Monday, May 11, 2009


I do not have a recipe for hamburgers. I buy steak mince from the butcher, and I form it into flattish patties of about 150g each. That's it. No seasoning, and no egg for binding - the mince is usually moist enough to hold together.

The cooking is quite hard to judge, though. In line with Matthew Fort's advice on cooking steaks in the Guardian, I heat a heavy, cast-iron pan for 10 minutes (but over a medium rather than a high flame), and I rub a little sunflower oil over the burgers. (Oil put into the pan is likely to burn.) Now I salt them, and I fry them for about 10 minutes; I turn them over after three to four minutes, and then more regularly.

I always have to cut into the burgers to see whether the insides are cooked, and I think that I am often too timid to remove the burgers from the pan at the right moment, when the rare parts are just about to cook and will do so away from the heat.

Louis' Lunch, which claims to be the home of the hamburger, serves the burgers in slices of toast rather than in rolls. It is a good idea. I find a roll too much to digest, particularly if I am eating potatoes as well. I put each burger on a slice of toast, which absorbs the juices that come out as the meat relaxes.

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