A super short cut to juicy homemade hamburgers that adds lots of flavour!! The short cut? A packet of French Onion Soup!! This was my mother’s way of making a tasty burger FAST (no eggs, no breadcrumbs). I know it might sound strange, but you’ll never know unless you try!!
I began my ABOUT page with a quote from my mother. If you haven’t already read it, here it is, “Cooking is all about taste and imagination”. For her, time was of the essence (she worked long hours) so she had to use her imagination. With just 2 ingredients, beef and a packet of French Onion Soup, she created her own version of the burger.
Back when my mother was making these burgers, beef was beef!! You didn’t need to decide between regular, pork and beef, 3 star, lean, extra lean or heart smart extra lean. It’s great to have these options, but for my mother’s hamburgers you do need fat for juiciness and flavour. I buy regular mince which contains 18% fat. If you have your own butcher (sadly mine left town), that’s great, otherwise supermarket bought beef will do the job.
When l was growing up, we ate the meat patties on their own (no bun) with some rice and salad on the side. I still occasionally eat them this way. Whenever l make hamburgers, l tend to keep it simple, as shown in the photo, with the exception of a fried egg from time to time.
It’s hard to resist a runny yolk!!
PS A special thank you to my helper/daughter, Olivia, whose fingers started to cramp as l made her hold the hamburger for a little too long!!
Preparation Time: 5 mins Cooking Time: 20 mins (includes onions) Servings: 4
- 600 g / 1.5 lbs beef mince/ground mince (Note 1)
- 1/2 packet of French Onion Soup Mix (Note 2)
- 1 tbsp oil
- 4 burger buns lightly toasted
- sliced tomatoes, cucumbers/pickles, lettuce
- a condiment of your choice (relish, tomato sauce, mustard)
- 3 medium onions sliced in thick rings
- 2 tbsp oil
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- Place the beef in a bowl and sprinkle 1/2 packet of French Onion Soup over the top.
- Using your hands, quickly but gently mix together. This should take about 30 seconds; you don’t want to overwork the meat.
- Divide the meat into 4 equal portions (150 g / 5.5 oz each portion). Without squeezing or pressing too hard, form a pattie with each portion. Mine are about 10 cm / 4 ” in diameter. Again, don’t overwork the meat: be quick!! Set aside.
- Caramelised Onions: Heat the oil over high heat in a medium size frypan. Add the onion rings and drizzle the balsamic vinegar over them. Stir to ensure the onions rings are coated. Saute until golden brown. Remove from the pan. Give the pan a wipe.
- Over high heat, add 1 tbsp oil to the same pan. When the pan is smoking, add the patties and cook between 3 – 4 minutes. The patties should form a nice deep golden crust. Do not keep flipping and do not press the patties!!!! If you press, all those beautiful juices will escape! Flip the patties and cook the other side for another 3 – 4 minutes.
- Spread the buns with a condiment of your choice and layer with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers/pickles, patties and onions. Place the lid (top) on the bun.
- Serve immediately!!!
- For this recipe, I use regular beef mince (ground beef) as it is juicier than the lean versions. Otherwise, my burgers would be quite dry!!
- I buy a 40 g / 1.5 oz packet of French Onion Soup and use only half of it. I store the other half for later use. You may have noticed that l haven’t included salt or pepper in the list of ingredients. I find that the patties don’t need it as there is enough salt/spices in the soup mix.