Everybody Loves a Raymond Burger

Strap on your Crocs and pull up your socks as guest columnist Ray Perkins presents a burger recipe many years in the making. He knew he'd struck gold when his mate who used to run a pub known for its burgers said it was one of the best he'd ever had.

Yield: 4 x ¼ pounder burgers


Hamburger press (to form the burger)

Covered barbeque


Wood wool

Cooking oil

Oil can

Smoking Can

Applewood chips


Good quality minced beef (20% fat) | 500g (18oz)

Onion | 1 (the size of your fist),

Garlic clove | 2 fat ones

Ground black pepper | 20 twists of the pepper mill

Hispania umami powder | 2 heaped teaspoons

Cumin powder | 2 heaped teaspoons

Butter | one largish knob

Extra virgin olive oil | 1 splash

To serve:

Little gem lettuce | 8 leaves

Pickled cucumber | 8 slices

Sliced tomato | 4 slices

Mayo | 4 good dollops


  1. ¼ fill the chimney with charcoal.
  2. Light the chimney.
  3. Finely chop the onion and mince the garlic.
  4. Heat a frying pan to medium heat on the chimney.
  5. Melt the butter then add the onion and garlic. Stir frequently until the onion is cooked and just beginning to darken. Remove the pan from the heat (raw onion does nothing good for a burger).
  6. Place the minced beef into a food processor, add the cooked onion, black pepper, umami powder and cumin powder.
  7. Wizz the mixture until it clumps together in a single blob.
  8. Use a burger press to form four, quarter-pounder burger patties, and place them onto a cutting board, using a circle of waxed paper top and bottom to prevent the patties sticking.
  9. For smoky burgers, place them in a smoker with apple wood chips for 30 minutes. Remove from the smoker, place them back on the cutting board, cover and return to the fridge for 1-2 hours (for the smoky flavour to develop). If you don’t like smoky food miss out this step.
  10. When you are ready to cook, light the barbeque, when hot, Cook ensuring that each side is dark brown and crusty (not charred).
  11. Place the burgers to one side of the barbeque away from direct heat and allow them to cook to your preferred degree of doneness. For a cheeseburger add a generous square of strong English cheddar and allow it to melt.
  12. Serve in a lightly toasted brioche bun with a couple of leaves of little gem lettuce, tomato, pickled cucumber, and a splash of mayo.