Chilli Cheese Burger

Posted on August 23, 2016 by Anna

Taken from Fire & Smoke by Rich Harris. Image by Martin Poole.

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The secret to a good beefburger is simplicity; great beef, simply seasoned and cooked well. I use a mixture of three different cuts: rump steak for richness, and short rib and brisket for texture and fat. The fat is crucial as it keeps it moist and makes a difference to the flavour. My butcher combines the three cuts and then coarsely minces them, passing the meat through the machine once so that the burger has defined texture. Be as gentle as possible when you shape the patties to avoid compressing the meat; you want the burger to fall apart as you eat it rather than being dense and chewy. Finally, just like a good steak, make sure you rest the burgers before serving them.


800g rump steak, coarsely minced
400g beef short rib meat, coarsely minced
400g brisket, coarsely minced
16g fine sea salt
2 tablespoons tomato ketchup
2 tablespoons American mustard
2 tablespoons Mayonnaise
2 gherkins, finely chopped
8 slices of extra-mature Cheddar cheese
8 green chillies
8 brioche burger buns, split open
2 baby gem lettuces, leaves separated, washed and dried
You will need sixteen 15cm squares of greaseproof paper.

Before you start, make sure the beef is well chilled; you’ll need to work quickly to prevent the fat from melting in your hands. Season the beef evenly with the salt, gently combining everything with your hands. Divide the mixture into eight equal piles (to make sure they’re all the same size, it’s best to weigh them as you go; they should be 200g each). Gently shape the beef into balls and then press lightly into 1.5cm-thick rounds. Sandwich each burger between two squares of greaseproof paper, then chill for an hour.
Combine the sauce ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
Preheat the barbecue for direct grilling and remove the burgers from the fridge 15 minutes before cooking.
Cook the burgers for 6–7 minutes, turning 2–3 times during cooking. After the last turn, top each burger with a slice of cheese and close the lid for a couple of minutes. Transfer the burgers to a wire rack to rest for 5 minutes.
While the burgers are resting, grill the chillies for 4–5 minutes until lightly charred and softened. Remove from the grill and finely slice. Toast the buns cut-side down on the grill for a minute until golden and lightly toasted.
To assemble, spread the bottom half of each roll with the sauce, top with a couple of lettuce leaves and lay a burger on top. Top with the chillies, then add the tops of the buns and press down lightly.