I don’t think there are many people out there that don’t love a burger. It’s a staple on any menu pretty much wherever you go – from fast food chains, to pubs, to high end restaurants – everywhere will have their take on a burger. Speaking personally, they are one of my favourite foods and I am very particular about my burgers because there are fewer things worse than a dry, disappointing burger.
Well, actually, there are a lot of things worse than a dry burger but when it comes to dining there are fewer things worse, okay?
But one of the best burgers I have ever tried anywhere is from Five Guys, especially from a fast food chain. They do wonderfully cooked burgers where the beauty of it is in their simpicity. They let the meat do the talking and then what else you have on your burger is up to you – onions, jalapenos, mushrooms, pickles… the choice is yours. But the way they cook their burgers with thin, but perfectly cooked, patties mean they’re able to deliver “fast food” without compromising on the actual quality of the burger itself.
It’s not just the burgers that are wonderful though, their fries are amazing. Specifically, their cajun fries which are skin-on fries that are tossed in a blend of herbs and spices which give them an amazing, moreish flavour. You get tons of them too.
Unfortunately for me, the nearest Five Guys is ten miles away in Wimbledon, and as much as I would love to be able to eat there every single day, I can’t. So, I’ve attempted to make a burger and fries in their style at home, and I achieved really good results. The key to the burger is to keep it simple by only seasoning with salt and pepper and flattening the burgers down using parchment paper. For the cajun fries I’ve gone for a blend of herbs and spices that I feel match theirs, and I baked my fries till crispy rather than deep frying. While my take may not be the same as the real Five Guys experience, it’s as close as you’ll get at home.
The recipe I’ve presented here is using my favourite Five Guys combination – Cheese, Bacon, Jalapenos and Onion (raw, not grilled) but you can make these however you want as long as you keep the basic burger technique the same. You can either make four quarter-pound burgers with their recipe or, if you’re really hungry, you can make two half-pound burgers. You can also really take these up a notch as well by making them in conjunction with my burger buns recipe too.
Five Guys Style Burger & FriesPrint Recipe
- For the burger:
- 500g Beef Mince (12% fat minimum)
- Monterey Jack Cheese Slices
- Unsmoked Streaky Bacon Rashers
- Old El Paso Sliced Green Jalapenos
- Little Gem Lettuce (Sliced)
- 1 x Onion
- Sesame Seed Burger Buns
- 1½tsp Salt
- 1½tsp Black Pepper
- Baking/Parchment Paper
- For the fries:
- 4 x Large Baking Potatoes
- 2tbsp Smoked Paprika
- 1tbsp Oregano
- 1tbsp Thyme
- 1tbsp Rosemary
- 1tbsp Onion Granules
- 1tbsp Garlic Powder
- ½tsp Cayenne
- ½tsp Dried Chilli Flakes (Optional)
- ½tsp Cumin
- ½tsp Coriander
- 1½tsp Black Pepper
- 1½tsp Salt
- 2tbsp Olive Oil
Pre-heat the oven to 220°C (200°C Fan)/450°F/Gas Mark 7.
Cut the potatoes into french fries You do not want chunky fries so cut them as thin as you can. You could use a potato chipper if you have one.
Place the fries into a bowl, pour over the olive oil and season with the salt and black pepper. Toss the fries in the oil and seasoning until they're all coated.
Next, grease a baking sheet to prevent sticking, and even place the fries on the baking sheet so that none of them are touching and place in the oven on the top shelf and make for 35 - 45 minutes or until they're golden brown and very crispy. Be sure to turn the fries halfway through so that they cook evenly.
Now, while your fries are cooking, take your mince and place it into a bowl and season with the salt and pepper. Mix the seasonining in with your hands well, but don't overwork the mince too much as it'll become too tough. You want juicy, tender burgers.
Take the mince and split it into four equal pieces and shape into balls. You can wet your hands a little with water to prevent sticking.
Next, you'll need 5 pieces of baking paper all the same size about 15cm x 15cm in size. Place a piece on the work surface and place one of the balls of mince on the paper. Now place another piece of baking paper on top of it, press it down slightly and then flatten the paper down on top of the mince using something large and flat. A burger press would be ideal, but the underside of a frying pan works just as well. Now place another ball of mince on top of the last piece of paper and repeat their process until all of your balls of mince are nicely flattened. This will give your lovely, round and thin burger patties.
Fifteen minutes toward the end of your fries cooking time, lay your streaking bacon onto a baking sheet covered with foil and place them into the oven and cook for fifteen minutes, turning halfway, or until the bacon is lovely and crispy. Baking in the oven works best for getting really crispy bacon.
As you get towards the end of the fries cooking time you can start frying your burgers. Put a frying pan onto a medium-high heat, and use only a little oil to grease the pan as your meat should have at least 12% fat for the best flavour (and so the burgers will hold together better). Once the pan has heated up place your patties in and cook on both sides for only about 3 minutes each side or until they're done to your satisfaction. When the second side of your burgers is nearly cooked, place the jalapenos on top of the burger patties (if you're having them) and then cover with two slices of cheese (I've chosen Monterey Jack for this recipe as it's more authentically American) and then cover the patties with either a saucepan lid, metal bowl or foil until the cheese has melted. Once melted, remove the burgers from the pan and leave to rest for a couple of minutes.
After 35 to 45 minutes, remove the fries from the oven, and add all of the herbs and spices into a large bowl. Tip the fries into this bowl and toss the fries until they're all thoroughly coated in the spice mix.
Finally, gently toast your burger buns - I like to do this is a dry frying pan for a couple of minutes - and construct your burger however you like it. I like to put lettuce, onion, the burger patties (with the cheese and jalapeno on top), and then bacon. Add whatever sauces you desire, and enjoy!