John Torode's big burger

John Torode's big burger

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(10 ratings)


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Cooking time

Prep: 25 mins Cook: 30 mins

Skill level



Makes 4 double burgers

Not just any burger, John Torode's ultimate burger, with a spicy tomato relish and all the trimmings

Nutrition and extra info

Additional info

  • Burger only
Nutrition info

Nutrition per serving

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For the spicy tomato relish

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 small shallots, chopped
  • 1 red chilli, chopped
  • 1 celery stick, chopped
  • 500g very ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped

For the burger

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 50g oyster sauce
  • 6 slices bread, made into crumbs, then soaked in a little water
  • 1kg good-quality beef mince, not lean

To serve

  • 8 slices Gruyère (optional)
  • 4 burger buns, warmed
  • little butter
  • 4 tbsp good-quality mayonnaise
  • squeezy mustard
  • 1 beef tomato, sliced
  • few cooked rashers streaky bacon
  • Little Gem lettuce leaves
  • guacamole, see 'goes well with'
  • few gherkins

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  1. First make the relish: heat oil in a large frying pan and add the cumin. Let it cook for a moment, then throw in the bay, garlic, shallots and chilli. Cook for 2 mins until soft but not coloured, then add the celery and tomatoes. Sweat everything down gently for 20-30 mins until the tomatoes lose their shape. Remove from the heat, season and leave to cool. This can be made a few days in advance and kept in the fridge.
  2. To make the burgers, mix the egg yolks in a large bowl with the oyster sauce and soaked breadcrumbs. Season with lots of fresh, black pepper then add the meat, breaking it up a little. Mix everything, trying not to overwork the mixture or the burger will become heavy.
  3. Take the mix and divide in half, then into half and half again so you end up with 8 even pieces. Roll each one into a ball and place a 10 x 10cm square of greaseproof paper on the bottom and top. Put in the fridge for 15 mins to firm.
  4. Heat a griddle pan. Take 4 burger balls from the fridge and push them down so they become discs about the size of a burger bun, about 2cm thick, between the 2 pieces of greaseproof. Peel the paper off one side and slap down in the pan with no oil or seasoning. Peel the top layer of paper off and cook on a very high heat for a couple of mins. In total, a burger this size will take about 5-10 mins to cook, but you need a bit of colour and texture, so exactly how long is up to you. I turn my burgers after 2 mins, but I cook on a very high heat, and I like them a little pink. Keep warm in a low oven while you cook the rest, topping with the cheese slices, if you like, for the final few mins so they melt a little.
  5. Lay the 2 halves of the warm bun in front of you and butter them lightly. Spread the mayo on both sides followed by a little mustard on the top bun and tomato relish on the bottom. Place a slice of tomato on the bottom bun followed by the first burger with the cheese, then some bacon, then the next burger, more relish, lettuce and finally the guacamole. Top with the bun and eat with the gherkins on the side.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, May 2011

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Show comments
nannywho's picture

John Torode is not American; why is his recipe in this section?

alex170182's picture

You don't need to be American to cook American food.

trinaz's picture

yeaaaah....hes a syrian...deserves to b shot...i should know....hes my uncle!

mollymango's picture
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Just made these with my boyfriend. They are HUGE. I managed half of mine and then had to give up. That may be because I have a smaller appetite, as my boyfriend ate all of his. Despite the size, these burgers are very tasty and I plan on making them again. Next time I shall use slightly less meat and get very big baps! They get 4 out of 5 because the burgers were slightly soft, almost creamy on the inside, instead of the more tough burger texture most of us are used to, however they did stay together so it wasn't so bad. I just caramelized some onions instead of the relish, and made my own version of the guacamole. All in all, a great meaty feast!

giorgiokrishnna's picture
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very good!

martinique972's picture
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I agree with emma4, very disappointed! Sloppy and fell apart on the barbecue and seemed to be missing something? Relish was bland as well, will add more chilli next time.

emmaleg's picture
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I was disappointed with these - they turned out really sloppy in texture and fell apart on the barbecue. I think perhaps I used a tad too much water to soak the breadcrumbs. I didn't make the relish so can't comment on that.

mimiskitchen's picture
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Made these a couple of nights ago - and they are seriously good, tomato relish lovely (even better made the day before). Only thing I changed was the guacamole, i added blue cheese to it - these are huge so defo not for the faint hearted - just make sure everyone is really hungry!!

nikkidowns's picture
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My husband was very impressed when I presented this for his tea! Burgers, relish and guacamole all very tasty. Just make sure you're hungry!

helenthom's picture
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Just this sec finished my burger for tea and WOW it was delicious!
I didn't do the relish or include the tomato but it was seriously yummy with a squirt of BBQ sauce.
Burger was moist and very very tasty. OH loves them too.
A family fave for sure!