These caramelised onion burgers are incredible. Incredibly tasty but also, obviously, incredibly meaty! As you know I am pretty much living a vegetarian life. About 18 months ago I made the decision to stop making two meals and just start to not eat meat. So whilst I don’t eat meat any more I am not actually a vegetarian… if that makes any sense?
On occasion however I do eat a little meat and fish but when I do the product I eat must be the very best. I need to know where it’s from. How it was treated during its life and how it has been slaughtered and prepared prior to it arriving on my plate. This often means that the meat I eat can be a little more expensive than the average cut but because I really only eat it once or twice a year it’s really not a strain on my bank balance. It makes it so much more special too.
South Ormsby Estate
The guys at South Ormsby Estate sent me one of their essentials boxes for me to try. It’s packed with exactly what you’d expect, a roasting joint, mince, stewing steak and minute steak. So you can try all styles of cooking with their incredible beef. South Ormsby is one of those fairytale, bucolic farms nestled into the Lincolnshire countryside that you only dream about. They’ve recently started the Massingberd-Mundy brand which is a collection artisanal products which currently consists of an incredible gin and a herd of pedigree Lincoln Red cattle who graze seasonally on the 3000 acres in the estate.
Farm to Fork
I love the fact that the beef comes with their “Farm to Fork Traceability Guarantee”. With each product including a unique animal identification number so you can trace the cuts of meat down to the cow it came from and where on the Estate.
The beef is dry hung for 21 days to allow the meat to mature before it is expertly butchered by our artisanal butchers, local to the estate.
I’m starting my adventure with the mince that came in the essentials box. I feel mince is entry-level for those new to cooking with beef and burgers are all the rage again now that we’re heading for BBQ season (if this rain ever stops!) The thing about burgers (and why I think this mince is perfect for them) is that they really should be all about the meat. Just the mince and some seasoning is all you need.
Clearly I’m going against my own advice slightly here by adding the caramelised onions into the patty but that’s all I’m doing and I do believe that the sweet, caramelised nature of the onions only goes to enhance the burgers themselves.In terms of dressing, go for what you like. I’m not here to tell you how to build your burger. I kept mine really simple. lettuce, tomatoes, a slice of cheese and some condiments. All served on a slightly toasted brioche bun.
For some other burger ideas, check out these burger recipes on my blog.
This recipe makes 2 large patties or 4 smaller patties, depending on your desires.
- 2 large white onions – thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- salt and pepper
- 250g minced beef
Start with the onions. Slice the onion from root to tip, peel it and then slice thin half-moon shapes out of each half. Break up the half-moons into lots of little half-rings and place them in a bowl.
Drizzle them well with olive oil and seasoning – a lot of black pepper, salt and some lemon thyme is nice (but not essential.) Mix them well and separate the half-moon rings as you go.
I use my largest frying pan which I set on medium and melt a little butter and olive oil and then add the onions and a pinch of sugar. Stir well (I actually find that tongs are the best tool for this) and let them gently cook away.
The onions should take about 25 mins to get truly dark golden but after 15 mins pour in a dash of cold water. This will give them that wonderful ‘street food’ flavour – part fried and part stewed. Set aside to cool.
Add the minced beef to a large bowl, season well with salt and pepper and add the onions. Use your hands to smoosh it all around ensuring the onions are thoroughly mixed in. Form them into either two thick or 4 regular sized patties. (Lightly wild hands is a good tip for this stage.)
Heat a flat pan or a hot plate to high, add just a splash of oil and lay the burgers on top. Two burgers at a time if your pan is small. Too many burgers in the pan will start to stew them. Fry them until they are good and dark on one side. Then flip them over and cook them again until dark – 5 mins max on each side.
Top 3 tips for frying burgers:
- Don’t flip the burgers more than once. Let them cook well (until properly dark) on one side and then flip them over and cook them on the other. Then they’re done. (Multiple flipping dries them out.)
- Don’t flatten them with a spatular. This will squeeze the fats out and you don’t want that.
- Keep an eye on them, don’t be distracted or they’ll end up dry and nasty
The best way to melt cheese onto a burger is to lay a slice onto the burger whilst it’s in the pan, then place a lid on the pan for a minute or so and the cheese should melt.
Now you’re ready to build your burgers with your favourite items, eat and of course, enjoy!