In search of the ultimate burger.jpg

In search of the ultimate burger

By Chris winstanley

Recipe  ||  Having just spent a really great holiday on the northeast USA coast and taking in southern Maine, Boston and New York, I got to eat some really good and, surprisingly, really average US food. The one thing I did enjoy were two really good burger meals, the best being at a restaurant called Five Napkin Burger on 9th Avenue in New York. We were told by a local foodie “If you eat on Times Square or at a chain restaurant, I will have to shoot you!”, and he added to walk 200 metres across to 9th Avenue and we would find food from everywhere in the world. He was right, it was like the United Nations of world cookery, and we were lucky to taste some of it, but what stuck in my mind was the burger I had. I managed to get a recipe for, as the chef called it, “The Ultimate Burger”, and having tried it since getting back, you know what, I think he may be right.

This recipe makes 6 good sized burgers.


20g unsalted butter

1 small onion finely chopped

2 garlic cloves finely chopped

1 teaspoon of ground cumin

1kg of lean ground beef (preferably steak you have had minced at the butcher’s)

1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon of piri piri

A handful of grated Parmesan cheese

6 cream crackers smashed to a fine powder

Salt and pepper to taste


In a small frying pan melt the butter and gently fry the onion, garlic and cumin until it is translucent and softened. Allow to cool and then transfer to a large bowl, and mix with minced beef, crushed cream crackers, Parmesan cheese, piri piri, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste and Worcestershire sauce. With clean hands blend the mixture, but do not overwork it.

Form the mixture into 6 or more burgers and chargrill them on the barbecue – for medium rare, 4–5 minutes each side, six minutes each side for well-done.

You are then ready to put them into buns and garnish. To garnish, choose from torn lettuce leaves, thinly sliced onion rings, thinly sliced tomato, sliced pickled gherkins, tomato ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise. Enjoy! I did!

This recipe has been provided by Chris Winstanley, owner of Moveison, The Algarve’s finest outdoor living store.