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Sarah Raven's burger recipe

William is my middle stepson and a really good cook. Burgers are one of his favourite things, and he has suggested two variations on his basic recipe: ploughman’s, which is rich and smoky with a hint of sweetness; and tangy, which has a sharp, interesting flavour.

To make these, just add the extra ingredients to those in the classic burger recipe. It is important to use mince with a decent fat content as this tends to create more flavour and give the burgers a nice moistness. Serve with skewered new potatoes.

This burger recipe makes 10–12 burgers.

  • 900g minced beef (15-30 per cent fat)
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • a handful of flat-leaf parsley,
  • coarsely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 egg

For the ploughman’s burger, add:

  • 100g mature cheddar cheese, grated
  • 3 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 4 heaped tbsp onion marmalade

for the tangy burger, add

  • 1 tbsp finely chopped thyme leaves
  • 6 pickled onions or shallots,
  • coarsely chopped
  • 2 tbsp capers

Using your hands, combine all the burger ingredients in a bowl with salt and pepper. Mould the mixture with your hands into burgers about 2cm thick and 8-10cm wide.

Cover them and place in the fridge for a couple of hours: this helps them hold together. Heat a barbecue (or griddle, if cooking indoors on a hob) until you can’t count to 10 with your hand hovering just above it. Cook the burgers on it for about four minutes on each side (medium-rare), flipping them as few times as possible.