Who doesn’t love a tasty burger? They’re a surprisingly versatile meal, offering an almost endless array of choices. First, there’s the burger itself, then what you put on it – from cheese to coleslaw and everything in between. Finally, you need to consider the type of bun you want to house it all in. Do you opt for a traditional sesame seed bun or push the boat out and plump for a pretzel roll?
You don’t need to go out to a restaurant to enjoy a good burger, though, you can just as easily create one at home. So here are my tips for hosting the ultimate burger night for you and your friends, complete with burgers as good as anything you’d find in even the best American-style diner.
These days you can choose almost any type of meat for your burger – kangaroo and ostrich are all the rage right now – but for my recipe, I’m going to stick with good ol’ beef burgers. For the best quality burgers, use freshly ground, high-grade beef (500g will make four burgers). Fry one finely chopped onion for five minutes and then set aside. In a bowl, mix the beef with 1 tsp of mixed dry herbs, 1 beaten egg and the onions. Season with salt and pepper. Using your hands, shape and flatten the mix into four individual patties.
Pre-heat your grill to a medium or medium-high heat and cook the burgers for 5-6 minutes on each side. If you’re making cheeseburgers, place a slice of cheese on the second side of the burger while it’s still cooking so that it melts slightly.
If some of your friends are vegetarian or vegan, there are plenty of meat-free options that are just as scrumptious. Lentils, cauliflower and sweet potato make for particularly tasty burger ingredients. There are some truly mouth-watering veggie burger suggestions out there that would convert even the most dedicated meat-eater.
Toppings and sides will give your burger the pizazz it needs. When it comes to toppings, if you can think of it (and you can eat it), it’ll probably go great on a burger. If you’re struggling for inspiration, Delish has some surprising ideas that go way beyond the traditional lettuce and onion. It’s also worth researching some burger bun ideas that go above and beyond the regular brioche option.
Nothing goes better with a burger than a side of crispy french fries, but salads and corn on the cob are also firm favourites. If it’s just gotta be chips but the thought of cooking them from scratch fills you with dread, try a ready-made option like McCain French Fries for a quick and easy workaround.
Complete your ultimate burger night with American diner-themed decorations. Serve your burgers and fries in traditional diner baskets and liners, use a red-checked tablecloth and make milkshakes for everyone. Use red and yellow squeeze bottles for your tomato ketchup and mustard, and don’t forget to create a classic 1950s-diner playlist! Some Grease or Happy Days memorabilia wouldn’t go amiss, either.
Let me know your burger night suggestions. Do you have an interesting burger or burger topping ideas?
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