The Ultimate Burger



I know a lot of people consider "the ultimate burger" to be in a bun, with more than one patty, lots of bacon, probably some chilli and absolutely dripping with cheese - real or fake. My ultimate burger is not like that at all. My ultimate burger isn't even my own creation, it's a family recipe. And, being a family recipe, it changes every time some one different makes it.


These burgers started with my granny. She calls them her 'garam masala' burgers. Can you guess what the main flavour ingredient is? But they never go in a bun. Sometimes with chips, sometimes with salad, sometimes with both. Often as part of a bring and share / picnic style meal.


I'm not saying you can't put these burgers in a bun. Or in a little pitta pocket. With salad and garlic sauce. Oooohhhhhh yeeeeeaaa. But as the main event, with some gorgeous Jersey Royals and cucumber and coriander yoghurt... now that's some good tasting food. And, like I said, perfect for a picnic. This is not the stuff of fine dining, but it is good, wholesome family food. There really is nothing better.


Granny's Garam Masala Burgers with Paprika Jersey Royals and 'Raita'

For the burgers:

  • 500g lean beef mince

  • 2 tbsp garam masala

  • 2 garlic cloves, grated

  • 1/2 large white onion, grated

  • 1 yellow pepper, grated

  • 1 tsp chilli flakes

  • 1 handful chopped coriander

  • 1 egg

  • 1 tsp each of salt and pepper

For the potatoes:

  • 6 good sized Jersey Royals, scrubbed clean and halved widthways (so that they are short not long)

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 2 tsp paprika

  • For the Raita

  • 300g yoghurt

  • 15cm cucumber, quartered and sliced thinly

  • Pinch of salt

  • 1 good handful fresh coriander, chopped

First, put the potatoes on to boil. While they're going, mix all the burger ingredients together. This gives them a chance to marry together a little before cooking.

When the potatoes are soft enough that you can spear them easily with a fork, drain them and lay them skin side down on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. Preheat an oven to 200 degrees C. Lightly crush them with a potato masher so that the just break apart. Drizzle over the olive oil and move the potatoes around so that they're all coated. Sprinkle over the paprika and salt and roast in the oven for half an hour.


In a serving bowl, mix all the raita ingredients together and leave in the fridge until you're ready to serve. When the potatoes have 15 minutes to go, heat a frying pan on the hob and drizzle with a little olive oil - but just a little. Grab a golf ball sized piece of mince mix and flatten it. Put it in the hot pan and repeat until you have 3 or 4 in the pan, depending on the amount of space. Don't overcrowd the pan or everything will drown in the meat juices.

When the bottom of the burgers have a nice brown colour, flip them over to get them brown on the other side. Do this until all of the burgers are cooked. If you're still waiting for the potatoes, put the burgers in an oven proof dish, cover it with foil and put it in the oven.


Serve with an extra sprinkling of coriander leaves if you like and enjoy every mouthful. I always do. And those potatoes are the most more-ish things you'll ever eat. God bless Jersey fields.

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