Do you make the best burger? Chef shares hers, see if yours measures up

25 May 2020 - 10:56 By TimesLIVE
Compare your burger with our foodies' recommendations.
Compare your burger with our foodies' recommendations.
Image: 123RF/bodnarphoto

May 28 is International Hamburger Day and chef Nadia Pillay, a lecturer at Capsicum Culinary Studio's Port Elizabeth campus, says her recipe is the one to beat.

Pillay says: “I have no name for this burger but I call it 'Since 2009' because that’s how long I've been using this recipe."

Whether you like yours loaded or plain, please share your recipe in the comments section - once you've checked out chef Pillay's and compared it with our foodies' recommendations: 

To serve four people:

Burger patty ingredients

  • 600g beef mince (150g per patty)
  • one onion finely chopped
  • 20g fresh parsley finely chopped
  • 60ml Worcestershire sauce
  • two tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • one large egg
  • half a cup of Parmesan cheese (grated)
  • half cup dried breadcrumbs
  • two tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper

Tomato relish

  • one can whole peeled tomatoes roughly chopped
  • one onion thinly sliced
  • one teaspoon of fresh garlic
  • four to five fresh basil leaves broken up
  • 10ml sugar
  • salt and pepper
  • ½ teaspoon vinegar

Other ingredients

  • four large burger buns
  • sliced dill cucumber
  • lettuce
  • grated cheddar cheese
  • mustard mayo (five tablespoons mayonnaise and two tablespoons wholegrain mustard)


Start by mixing all the ingredients together for the beef patty. Make sure to combine everything really well so  all the ingredients are evenly mixed.

Once mixed, shape patties into 150g balls and set aside to rest in the refrigerator.

While the patties are resting, make the tomato relish by heating two tablespoons of oil on medium heat. Add onions and garlic and sauté until onions are clear and glossy (be careful not to burn the garlic).

Add the sugar by sprinkling it evenly over onions but do not stir - rather let the sugar melt (about 30 seconds). Add chopped tomatoes and seasoning and stir for about five minutes.

Turn down heat and let mixture cook on gentle heat for about 15 minutes, making sure it does not stick to the bottom of the pan.

Once cooked through add the basil and then turn off the heat and let the relish develop its flavours.

By now the burger patties should be firm. Shape them into patties, brush with oil and cook to preference in a griddle pan or on the braai. (Brushing the patty with oil rather than putting the oil into the pan will avoid create splatter.)

Make sure cooking temperature is high to get a smoky flavour.

Once cooked to preference, top your patties with the grated cheese and melt in the oven or cover the pan with a lid for a few minutes.

Once burgers are cooked let them rest for about two to three minutes before building your burger.

Toast burger buns until golden to prevent the buns from becoming soggy.

Spread the buns with the mustard mayo instead of butter. Add lettuce leaf or two and then place cooked patty and top with sliced dill cucumbers and tomato relish.

Serve with fries.



Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.