- 500g pack lean minced beef, preferably organic
- 1 tsp mild chilli powder
- 4 slices mild cheddar, if you want to make cheeseburgers
For the buns and toppings
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Flavour the meat: Put the meat in a mixing bowl, then sprinkle over the chilli powder and a little salt and pepper. Mix well with your hands or use a fork. The mild chilli powder gives the meat added flavour without making it too spicy.
Shape into burgers: Divide the mixture into 4 equal pieces, then shape with your hands into round burgers about the width of the buns, or pack the mixture into large presentation rings (if you have them) placed on a chopping board. You need to press down on the meat to compact it, then carefully lift off the rings – a bit like making sandcastles.
Now get cooking: Fry the burgers on a hot griddle or grill them outside on the barbecue for 5 mins on each side, turning them carefully with a metal spatula. Take care as hot fat from the meat may spit a little.
Top with cheese and toast the buns: If you want to make cheeseburgers, put a slice of cheese on top of the burgers when you turn them over and let it melt while the other side cooks. When they are ready, cut the burger baps in half and warm them in the toaster or on the barbecue - take care that you don’t burn them.
Prepare the toppings: Meanwhile, prepare the toppings of your choice. Separate the lettuce into leaves. Then, using a sharp knife, thinly slice the tomato, cucumber and gherkin on a separate board to the one you prepared the burgers on. Peel and finely chop the red onion.
Assemble and enjoy: Spread a little mayonnaise or ketchup - or both if you like - onto the toasted buns, then top with your burgers and salads of your choice, followed by the remaining half bun.
When teaching children to cook I think it’s crucial to choose recipes that you know they’ll really want to eat – and Billy was definitely enthusiastic at the prospect of making burgers. They’re the kind of food youngsters will enjoy making for their friends, too. Everything can be prepared ahead, then the burgers simply need to be cooked and assembled at the last minute