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A Meaty Guide To Making Gourmet Burgers At Home

<span class="caption">A Meaty Guide To Making Gourmet Burgers At Home</span>
A Meaty Guide To Making Gourmet Burgers At Home

1) MEAT YOUR MATCH

The surge in gourmet burger joints means a McFlatPatty drive-thru is less tempting than ever. Apply the same principles to your own grill and you can turn DIY cheat meals into muscle manna. “The first rule: always use the best meat you can afford,” says Patty & Bun operations manager Tom Monaghan. That means no 2-for-1 lean mince deals; low-fat equals gritty patties (20% fat is ideal). Calorie-fearing? Save your burger for after legs day, Chuck.

Beef
It’s all in the cut. The Soho House group’s famous Dirty Burger uses rump and sirloin, says founder Nick Jones. Bone marrow adds juiciness and immune-supporting glycine. Stock up at your local butcher.

Chicken
Take a hiatus from grilled cow with this white-meat protein hit. Brine the bird for 12hr, says Honest Burger’s Tom Barton. Drench in buttermilk, coat in breadcrumbs and spice, and deep fry. That’s a real cheat meal.

Lamb
Leg cuts offer the best flavour and serve you a below-the-belt boost
of fertility-aiding carnitine. Opt for a medium grind, says Jones. “And don’t squash it too hard – the meat should still crumble in your mouth.”

Venison
Stuck in a beef rut? Try deer. The meat is very lean, so bind with bacon lardons in a 3:1 ratio. Then cook the patties immediately; salt draws out moisture, says Barton. Which is also why you only season on the grill.

2) TO THE GRILL STATIONS

Despite claims from the self-appointed King, flame-grilled isn’t best. As well as heating unevenly, your barbecue serves up carcinogens. Invest in a heavy-based frying pan such as Le Creuset’s (£125 lecreuset.co.uk). “Most butchers won’t go to the bother of grinding up £3 of meat,” says Barton, so add some elbow grease yourself using the Weston Manual Meat Grinder (£22 wayfair.com). And while hand-shaped patties may look rustic, they cook erratically. Use a Sagaform Press instead (£18 hypedesignlondon.co.uk).

Gourmet results come from treating your patty like steak. “Heat the pan until smoking,” says Barton. No need for oil – the fat will melt out and stop the burger sticking. Tis the season to, well, season. Add your salt now. After three minutes, flip the patty. Now comes the pro trick: lay cheese on top, cover with the bun top then drip water around the outside. As it hisses, cover with a Utopia Glass Cloche (£14 nobleexpress.co.uk); the steam will give the bun that mouthwatering sheen. After a minute pop it onto your toasted bottom half. Prime lessons learned.


3) HEALTH SAVER MENU

Cooking your burger on a high heat will have given it a nicely caramelised crust while keeping it juicy on the inside. Perfection attained, watch you don’t fall down at the assembly stage.

Overloading your burger is a sin, says Barton. Get too complicated and you risk masking the flavour of prime meat as well as undermining the structural integrity of the bun. “All you really want is salty meat, sweet relish and the richness of cheese,” says Barton. “Pickles often end up on the McDonald’s floor, but in a proper burger the vinegar cuts through the richness.” Lettuce leaves are fine, but avoid edging toward the full Subway-sandwich experience. Finally, swap your multipack of white rolls for a buttery brioche bun.

i) Multi-Vitamin Lamb Burger

Ingredients

• Lamb mince, 150g
• Coriander, handful
• A red chilli, sliced
• Courgette, ¼, sliced
• Pickled aubergine
• Cumin seeds, 1tsp
• Mayo, 1tsp

Method
Mix the meat with finely chopped coriander and chilli and shape into patties. The herb fights harmful bacteria, so you can gun for pink. Fry the courgette, then the burger. Mix mayo and cumin, then smear it on your bun for extra antioxidants.

ii) Big Lifts Beef Burger

Ingredients

• Beef mince, 150g
• Bacon, rasher
• Red onion relish, heaped 1tsp
•Mature cheddar cheese, slice
• Gherkins, sliced

Method
While your patty is sizzling, grill the smoked bacon until it’s shatter-in-the-mouth crisp. The pork offers phosphorous for stronger bones, while quercetin in your relish curbs inflammation. Bite into a burger that will painproof your workouts.

iii) Bambi’s Legs Day Burger

Ingredients

• Venison, 100g
• Bacon lardons, 35g
• Onion, ½, sliced
• Butter, big slice
• Stilton, sliced
• Red pepper, sliced and grilled

Method
Grind your meat, shape and cook. Venison’s creatine is ideal when you’re supersizing. Brown the onion in butter, then add it to your patty with stilton, which provides casein for muscle fuel. Sear the pepper with a blowtorch while you cloche.

iv) Post-Gym Zinger

Ingredients

• A chicken breast
• Flour, 140g
• Paprika, 1tsp
• Chilli powder, 1tsp
• Peanut oil, 250ml
• Mustard, 1tsp
•Mayo, 1tsp

Method
Prep the chicken as stated (left), coating in flour and spice. Bring the oil to 180°C – its high smoke point reduces carcinogens while its fats support heart health. Sizzle for 6min. Up your mayo’s anti-cancer cred with mustard. Spread liberally.

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