John Torode's big burger

John Torode's big burger

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(13 ratings)

Prep: 25 mins Cook: 30 mins


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

  • burger only

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal994
  • fat65g
  • saturates30g
  • carbs33g
  • sugars7g
  • fibre2g
  • protein71g
  • salt3.25g
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    For the spicy tomato relish

    • 1 tbsp olive oil
      olive oil

      Olive oil

      ol-iv oyl

      Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

    • 2 tsp ground cumin
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
    • 2 small shallots, chopped



      Related to the onion (as opposed to being a younger version of it), shallots grow in clusters at…

    • 1 red chilli, chopped
    • 1 celery stick, chopped



      A collection of long, thick, juicy stalks around a central, tender heart, celery ranges in…

    • 500g very ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped



      A member of the nightshade family (along with aubergines, peppers and chillies), tomatoes are in…

    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



      The classic choice of meat for a British Sunday roast. Beef is full of flavour, as…

    To serve

    • 8 slices gruyères (optional)



      Gruyère is an undoubted pinnacle of traditional Swiss cheese-making, a culinary masterpiece as…

    • 4 burger buns, warmed
    • little butter



      Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

    • 4 tbsp good-quality mayonnaise
    • squeezy mustard



      A condiment made by mixing the ground seeds of the mustard plant with a combination of…

    • 1 beef tomato, sliced
    • few cooked rashers streaky bacon
    • Little Gem lettuce leaves
    • guacamole, see 'goes well with'
    • few gherkins


    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.

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    Comments, questions and tips

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    2nd May, 2016
    Only made the relish from this recipe because I had bought delicious caramelized onion burgers. The relish is very tasty - I was cautious with the chilli and heavy handed with the cumin which was just right for me.
    21st Oct, 2015
    Useful tips in the article , i am impressed and got to know methods and technique to make food by using different ingredients and recipes , i am a big fan of burgers , i eat a lot , i always wanted to try at home and i also tried making at home but it dint turn well so i stopped trying , since i saw an article how to make a burger i would definitely try with these ingredients hope it goes well. i am worried about having junk food because its not that healthy food but burger are so tempting and so tasty and i have them, can you please advise by using these ingredients in the burger , are they healthy ?
    27th Feb, 2013
    John Torode is not American; why is his recipe in this section?
    7th May, 2015
    You don't need to be American to cook American food.
    mollymango's picture
    5th Jun, 2012
    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!
    17th May, 2012
    very good!
    22nd Jun, 2011
    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.
    18th Jun, 2011
    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.
    17th May, 2011
    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!!
    12th May, 2011
    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!


    Joshua Aspin's picture
    Joshua Aspin
    10th May, 2019
    Do you need oyster sauce for the burger?
    goodfoodteam's picture
    11th May, 2019
    Thanks for your question. If you prefer not to use oyster sauce, you can double the following burger patty recipe but keep all the other elements of John's recipe above:
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