Ultimate bacon cheese burger

Everyone loves a burger, but people make them too complicated. What makes this one special? Nothing – it’s literally just minced beef with salt and pepper for seasoning before being griddled. Although I did make my own brioche buns. All the extras make this the best burger I’ve eaten in a long time. Cook it medium for best result!

Ultimate bacon and cheese burger

Serves: 4

4 brioche buns – I used this recipe.

500g good quality mince, 15-20% fat (makes for a juicier/tastier burger)
Salt and pepper
Smoked pancetta slices
White lettuce, shredded thinly
American cheese slices

1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 white onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, sliced or crushed
1 red pepper, cored and seeds removed
3 tomatoes, quartered
Tomato puree
1 to 2 tbsp red wine vinegar

Burger sauce:
3 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp tomato ketchup
1/2 tsp hot sauce (I made my own – recipe here)
1 tbsp yellow american mustard
1 pickle, finely diced

Slice your buns in half and toast on a griddle

Next, divide your meat into 4 and make into patty shapes in your hands, set aside.

Heat olive oil in a pan over a low heat, add the onions and cover, allowing to sweat for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another couple of minutes. Add the tomato puree and again cook for a further 2 minutes. Tip in your chopped tomatoes and red pepper and drizzle over the red wine vinegar. Cover again and cook for about 20 minutes until everything is soft. Season well. Blitz with a stick blender but hold short of pureeing.

Mix the mayonnaise and other sauce ingredients in a small bowl.

When you’re ready to cook. Heat the griddle until hot, fry your burgers until nicely line-marked then flip over, immediately putting a slice of cheese on top. Cover if your griddle has a lid or I used pan lids balanced carefully – doing this will make sure your cheese melts without overcooking your burger. In a separate pan fry a few pancetta slices per person until crisp then set aside.

On the base of your burger bun spoon and spread a dollop of your burger sauce. Pile on lettuce on top. When your burger is cooked to your liking, add this and then the pancetta and a spoonful of your hot relish and then add the lid. Easy peasy but delicious. Here I made some beetroot oven fries as an alternative to french fries or chips.