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Lockdown Recipe of the Day: Zesty Burger Patties



Lockdown Recipe of the Day: Zesty Burger Patties

Zesty burgers. (Photo: Tony Jackman)

There are millions of recipes for burger patties in the world. Here’s mine, which I love because of the punch of flavour given by the rosemary and lemon zest, with just a hint of soy to lend it depth of flavour.

How big you make the burger patties depends on the size of the bun you’re using. The ideal is to have a patty which, when cooked, is a little bit bigger than the bun. Also allow for shrinkage during cooking, because the end result will not be the same size as the raw patty – hence, the raw patty should be considerably bigger than the bun so that cooking shrinks it to a size that is still a tiny bit bigger. Expect the patties to be one third smaller, roughly, once cooked, and judge the raw size from there. Provita crackers add body to the mix.


800 g lean beef mince

1 large onion, chopped finely

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 Tbsp rosemary needles, very finely chopped

4 Provita crackers, bashed up to a fine crumb

1 Tbsp parsley, finely chopped

1 tsp German mustard

Grated zest of 1 lemon

1 Tbsp soy sauce

1 extra large or jumbo egg, beaten

Salt and pepper to taste

Butter and olive oil for frying

To serve:

Mature Cheddar cheese, slices of (try to avoid poor quality processed varieties)

3 or 4 gherkin slices per burger

1 tomato slice per burger

Mayonnaise mixed with a little mustard and a hint of tomato sauce (or relish of your choice)


Chop the onion and garlic as finely as you can. Chop the rosemary and parsley, and zest the lemon. Bash up the Provita crackers.

Wash your hands thoroughly because you’re going to mix it with bare hands; it’s the best way.

Put all of the ingredients, including the seasoning, into a bowl and get your hands in there so that all elements are well combined.

Form clumps of the mince into balls and then pat down into patties, about 1.5 cm thick. The mixture will be quite wet, but the next stage will sort that out.

Lay the patties out on greaseproof paper on a tray or oven dish and refrigerate for an hour. This will firm them up so that they will hold themselves when fried in a pan or grilled on the braai grid, as I did.

Halve the buns and toast them briefly.

Pan-fry patties in a mixture of butter and olive oil, turning once. Don’t overcook them; there should still be a moist centre.

Serve each patty in a buttered bun with a thin slice of Cheddar cheese, gherkin, tomato and a blob of relish or mayonnaise.

Add more if you like: a slice of bacon, lettuce, rocket, switch from Cheddar to blue or another cheese, add caramelised onions, whatever takes your fancy. DM/TGIFood 

Our Thank God It’s Food newsletter is sent to subscribers every Friday at 6pm, and published on the TGIFood platform on Daily Maverick. It’s all about great reads on the themes of food and life. Subscribe here.

Send your Lockdown Recipes to [email protected] with a hi-resolution horizontal (landscape) photo.

Thank God It’s Food is sponsored by Pick n Pay.


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