lovely and juicy as they cook. You’re not adding anything to the meat so make you work it well to create lovely patty shapes. Ask your butcher to mince the steak for you or just pulse it a few times in a food processor.
Put a pan on a high heat and add a lug of olive oil. Once hot, add the onion, turn the heat down to low and cook, stirring often, for 30 to 40 minutes, or until soft and sticky.
To make the flavoured mayo, simply empty the mayo into a bowl and whisk with the gentleman’s relish. Have a taste and add a squeeze or two of lemon juice.
Put a griddle pan or large frying pan on a high heat to get nice and hot. Divide the minced steak into 4 portions, then pat and shape each portion into a burger patty, about 2cm thick. Drizzle the burgers with a little olive oil then add to the hot griddle or frying pan. Turn the heat down to medium and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, or until nicely charred. Sprinkle them with a pinch of salt and pepper, then turn them over and use the thyme as a brush to coat the burgers with a little mustard. Lay a couple of slices of cheese on each burger so it starts to melt. Cook for another 6 to 8 minutes. These timings will give you blushing burgers, but cook yours for a little longer if you prefer.
Meanwhile, put a large frying pan on a high heat and add your bacon. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Transfer it to a plate and carefully wipe the pan clean with a ball of kitchen paper. Toast the buns in the hot pan – you’ll need to do this in 2 batches.
Layer up the cheese burgers in the toasted buns with a dollop of flavoured mayo, the bacon and sticky onions. Serve with home-made French fries, salad and a few gherkins, if you like.
• olive oil
• 2 large onions, peeled and finely sliced
• 800g good-quality minced chuck steak
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• a bunch of fresh thyme, tied together
• French’s yellow mustard
• 8 thin slices of good melting cheese, such as Cheddar
• 8 rashers smoked streaky bacon, the best quality you can afford
• 4 sesame seed burger buns, halved
for the mayo
• 1 x 200g jar good-quality mayo
• 2 teaspoons gentleman’s relish
• 1 lemon