Rosie French and Ellie Grace run their blog, Salad Club, and their restaurant French & Grace out of London, England. We’ve been cooking our way through their book, Kitchen & Co. to great success. We dare you to find one recipe in there that you can’t make.
This is a monster of a burger. And now that it’s tried and tested, there seems little point in going back to the regular pairing of cheese and tomato. The bagels in this recipe are Brick Lane’s (East London) most famous. Every Sunday, queues snake out of the two bakeries at the north end of the street and customers step out of the hot shop fronts with buns stuffed with tangy mustard and salt beef or thick cream cheese and smoked salmon. Having bought a too-large paper bag of plain ones I realized they quickly had to find a home in my stomach.
It turns out they hold the weight of a burger better than a seeded bun and have a pleasing touch of the Yorkshire pudding about them when soaked with mustard and beef juices. What could possibly be better? When it comes to English mustard, only Colman’s will do — mixing it yourself from powder will have the sharpest, most eye-watering effect, which is just what we’re going for. This recipe can be made on a hob (range top) or barbecue, depending on the weather and your expertise.
For the burgers
- 2 pounds ground beef
- handful of breadcrumbs
- handful of fresh thyme leaves, picked
- couple of dashes of worcestershire sauce
- Salt and pepper
- olive oil, for frying and dressing
- 1 large white onion, peeled and sliced
- 4 bagels, halved
- 1 large beetroot, scrubbed and grated
- 1 teaspoon hot English mustard powder, ready-mixed
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 heaped teaspoon capers, drained and rinsed
- 1 avocado, peeled, stoned and sliced
- Start by mixing the burger ingredients together in a bowl, using your hands to combine. Shape the mixture into patties and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Heat a little oil on low in a frying pan and add the onion, stirring until brown and crisped. Place the bagel halves under a gentle grill or at the edge of the barbecue, taking care to turn and remove when ready. Push the onion to the edge of the pan, oil and season the burgers on both sides and turn the heat to high.
- Add the burgers to the center of the pan and press down with a spatula. Cook on both sides for 5 minutes without moving – shorter if the burger isn't very fat or you prefer your beef rare.
- Meanwhile, toss the grated beetroot in a bowl with the olive oil, mustard, lemon juice and capers. As soon as the burgers are ready, stack the dressed beetroot on the bagel bases and top with the burgers and avocado slices. Finish with the crispy fried onions and the bagel tops. Eat quickly and messily with an ice-cold beer.
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