A burger topped with cheese of your choice is one of life's culinary delights. A strong cheddar is an excellent choice but the creamier cheeses are also a delight
400g / 14oz minced beef
Four thin slices of cheese (see Advice section below)
Eight rashers streaky bacon
1 medium onion
2 tablespoons of olive oil
4 leaves crispy lettuce
2 medium / 1 large red tomatoes
Half a cucumber
Four pinches of ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
If cooking on a barbecue, ensure the coals have heated through and are glowing but the fire has subsided. If cooking on a gridle / frying pan, it should be preheated to a high heat for three or four minutes.
Finely chop the onions. Use a food processor if you have one. If the onions are not finely chopped the burger will fall apart more easily, especially when cooked on a barbecue.
Slice the cheese.
Slice the tomatoes and cucumber.
Choose the cheese variety which you like best. Cheddar, Gruyere or Roquefort are favourites of ours.
It's important to include the egg in the burger mixture because it helps to retain the shape of the burger.
Placing the burger in the fridge for half an hour before cooking also stops the burger falling apart on the barbecue.
The final size of your cheeseburger is significantly affected by the fat content of the minced beef used. The fattier the meat, the smaller will be your burger because the fat will melt and drip out of the beef burger as it cooks.
Beef burgers should always be well cooked through or well done. Only eat beef burgers where all the meat (right through to the centre) has browned and no pink meat remains.
A steak can be eaten rare or medium rare because the initial searing of the steak kills any "nasties" on the surface. The centre of a steak rarely contains any "nasties". However a burger is made from minced meat and this is all mixed together, which spreads the surface and inner meat throughout the burger.
Place the minced beef, chopped onions, egg, cumin, salt and pepper in a bowl and mix the ingredients together well with your hands.
Divide the mixture into four equal portions and pat each portions into a circular burger shape. Each burger should be about 2.5cm / 1in thick. Brush both sides of each burger with olive oil. Place the uncooked burgers in the fridge for half an hour. This will help them retain their shape when cooking.STEP 2
If using a griddle / frying pan, turn the heat down to medium. Cook the burgers on a barbecue or on a griddle / fring pan for five minutes on one side. Turn the burgers over and cook for a further four or five minutes.
While cooking the burger, grill or barbecue the streaky bacon until it begins to crisp up. This will take about eight minutes.
Also while the burgers are cooking, cut each burger bun in half and lightly toast the cut sides under the grill.STEP 3
When cooked, place each of the burgers in a burger bun and top with tomato, cucumber, the cooked bacon and a slice of cheese.