Classic burger

For us, this is the perfect burger. If you are up for it, the bone marrow does give extra flavour and juiciness. The burger sauce is lip-smackingly good and you can serve the burgers as they are or with bacon and/or cheese as well as lettuce, slices of red onion, tomatoes, pickles and so on.

Classic burger




  • 800g (1lb 12oz) chuck steak, trimmed of any gristle or hard pieces of fat
  • 50g (1¾oz) bone marrow, finely diced (optional)
  • Flaked sea salt
  • 4 burger buns, split

For the burger sauce

  • 100g (3½oz) mayonnaise
  • 2tbsp tomato ketchup
  • A squeeze of lemon juice
  • 1 large gherkin, finely chopped
  • 1tsp garlic powder
  • ½tsp chipotle paste or other hot sauce


  1. First prepare the meat. Make sure it’s well chilled – in fact, you can freeze the meat, then let it thaw partially and you’ll find it much easier to cut.

  2. Put the meat through a coarse mincer or chop it very finely by hand. It should be fine enough to stick together when you squeeze a handful. Add the bone marrow, if using. Season with salt and a little black pepper, then divide the mixture into 4 and shape into round patties 2cm-2.5cm (¾in-1in) thick. The mincing and chopping will help bring the meat to room temperature, but if it’s still cold, leave to stand for a while.

  3. Heat a nonstick frying pan or your barbecue. When too hot to hold your hand over, add the burgers – there’s no need for oil, as some fat will render out of the meat. Leave for 4 minutes, by which time the burgers should be very well seared and have a thick crust.

  4. Flip them and cook for another 3 minutes for rare meat, 4 minutes for medium rare, 5 for medium and up to 6 for well done.

  5. If you want a cheesy topping, add it once you’ve flipped the burgers. Once the burgers are cooked to your liking, leave them to rest for a couple of minutes.

  6. Meanwhile, put the burger buns cut-side down on the pan or barbecue to toast very slightly and take up some of the meaty flavours. Serve with your choice of toppings. To make the burger sauce, mix all the ingredients together and season with salt and pepper.