It's hard not to love burgers. Some favour the Aussie burger-bar versions of yesteryear, stacked high with cheese, lettuce, tomato, bacon, eggs and barbecue sauce. If you've only ever tasted burger patties packed with eggs, breadcrumbs, herbs and all other whatnot, just try these and you'll be converted forever. Simple really is best.
500g cheap beef mince*
2 tbsp dripping or vegetable oil
4 soft hamburger buns
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to season
1 brown onion, peeled, and shaved into very thin rings
4 slices cheddar or tasty cheese
½ cup sliced dill pickles, to serve
tomato sauce, to serve
American-style mustard, to serve
Divide the minced beef into four equal portions and roll them into balls without pressing them together too much. Squash the balls and gently mould them into four "quarterpound" patties the same size as your burger buns. Chill the patties in the fridge for at least 10 minutes.
Heat a large frying pan or barbecue hotplate and brush it with a little dripping or oil. Cut the buns in half and place them, cut-side down, directly onto the hotplate. Season each patty well with salt and pepper, and place onto the hotplate alongside the buns.
Add a small amount of shaved onion to the raw top of the patty and squish it in. After a minute or so, flip it over. Add a slice of cheese to the cooked top of the patty and then cover it with the top of a bun. Cook the patty for a further minute or two until the cheese is melted. Flip the bun bottom and cover with the cheese and bun-covered patty. Serve with pickles and condiments.
*Adam's tip Cheaper beef minces are higher in fat than the more expensive "premium" minces, which makes them great for hamburgers. While burger experts recommend 30 per cent fat for hamburgers, the 15-20 per cent fat you get in cheap minces is perfectly fine.