I consider myself very lucky to have grown up in a time when there wasn't a 'Golden Arches' on every street corner and my dear Mother used to cook everything from scratch and takeaway was a very rare treat. One such treat was a good old fashioned hamburger with the lot, or, as us Aussies like to call it, an "Aussie Works Burger". But I prefer to cook them at home, just the way I like them.
It still happens to be one of my favourite takeaway options if I'm ever out and about and short on time or won't be home. It beats any burger chain hamburger hands down and that's why I don't eat them. They don't even come close to tasting like a real hamburger. There are a lot of variations of the good old Aussie Works Burger. Some fancy cafes like to jazz it up a bit with things like 'Wagyu beef', for instance, or 'caramelised onion jam' which is all just too fancy schmancy (and very overpriced) and not at all necessary. With some basic pantry supplies that we all have, you can easily recreate your own burger at home.
It starts with your basic hamburger bun. I usually have a supply in the freezer for a quick weekend meal. You can choose white, wholemeal or wholegrain bread rolls or even sliced bread for that matter. The buns are split and lightly toasted under the griller (broiler).
Next step is the meat. I usually use ground beef and add nothing but salt and pepper. If the meat is a little too crumbly, you can add a beaten egg to bind. I just form the meat into patties and fry on a pan until cooked. You can substitute the beef for any ground meat or use a thin piece of steak.
Bacon and sliced onions are then cooked in the same pan while the beef patties are kept warm in the oven.
Next, fry an egg, in the same pan to your liking. (I usually omit this for myself as I'm not a big fan of eggs.)
While the pattie, bacon, onions and egg are cooking, return one half of the bun to the griller with a couple slices of cheddar cheese and melt. You are pretty much now ready to assemble the burger.
Some people might have different ways of assembling it but I always prefer to have the salad on the bottom. Start with lettuce, sliced tomato (add a sprinkling of salt and pepper to the tomato), sliced beetroot (sliced, canned beetroot is HUGE in Australia - we couldn't imagine a burger without it), a slice of fresh or canned pineapple then add the hot items.
Add the meat patty, egg, bacon and cooked onions and lather with your choice of sauce. In my case, it's always barbecue (or similarly known as HP Sauce) sauce. Tomato sauce, or ketchup, is the other most common sauce added to our burgers.
Top with the other half of the bun which has the melted cheese and you're done. Now, the biggest problem you have is how you're going to get your mouth around it. Good luck! You'll need a bath after eating it as the sauce will ooze out but it will be worth it. A typical Aussie favourite that is best recreated at home.
Aussie Works Burger
- hamburger bun (one per person)
- ground meat (beef, chicken, pork, veal, lamb)
- bacon rashers
- onion, thinly sliced
- cheddar cheese, sliced
- beetroot, sliced
- pineapple, fresh or canned, sliced
- sauce of your choice, barbecue or tomato
- oil for frying
- salt and pepper
- Toast buns until lightly golden.
- Lightly season your ground meat with salt and pepper and form into patties. Fry until cooked through.
- Fry bacon rashers, thinly sliced onions and eggs.
- Return one half of the hamburger bun to the griller and add sliced cheese and melt.
- Assemble the burger with lettuce, tomato, beetroot, pineapple, meat pattie, bacon, egg, sliced onions and sauce.