The Best Burgers at Home; Following the Hawksmoor Recipe

All hail to the day the Hawksmoor cookbook was thoughtfully placed under our Christmas tree. Hawksmoor at Home is not just a flick through recipe book, it’s one to sit down and really really savour. The 6 page description of the perfect burger had my mouth watering and I knew I had to take on the challenge. After digesting each page, I realised that the only thing I had to put my time towards was where I sourced my ingredients, the rest was easy (ish).

The burgers were absolutely to die for: rich, moist and pink with the tastiest juices dripping from the great layer of meat into the soft, sweet and bouncy brioche. The cheese was awesome, perfect for melting with a similar texture to American processed cheese but with a richer, fruitier finish. The lettuce gave the whole thing just the right amount of crunch and both the onion and the cucumber added a lovely bite of acidity. Do it, just cook them as soon as you can.

I tried my best to follow the list of ingredients to the letter and sourcing them around Borough Market was like taking part in a Hawksmoor treasure trail. I told the butcher at the Ginger Pig my plan and he knew what to do.. Within minutes he was coarsely mincing rib-eye steak and adding the fatty cap that sits just above it (as a substitute for bone marrow that Hawksmoor recommended as they’d run out), until I had about 70%-meat, 30% fat. Onto Neals Yard Dairy and after a quick phonecall to their suppliers, I was £5 lighter, a bit fuller after some yummy samples, and leaving with a chunk of Ogleshield cheese. If you choose to make your own brioche like we did, you have a bit more work to do, otherwise with a few salads, you’re pretty much ready to go.

The Recipe:

Brioche Buns (makes 8)

  • 50g Custard Powder
  • 550ml milk
  • 25g unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 750g strong white flour
  • 1 sachet of instant dry yeast
  • 2 tsp salt
  • A beaten egg for glazing

Whisk the custard powder into the milk and pour into a saucepan. Bring to the boil, stirring all the time. Remove from the heat, stir in the butter and sugar until melted, then pour into a mixing bowl and leave until barely warm. Add the flour, yeast and salt, mix well and leave for 10 minutes. On a lightly oiled surface, lightly knead the dough until smooth, then return it to the bowl and leave covered for an hour and a half.

Divide the dough into pieces (about 200g) and using a little flour, shape them into balls. Place them on a lined baking tray and flatten slightly with a rolling pin. Cover and leave to rise for about an hour or until they have doubled in size.

Finally, brush the buns with beaten egg and bake at 200c for about 20 minutes until lightly goldne. Leave to cool before using.

Pickled cucumber

Slice a cucumber and cover with salt. Leave to sit for 20 mins so that the cucumber absorbs the salt. Wash off the salt under cold water. Return the cucumber to a bowl and add white wine vinegar and chopped ginger. Marinade for as long as you have (preferably a couple of hours).

Burgers (makes 4)

– 500g beef cuts minced coarsely (we used rib-eye)
– 50-100g bone marrow/fat minced coarsely

Mix the meat and the fat/marrow thoroughly and divide into 4. Shape them into patties, pressing the meat together firmly. Make a slight hollow in the centre of the burger with your thumb to stop it from rising. Season the patties with sea salt and pepper. Preheat the griddle pan over a high heat until almost smoking. Lay the burgers on the griddle and cook for 2 mins, then turn continuing to cook them for another two minutes. Flip and repeat until they are charred, ensuring you get a nice pink interior.

Preheat the grill to melt the cheese. Whilst the burger is still in the griddle, add slices of cheese to the top then place the whole pan under the grill to melt the cheese for a couple of seconds.
Remove the burgers from the pan and allow them to sit for 5 minutes.

Assemble your burger by toasting the brioche buns. Spread the bottom with a mix of mustard and mayonnaise and the top half with ketchup. Place a couple of slices of lettuce, a slice of red onion and a few slices of cucumber on the bottom half, top with the burger and finish with the top half.



20 thoughts on “The Best Burgers at Home; Following the Hawksmoor Recipe

  1. Yum yum yum! These looked good when you tweeted about them but you didn’t show the burger, just the buns…epic is the only word :-) I really want to try the bun recipe with custard powder-an intrigued!

    1. Thank you! They were EPIC!! The custard was an amazing touch- they were quite sweet though, so you really do need to pair them with something very rich and hearty. Enjoy!

  2. Oh this does look good. Very good! I did a post a while ago about peoples’ ultimate burger and there was quite the battle between patty purists who wouldn’t countenance anything other than meat and those who would add onion, flavourings etc and then another debate between the merits of brioche and white buns! Quite the topic to get people worked up!
    This one does look worth spending a bit of time on!

    1. Haha so I see! Great post though! I’ve always been a fan of putting in lots of bits and bobs into my meat until I tried really good meat…now I think there is no going back! I’ll save my playing around with it for meatballs and chilli!

  3. Looks like an Epic burger that’s taken the home-made pattie to a whole new level. Thanks for sharing- Am a big fan of Hawksmoor (espesh their Ketchup… mhhmm). Love the blog btw!

    1. Thanks for the comment! Was totally epic..I actually started off thinking I would get through two myself..ERROR! Their ketchup is in the book too, I’ll have to try it.

  4. I’ve tried to make these buns twice now but they keep coming out too thick/bready. What am I doing wrong? I guess I’m not much of a baker. I make a mean burger but it’s hard to find good burger buns in London… the best I’ve fund so far have been plain old Warburton’s Hamburger Buns. I’d love to know where you can buy brioche rolls.

  5. Pedantically, this isn’t a recipe for brioche buns, cos there aint no egg in the recipe.

    @Reuben, sounds like you didn’t cook them for long enough?? Did you give them a knock on the base after you took them out of the oven? They should sound hollow.

    The recipe is actually Dan Lepard’s for sliders. I’ve made them before with excellent results; it may be that making them slider-size helps the outcome.

  6. When you say “tsp” for the salt and sugar, should it be tbsp? I just made these, but they taste like they need more salt and sugar?

  7. Interested to see the recipe for the burger buns! I have made them twice. First time I absolutely knew, once combined, that there was way too much flour! Make them again last weekend, turned out perfect! Cut back on the flour, added 3 cups to start with and more as required. I also got the cookbook for a Christmas present! Have you made the pickled red cabbage…it’s amazingly good! So is the blancmange with blood orange jelly. Will make that again in the summer with summer fruits! It’s a bit of a challenge to get some of the cheeses here but luckily Montgomery Cheddar is available!

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