Classic gourmet beef burgers

Home made beef burgers.


Today I am sharing a classic beef burger recipe you can really sink your teeth into, but before we get into that I wanted to share an eating out experience from the weekend. On Saturday my husband and I celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary (yay!), so we dropped the kids off with their grandparents and headed out to Paarl for a day out at Spice Route.

The weather was gorgeous and we had the perfect table at Bertus Basson, under the shade of a huge oak tree and overlooking the vineyards. We received complimentary vetkoek with roasted pear and pecan nut butter on arrival which we enjoyed as we looked over the menu. I had a starter of chicken liver parfait with toasted bread and onion marmalade while hubby enjoyed the beef samosas. For mains I had fish and chips (huge portion size but very tasty) and my husband had the lamb bredie. It was all so tasty, beautifully presented and served with a smile – definitely one to try! After lunch we wandered through the estate to see what else was happening. The pizzeria and burger bars were buzzing, as was the CBC tasting room (we will definitely get to that next time!). Of course we could not leave without a visit to De Villiers Chocolate where we did a very cool chocolate tasting. Needless to say, after all that feasting we did not need any supper that night!


Spice Route in Paarl, Western Cape


Speaking of burger bars let’s get back to this week’s recipe which I created for Cheers magazine in a recent food truck inspired issue. A lip-smackingly delicious beef burger recipe is something  us meat eaters should all have in our repertoire, and this simple recipe can be adapted with your favourite toppings and additions. In this version I am dishing it up with lashings of good old South African monkey gland sauce. It is a classic in its own right and so worth making yourself if you have some extra time on your hands.


Classic beef burger recipe


If you looove home made burgers then take a peek at these recipes for beef sliders and beef and portabellini burgers with brie. Both burger recipes contain lots of hidden veggies making them more economical and healthier too!

Cook’s notes: Store leftover monkey gland sauce in the fridge and serve with steak or potato wedges.



For the monkey gland sauce: (makes approximately 600ml)

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 x 400g tin peeled and diced tomatoes
  • ½ cup tomato puree
  • ½ cup chutney
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp mustard
  • salt and pepper

For the beef patties:

  • 250g free range beef mince 
  • ¼ onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil for frying

For assembling: 

  • 2 hamburger buns, halved and toasted
  • fresh lettuce leaves
  • sliced gherkin
  • sliced tomato
  • cheese slices

1.) To make the sauce: Heat the olive oil in a frying pan. Add the onion, garlic and paprika and sauté for 2 minutes. Add all of the remaining sauce ingredients and bring to boil, stirring regularly. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer with the lid on for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the lid and simmer for an additional 10 minutes. Check the seasoning then remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

2.) Make the beef patties by combining the beef mince, onion, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper in a bowl. Mix together well – I find it easiest to use my hands. Divide the mixture in half, then shape each half into a patty.

3.) Heat some olive oil in a griddle pan. Fry the hamburger patties for 5-6 minutes per side or until cooked through.

4.) Place a few lettuce leaves on each toasted hamburger bun. Top with the cooked patty, some gherkins, the tomato, cheese and a few spoonfuls of monkey gland sauce.

6 thoughts on “Classic gourmet beef burgers

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