Spicy pancetta beef burgers

My husband loves red meat and one of his favourite dinners is my homemade burgers.  My philosophy with burgers (and everything really) is that all elements of a dish should have flavour.  Instead of a simple burger with lots of condiments and add ons, this burger has loads of seasoning and flavour inside the patty.  Professional chefs will likely tell you not to put Worcestershire in a burger, that it belongs in meatloaf.  However, since I was little my mom has put Worcestershire in her homemade burgers so I follow that tradition.  If you dislike Worcestershire or simply want to try something different, I’ve also used soya sauce (Kikkoman) and garlic spare rib sauce (VH) in its place.  As with any recipe, this can be adapted to your personal taste with more/less seasoning being used.

1 egg
1 tsp Worstershire Sauce
1 lb extra lean ground beef (try and get your beef from the butcher’s counter if possible, that way you know it was recently ground)
Sea salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp chili flakes
1 tbsp Sriracha
¼ cup minced pancetta, chopped very fine (this adds some fat to the burger, you could also use a more fatty beef and omit it)
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tsp onion powder
Large bowl
Stainless steel skillet

Smoosh your ground beef into a bowl, leaving a well at the bottom.  Add the egg and Worcestershire sauce, pancetta and spices (except for the salt).  Use your hands to blend your burger until everything is mixed and pulled together: you can use a spoon but the ingredients won’t be as evenly distributed.

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Divide your meat into 3 or 4 balls (my husband likes me to make 3 for slightly larger patties).  Flatten the ball in your hands and press into a circle until it’s approximately an inch thick: try not to overwork your meat.

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Heat some olive oil in a heavy bottom skillet on medium high heat.  Grind some sea salt onto your patties then add them to the pan.  Resist the urge to flip the burgers prematurely.  You will know the patties are ready to flip when they easily release from the pan; if they stick, wait a bit longer.  The result should be delicious burgers with a lovely, caramelized crust.  If you are adding cheese, put it on before your burgers are completely cooked; this way your cheese will melt but your patty won’t dry out.

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Top with your favourite condiments on a soft bakery bun and enjoy!

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One thought on “Spicy pancetta beef burgers

  1. The burgers sound delicious. I’m pro Worcestershire sauce which I put in my curry turkey burgers from a Rachael Ray recipe. I also put flavorings into my beef burgers. One of them is celery salt which might sound unusual. I’ve had a Cuisinart electric grill and griddle for quite a while and it’s a great alternative way to grill burgers indoors.

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