How to make Ireland’s best cheeseburger at home
What’s for dinner?: Rory McCormack’s all-Ireland winning Handsome Cheese Burger
Handsome Burger company's cheese burger
Rory McCormack is the founder of Handsome Burger in Galway, handsomeburger.com
This is a version of our first Handsome Cheese Burger, our original and the only burger we sold on our market stall when we were starting off. This burger got voted as one of the best in the country, so it has to be half decent.
Burgers are always fun and a good (small) crowd-pleaser. That is unless your beef is dry; the crowd can quickly turn against you. This is why I would recommend going to your local butcher to get the right beef.
We have some of the world’s best beef in Ireland so you might as well make the effort to get the right blend. Ask your local butcher for a blend of the fattier cuts, chuck or short rib cuts would be our suggestion. For the juiciest results, ask for an 80/20 ratio of fat content and ask for it to be put through the mincer one or two times more, so it’s finely ground, leaving a light, juicy and airy end result.
And brioche buns are important also. Try and get them as light and fluffy as possible. I’ve included quick homemade pickles here too, they are so easy and worth the effort.
What you’ll need
24oz of beef mince for four patties
300ml white wine vinegar
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp sugar
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
4 brioche buns
1-2 gherkins, plus pickle liquid
3 tbsp mayonnaise
2 tbsp French’s mustard
1 tbsp ketchup
Handful of fresh rocket
6 slices of American style cheese
How to make it
The homemade quick pickles
Before preparing the meat make some quick pickles. Add the white wine vinegar to a bowl and pour in the sugar, salt and stir until it dissolves. Add the coriander seeds and mustard seeds for flavour. Score the outside of a cucumber with a fork and slice into the required size. Thin enough to absorb the flavour quickly but thick enough to maintain a nice crunch. Add these to the brine and let them sit.
1 Roll the meat into four small circular balls (6oz each). Form them really gently to avoid toughening up the meat, and to leave them nice and airy. No seasoning is required until they hit the pan.
2 Place the patty on to a flat-top grill or a cast iron pan at a high heat with a decent size nob of butter. Some people prefer the beef cooked over charcoal, but we think the griddle/flat top creates a better crust and seals in the flavour for added juiciness.
3 Push the patties down to one-inch thickness, and put a small hole in the middle of the meat with your finger to hold the shape of the patty while it is cooking. Season well with sea salt. Move the patty as little as possible when cooking to avoid losing the juiciness.
4 While the burger is searing, briefly toast your brioche buns in the pan.
5 Make a quick burger sauce. Put the mayo, mustard and ketchup into a bowl. Finely chop a gherkin or two and add a splash of the brine from the jar. Give this all a quick mix, and lather your buns in the sauce.
6 For the last minute of cooking, add the cheese to the burger patties. If cooking in a pan, put the lid on and add a splash of water to create steam and help fuse the meat and cheese together. For the last 20 seconds, you can also add the top bun for steaming, really fusing everything together.
7 If you have a thermometer probe then remove from the pan once the core of the burger hits 75 degrees Celsius, if not then the 3½ minutes either side will do the trick, keeping the burgers nice and juicy.
8 Add the homemade pickles, and a handful of rocket to the sauced bottom bun.
9 Assemble the burger as you wish, and ensure you have enough napkins to hand.