Pete Goffe-Wood

The Burger

The Burger



A good hamburger is to sandwiches what Muhammad Ali is to boxing: fighters have come and gone – some good, some fantastic. There have been others who were more technically correct, but Ali has always stood alone. The burger is such a sandwich. Beware of cheap imitations, of mass produced shite that tastes like warm cardboard, of overpowering BBQ bastings that leave your taste buds raped and pillaged, of dubious meat that gives you the impression that you have eaten mammal but you cannot be certain of its origin. A good burger, like all good simple food, when prepared with love and attention, has few equals.

Beverage notes:

A good Cabernet Sauvignon or Shiraz would be an ideal accompaniment but there can be no doubt that the perfect marriage would be an ice-cold beer.


1,2 kg rump steak
60ml (3 tbsp) extra virgin olive oil
20ml (1 tbsp) Worcestershire sauce
20ml (1 tbsp) Tabasco
2 eggs
6 burger buns
300 g cheddar cheese
50g (1cup) rocket leaves
2 tomatoes, sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
SOFT BURGER BUNS: (Makes a doz.)
1kg (4 cups) bread flour
60g (3 tbsp) sugar
20g (1 tbsp) salt
80g (4 tbsp) butter
1 sachet dried yeast (20g fresh yeast)
500ml (2 cups) water
2 egg yolks
10ml (2 tsp) cream
80g (4 tbsp) sesame seeds


Start by chopping the rump steak by hand into very fine pieces (don’t be tempted to put it in the food processor as this will just tear the meat), alternatively you can get your butcher to mince it for you.
Put the chopped steak in a mixing bowl, add the olive oil, Tabasco and Worsctershire sauce. Add the eggs and season with salt and pepper. It is a good idea to test a small piece of your burger mix beforehand, just to check the seasoning.
Divide the burger mix into six even balls and shape them into patties. For best results, allow the patties to sit in the fridge for at least an hour prior to cooking.
Grill the burgers to the degree that you prefer them over some hot coals or in a pan. Cut the buns in half and grill them.
Put some rocket leaves followed by some onions and tomato on top. Place the burger patty on top of the garnish, put a hefty slice of cheddar on the burger and then close the sandwich.
Best serve with a huge portion of chips with lashings of mustard and tomato sauce.
SOFT BURGER BUNS: Mix the flour, salt, sugar and yeast together. Rub in the butter until the flour resembles coarse corn meal. Add the water, bring together into dough.
Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 10 min. Return dough to the mixing bowl and cover with a damp cloth or some cling film. Leave the dough in a warm place to rise. The dough should be allowed to double in size, this should take approximately 30 minutes, but the time will vary depending on the temperature of your kitchen. When the dough has risen remove it from the bowl and divide it into tennis ball sized balls. Place the balls on a floured oven tray.
Mix the egg yolks and the cream together. Using a pastry brush, brush the tops of the burger buns with the egg mixture. Sprinkle the sesame seeds on top of the egg wash. Leave the buns to rise a second time; they should almost double in size.
Put them into a hot oven (200ºC) and bake until golden brown. The buns should make a hollow knocking sound when tapped underneath. Remove the buns from the oven, take them of the tray and leave them to cool on a wire rack.