Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes


Appears in

The Daily Mail Modern British Cookbook

The Daily Mail Modern British Cookbook

By Alastair Little and Richard Whittington

Published 1998

  • About

A proper hamburger is made only from minced beef seasoned with salt and pepper. Any additions are those added to in the bun, like raw onion, pickles, ketchup and mustard. It is important to use good-quality mince, but this should have about a 15 per cent fat content or the burger will split and taste dry and chewy. The best way to get this correct proportion of lean to fat is to have your butcher mince a selected piece of meat for you. Blade bone – also called chuck – or flank steak are perfect.

An overcooked hamburger is an abomination, but some people will want to cook them all the way through because of fears about salmonella and E-coli. These bacteria tend to be found on the surface of the meat and, if present, mincing therefore distributes them throughout the patty.


  • 900 g/ 2 lb minced beef
  • salt and pepper


Spread out the beef, season with flake sea salt and black pepper and divide into 6 portions. Form these into balls, squeezing gently between your hands to compact the meat. The dilemma is how hard to squeeze. If you pack too loosely they will fall apart, but squeeze too tight and they will cook tough and dry.

Cook the hamburgers is in a dry heavy, non-stick frying pan, preheated over a low heat, and then turned up to moderate a minute before you start cooking. Turn once, giving both sides an equal time. This size of hamburger will cook to medium-rare in 5 minutes.