National Burger Day: buns away!
It’s one of the simplest yet most deliciously satisfying meals on the planet. The burger is everything a hungry person could ever desire: meat (or plant-based meat), sauce, cheese… and a bit of veg for health’s sake. And May 28 is the burger’s special time to shine: it’s National Burger Day. We take a look at burgers good, bad and outrageous, and share some appetising burger recipes that will make you say, “Ronald who?”
While every nation does it slightly differently (in Australia, beetroot definitely gets a yes), the idea of bunging a meat patty and some tasty fillings between two bun halves has won the hearts and taste buds of people everywhere. And why wouldn’t it? The burger tastes great, it’s (usually) relatively cheap and it’s available at all hours of the day or night.
In the past, burgers were either from your local takeaway shop (“one with the lot, please”) or from McDonald’s. Now, you can find burgers of all descriptions all over the place, and all you have to do is log on to Uber Eats. There are healthier options like Grill’d, vegie offerings from Lord of the Fries, hipster alternatives like Mary’s and decidedly unwise choices, such as Ze Pickle’s STFU burger: four beef patties, cheese, triple maple smoked bacon, crispy fried chicken, special sauce, smoked jalapeños, fried onion straws and mac and cheese. This is served between three grilled cheese sandwiches and topped with saucy fries. If any of you do manage to eat this, please let us know. We’d like to come and visit you in hospital.
While you can pick up a Macca’s cheeseburger for under four bucks, some burger masters have decided to really send this supposedly simple meal into the stratosphere. Back in 2018, BBQ Events Australia’s Ian McGivern created “the monster” burger. It contained Jamon Iberico prosciutto, two 250g wagyu beef patties, three different types of gourmet cheese, foie gras fried in wagyu fat (!), grated Manjimup truffle, truffle aioli, truffle mustard and a sauce made from stout and Scotch whisky. Its calorie count was around four times the recommended daily intake, and its price was $386.
But this pales in comparison to the world’s most expensive burger. Dutch diner De Daltons has created the Golden Boy, and it comes in at an eye-watering €5000. That’s almost $8000. So, what does this big-ticket burger contain? The burger patty is made from A5 wagyu and it’s topped with white truffles, Beluga caviar, Paleta Iberico Bellota ham, king crab, onion rings coated in a batter made with Dom Pérignon champagne and barbeque sauce made with Kopi Luwak coffee and Macallan Single Malt Whisky. All of this is encased in a saffron-infused gold-leafed bun. And in case you were feeling like things were looking a tad bland, the burger is then bathed with whisky smoke for some extra flavour.
While these burgers might be worth tackling for a dare (as long as someone else is paying), they’re not really attainable for the average Aussie. So we’ve brought you some tasty burger recipes that you can make at home. They won’t break the bank, they’re super easy and they pack a satisfying punch, whether you be carnivore, omnivore or herbivore.
Jaime Reyes’ beef and bacon burger
This is everything a burger should be. It loads on all the best burger ingredients (note there’s no pineapple), including the Aussie-as egg and beetroot. We recommend adding cheese.
4 Cleaver’s Organic Beef & Bacon Burgers
4 brioche burger buns, toasted
2 medium beetroot, trimmed and washed
4 eggs, fried sunny side up
½ medium red onion, thinly sliced
100g Swiss brown mushrooms, sliced
Mixed leaf salad
1. Preheat oven to 180°C fan-forced. Place washed, trimmed beetroot on small sheets of aluminium foil, drizzle with a little olive oil and wrap tightly. Place on an oven tray and roast for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and rest in foil for 20 minutes before peeling and slicing.
2. While beetroots rest, pan-fry sliced mushrooms in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Pan-fry or use a BBQ flat plate to cook beef & bacon burgers and fry eggs.
3. Build the burgers with tomato relish on the base followed by sliced beetroot, red onion, mixed leaves, sautéed mushrooms, beef & bacon burger and top with fried egg.
Optional: serve with a side salad of mixed leaves, cherry tomatoes and red onion dressed with aged balsamic and extra virgin olive oil.
This one’s for the non-meat-eating peeps. But you won’t be missing out – they’re made with v2food, the Australian-made plant-based meat that’s just like the real deal.
1 pack v2burger patties
Seeded brioche buns, sliced in half and toasted
Oak lettuce, washed
Swiss or cheddar cheese slices (optional)
1 large tomato, sliced thinly
Sliced dill pickles
Red onion, sliced thinly and separated into rings
Tomato sauce (optional)
Butter, melted (optional)
1. Season v2burger patties with sea salt and grill on both sides, about two minutes per side.
2. Brush the patties with butter and top with a slice of cheese while still hot so the cheese melts (both optional, or use a dairy-free alternative).
3. Remove patties from grill and stack with your favourites, such as mustard, pickles, sliced onion, sliced tomato, oak lettuce and aioli on a lightly toasted brioche bun.
Macadamia chicken flexitarian burger
These delicious burger patties are a little bit meat and a little bit nut, making them the ideal choice for flexitarians. The addition of macadamias boosts flavour, texture and nutrients.
500g chicken mince
½ cup macadamias, chopped
½ cup coriander leaves, roughly chopped
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl and, using your hands, form 4 patties. Heat oil in a large frypan over medium heat and cook patties for 4-5 minutes each side, until cooked through.
2. Serve on a toasted bun with aioli and sauce, tomato, lettuce, rocket, sprouts, gherkin and pickled red onion. For more of a nutrient kick, add a side of sweet potato fries.