A really good burger has to be made from really good beef. If you can, ask a butcher to mince some rump, blade or chuck steak for you, but make sure it has 20 per cent fat content, as in effect this will make them self-basting and will prevent them from drying out during cooking. Otherwise, buy ordinary minced beef from the supermarket, but don't buy extra-lean mince or the burgers will become tough during cooking.


  • 675g (1½lb) minced beef (see the intro)
  • 1 small onion, finely grated
  • 1 mild red chilli, seeded and finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 tblsp cream
  • 1 tblsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • ½ heaped tsp salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 slices Cheddar
  • 2 tblsp mayonnaise
  • 50g (2oz) iceberg lettuce, finely shredded
  • 25g (1oz) cocktail gherkins, finely chopped
  • 2 tblsp finely chopped spring onion
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 4 sesame bread rolls or baps, halved
  • 2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • Ballymaloe tomato relish, to serve
  • For the Crispy Potato Wedges:
  • 4 x 175g (6oz) potatoes, scrubbed (about 675g/1½lb in total)
  • 2 tblsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp cajun seasoning
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Place the minced beef in a food processor and add the onion, chilli (if using), garlic, double cream and parsley. Season with the salt and plenty of pepper, then quickly blitz until the meat starts to hold together.
  2. Divide the mixture into 4 burgers and shape by hand or by pressing into a metal pastry cutter.
  3. Arrange on a flat plate, then cover loosely with clingfilm and chill for at least 1 hour to allow the mixture to firm up.
  4. To make the crispy potato wedges, preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/gas mark 6). Cut each potato into 8 even-sized wedges. Place the potatoes in a pan of boiling water, return to the boil and blanch for 2-3 minutes, then quickly drain.
  5. Put the olive oil in a large roasting tin with the Cajun seasoning, salt and some freshly ground black pepper.
  6. Add the wedges and toss until they are all well coated in the flavoured oil, then arrange them in rows 'sitting' upright on their skins. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until completely tender and lightly golden.
  7. Meanwhile, preheat the grill or a barbecue with medium-hot coals and cook the burgers for about 5 minutes on each side for medium.
  8. Put a slice of Cheddar on top of each one and then remove from the heat. Leave to cool for a couple of minutes in a warm place until the cheese has just started to melt.
  9. Place the mayonnaise in a bowl and mix in the lettuce, gherkins, spring onion and mustard. Season to taste and mix well.
  10. To serve, lightly toast the cut sides of the rolls under the grill or on the barbecue for 1-2 minutes.
  11. Cover the bottom half with a couple of slices of tomato and some lettuce mayonnaise, then sit the burger with the melting Cheddar on top.
  12. Cover with the top half of the bun and arrange on warmed serving plates with the crispy potato wedges and a small pot of tomato relish.