Chef: Jeff Claudio
This dish came about in conversation with chef James of Lyle’s during their annual game dinner. I love burgers: I’ve been serving them at Rosita’s deluxe events for years, and it’s grown to something I’m quite passionate about and obsess over. For this one all you need is a good soft potato bun, the right amount of fat blended into the patty, the correct technique, a good cheddar and a good pickle to eat it with. How hard can it be?
Ingredients: Makes 10 burgers
- 750g grouse breast meat, deboned and cleaned
- 250g diced pork belly with good fat content
- 200g white onions, thinly sliced
- 5g ground black pepper
- 10 potato buns
- 10 slices cheddar
- 3 whole dill pickles
You’ll need a skillet or heavy based pan with a lid to cook this to perfection.
Dice and cut the breast meat into strips: clean the pork belly of skin and cartilage and season with black pepper.
Place both in the freezer for 15-20 minutes (trust me, it’s important), then grind together to a medium coarse mince.
Put half the meat through the grinder again to improve the texture of the patties, mix both together lightly, refrigerate for an hour, then divide evenly and shape into ten balls and place in the fridge: the colder they are, the better they’ll cook up on the skillet.
Toast the halved burger buns in a dry pan cut side down until golden. Put them back together, and press down and flatten the buns: this helps with the bread to meat ratio.
Heat a cast iron skillet till smoking hot and add the balls to the dry pan. When they start to warm and stick to the pan, hang on for another minute then press as flat as you can with a spatula. Season the top well with salt and pepper and raw onion. After a couple of minutes, when the juices start to caramelise, baste the patties with the lovely scrapings and place a slice of cheese on top.
Here’s the clever bit. Put the top halves of the buns cut side down on the patties, with the bottoms on top. Add a couple of shots of water and cover the skillet. After steaming for 45 seconds remove the lid and assemble the burger.
Cut each in half and serve with the pickles – no ketchup or mustard required – and eat immediately. You’ll be busy serving your guests, but be sure to grab one (or two) along the way