Hello hungry peoples,
Today we are going to talk about burgers. New burger joints are popping up around Canberra all the time. Mostly chain restaurants but every now and then there is one that that is a bit special and I get excited. My current favorite is the iconic Brodburger, located in the Kingston Glassworks.
This burger joint started as an adorable red van in Bowen Park by the Lake. Right from the beginning the burgers were amazing but the lack of facilities was a bit of a bummer, especially in a Canberra winter. Plus word got out pretty quickly how great they were and you would have to wait half an hour or more for your food. Since I am always starving this was unbearable. They have since moved into the refurbished Kingston Brickworks, which is now a glassworks facility and gallery. Apparently brick = industrial, glass = shmansy pantsy. You still have to wait 30 minutes or more for your food but at least you have somewhere warm to sit and the glassware is very pretty to look at.
To save you the bother of coming to Canberra / leaving your house I am going to share my Brodburger inspired burger recipe. I have tried to honor the original but have tweaked a few things here and there to make it easier. I think the result is pretty close and you get a delicious burger so happiness all round!
The deal with Brodburgers is that everything is kept pretty simple but executed perfectly. That means having good ingredients to start with that you respect and treat nicely. “I promise my gorgeous burger patty, I will still respect you in the morning”. Wait….that makes it sound like I am going to shag a burger. Maybe not an appropriate analogy. Lets pretend that never happened and move on.
I have played around with my burger patties for ages, trying bread crumbs, egg yolk, chilli, paprika etc. but have discovered the magical secret to an amazing burger. The best burger patty is the one you do the least too. What you need is a nice mince (with fat, not lean people, fat = flavour), cooked properly and seasoned well. What really elevates a burger, other than the fat, is the accompaniments. A good mayonnaise, cheese and bread bun really seals the deal. Making your own mayonnaise does intimidate some people but it is pretty easy and the pay off is huge. Let’s get into it.
- 4 egg yolks
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 cup fresh herbs
- 2-4 garlic cloves
- 1 cup sunflower oil
- In regards to the mayonnaise you have two options – a regular mayonnaise or an aioli. Brodburger uses an herbed aioli and I tend to lean this way too. The difference between mayonnaise and aioli is that aioli traditionally has garlic in it. Who wouldn’t want garlic? If you are one of these freakish people just exclude the garlic and herbs and you will have a regular old mayonnaise.
- Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C. The first thing you need to do is roast your garlic. A lot of aioli recipes have raw garlic in them. This will make a very strong tasting aioli and you may have trouble getting people to kiss you afterwards. I much prefer the option of oven roasting the garlic first as it produces a beautiful mellow garlic flavour, reduces the bad breath and also makes the garlic a bit sweet. As they love to say on Iron chef “it really brings out the sweetness of the garlic/onion/sardines/any random ingredient”. Many recipes also include up to 4 garlic cloves. I find this a bit strong and prefer two cloves. Roast the garlic in the oven for about 10-15 minutes.
- While the garlic is roasting, crack and separate the 4 eggs. You only use the yolks for aioli. This does leave you with a lot of egg white which I tend to use this up by making meringues. Egg whites can be stored for a couple of days in the fridge. Add the 2 tbsps of lemon juice and salt and pepper to the egg yolks. Coarsely chop your 1/2 cup fresh herbs and also add. I like to use a combination of basil and parsley. Give everything a good mix. Take the garlic out of the oven. Chop the bottom of each clove off and then squeeze the garlic out. It should be nice and soft and mix in pretty easily.
- Now we “emulsify”. This means stirring fast while drizzling the oil in. You can do this in a blender but I like to do it by hand with a whisk. Get your whisk hand going and slowly drizzle the vegetable oil in. The mixture will look creamy and thickened if it is going well. If everything is staying separate stop adding oil as this usually means your adding it too fast, and just beat the heck out of the mixture it until it combines. In regards to what oil you use many recipes call for olive oil. I find this much too strong. lt just tastes weird. Use something milder, like sunflower oil, to produce the flavour your more familiar with. Your aioli is now complete. Any leftovers can be stored in the fridge for a couple of days. It will make an amazing toasted ham and cheese sandwich.
- 500g full fat beef mince
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 4 slices swiss cheese
- Season your mince well with salt and pepper.
- Break the mince up into quarters and roll each quarter into a ball and flatten. This is now ready for frying.
- Set a frying pan on medium heat with a tbsp butter and olive oil. This is my frying method for everything that I have discussed previously, with the olive oil preventing the butter from burning and producing a great flavour.
- Put your patties into the pan once it is hot. Fry around 5-10 minutes on each side. With the burgers you want each side nicely brown and a bit of pink in the middle of the burgers. When you flip the burger place your cheese on top so it gets melty while the other side of the patty cooks. I like to go with Swiss as it melts really well but Brodburgers also offer Brie, Blue and Cheddar cheese. You are now ready for burger construction!
- 4 bread buns
- 4 burger patties with cheese
- 2 tbsp tomato sauce
- 8 tbsp aioli
- 1 thinly sliced tomato
- 4 lettuce leaves/salad
Optional/preferable extras: bacon, mustard, fried egg, barbeque sauce, pineapple, pickles.
- The basic ingredients I have listed are what you typically get in the standard Brodburger. Of course part of the joy with burgers is adding all the extras that you love.
- In regards to bread I know it is fashionable to use Brioche but honestly I find it a weird flavour combination with beef. Brioche definitely has its place and I think that is with pork burgers, pulled pork in particular. Brodburger use the standard soft burger rolls and I think this works best with beef.
- The only major difference between this burger and Brodburger is that I don’t make my own relish. I have read many articles discussing making your own tomato sauce and the consensus seems to be that it is really hard to make a good sauce and it is unlikely to exceed the commercial Heinz tomato sauce. Yes people, I seriously spent time and researched this….like years ago…..FOR FUN! Anyway, enjoy this beauty.
p.s. I know it is cruel to include fries in the photo and not actually tell you how to make them. I have a great easy chip recipe that I promise I will share. This post is already verbose enough. Don’t even get me started on fries. I could go on for days.