The 5 levels of Cheeseburger

by Barry Lewis


Homemade Onion Rings (or use store bought)

1 onion, peeled and sliced into ½ inch bands

160g self-raising flour

1tsp salt and pepper

1tsp paprika (optional)

190ml carbonated spring water

Vegetable oil for frying

Homemade Tomato Relish (or use store bought)

1 red onion, diced

1tbsp veg oil

4 small cornichons, diced

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1tsp paprika

1tbsp white wine vinegar

1tsp sugar (optional)

200g small tomatoes on the vine

1tbsp tomato ketchup

Salt and pepper

Burger Ingredients

1 sourdough burger bun, halved

Approx 300g Wagu mince

½ mozzarella ball, torn up

1 slice jack pepper cheese

½ small gem lettuce, shredded

Salt and pepper

1tbsp veg oil

Whilst it would be fun to write out all 5 of the recipes in this video, I think it’s only right if I encourage you to do the final one with some shortcuts if you wish – such as the homemade relish being replaced with store bought etc. This is a recipe for the level 5 burger, but this recipe could be taken even further with homemade buns etc, it’s more about the levels of effort with some amusing ingredient alternatives along the way. Hope you give this a go…

Homemade Onion Rings

For the onion rings, whisk together the flour and water in a bowl, seasoning with salt, pepper and paprika if you wish. It’ll be quite thick, but you want it to be to coat the onion pieces. Peel off any loose film on the onions and leave to rest, warm your oil in a fryer / deep frying pan to 180c and dunk the onions into the batter. Fry carefully in batches until puffed up and lightly golden, around 4 minutes or so. Rest on kitchen towel and repeat with remaining onion pieces, these are very addictive, plus we’ll only be putting 2 or so in the burger!

Homemade Tomato Relish

Grab a frying pan, add the oil and onions, fry for about 5 mins over a medium heat constantly stirring. Next up add in all your other ingredients, make sure your tomatoes are halved, you can chop them finer if you wish for a smoother relish but we can make the whole thing smooth in a moment. Keep frying it down and simmering to reduce the water content from the tomatoes and thicken the relish, tweaking flavours to your liking. This can take up to 20 mins, but use a low flame and keep tasting it from time to time, adding a little more sugar, or perhaps more spice / vinegar until you are happy. Allow to cool and transfer to a tub with a lid if not using immediately and keep chilled. I like it chunky but if you want you could whizz it all through a blender to make it super smooth as an alternative, it’ll still be thick that way though.

To make the cheeseburger

Get a frying pan on a medium low flame, halve the buns and toast them in the pan face down with no oil, keep an eye on them as they can catch pretty quickly then leave to one side.

Season the mince with salt and pepper, then shape 2/3 of the mince into a disc, push in the centre of the formed disc and add in the torn mozzarella cheese ball, top with the remaining mince to encase the mozzarella in the burger patty. Press to make sure it’s encased well, keep chilled if not using immediately.

Warm a frying pan with a little oil, add the patty, place a lid on the pan and fry until deeply browned on one side, remove the lid, flip over carefully, cook again with the lid on for a few more minutes, controlling the heat until lightly browned, add the cheese slice on top, season with more pepper, add the lid to sweat the cheese quicker and cloak it around the burger patty.

Serve the burger in the bun with relish spread on, some crispy fresh lettuce, the cheese drenched (and mozzarella stuffed!) burger patty, onions rings and the top of the bun also face side covered with a touch more relish. Absolutely phenomenal and my idea of a lovely cheeseburger!