Crafting the perfect burger on the grill is always part of the summer tick list but this summer serving up chef-worthy fare at home is going to be even more key. Ever wondered how to make the best burger in the business? Once upon a time, Britain’s top chef and LSC Sock Club member, Jason Atherton shared his multi-award winning burger recipe with us: the Little Social Burger with Smoky Bacon and Balsamic Onion Chutney. While a few things have changed since he let us in on his trade secrets (his amazing Mayfair restaurant has been renamed 5 Social for example) this is still the best burger we’ve tasted, so we thought it needed to be revived. Fire up those grills.
Taken from Jason’s book Social Suppers
FOR THE BURGER
600g Good-Quality Beef Mince
1-2 tablespoons Olive Oil
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
FOR THE BALSAMIC ONION CHUTNEY
1-2 tablespoons Olive Oil
4 Spanish Onions, peeled and sliced
100ml Balsamic Vinegar
8 thin rashers Smoked Streaky Bacon
4 slices Mild Cheddar Cheese
4 Brioche Burger Buns
2 large Gherkins, thinly sliced
1 quantity Chunky Chips
Divide the beef mince into four 150g portions, then press each portion into a 10cm wide pastry ring to form neat patties. Arrange the patties in a single layer on a plate, cover with cling film and chill for at least 30 minutes to allow them to firm up.
Next, make the balsamic onion chutney. Heat a heavy-based pan with the oil until hot. Add the onions and a generous pinch of salt and cook over a medium–high heat for 10–12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions begin to soften and colour. Once they are golden, turn the heat down and continue to cook for another 15–20 minutes until they darken further and become soft and sticky. Do remember to stir frequently to prevent the onions from burning. Tip in the balsamic vinegar and cook until the vinegar has reduced to a sticky glaze. Leave to cool.
When ready to cook, preheat the oven grill to the highest setting. Arrange the bacon rashers on a baking sheet in a single layer. Grill for 5–6 minutes until they are golden brown and crisp. Remove and leave to cool slightly. Set the oven to 200°C.
Heat a wide ovenproof frying pan over high heat with a little of the olive oil. Season both sides of the burger patties. Fry them for 2 minutes on each side until golden brown. Place 2 crisp bacon rashers and a slice of Cheddar on top of each patty then transfer the pan to the hot oven to finish the cooking. For medium burgers, remove them from the oven after 3 minutes, by which time the cheese should be oozing over the patties. If you prefer the burgers well done, leave them in the oven for 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, halve and toast the burger buns. Put the bottom halves on warmed serving plates, then spread over an even layer of onion chutney. Arrange 3 slices of gherkin on top of the chutney, followed by the burgers. Top with the lids of the buns and serve immediately with piping hot chips.
Get on the grill and give London’s best burger a go for yourself.
Visit the 5 Social in Mayfair for the full Atherton experience.
5 Pollen Street, Mayfair, London W1S 1NE.
Jason’s a huge fan of bright and colourful, but has a real love for the Ottaway Style designs. As a sock club member he already has a good number of our selections, so picked out a few gift box selections below with his favourites included.
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