On our little island, summer is synonymous with barbeques, and you can’t have a barbeque without a killer Olly’s burger. I like to think of this recipe as the perfect burger to serve to friends at a poolside barbeque. It has strong, sophisticated flavours but is surprisingly easy to make, coming together in just 30 minutes counting prep time.
I would recommend telling your guests to come hungry; these burgers are absolutely massive, not to mention juicy and bursting with natural beef flavor. A trick to getting a great, even cook on a burger that many people don’t know is to first sear it on a very high heat, then bring the temperature down a tad and close the lid on the barbeque. The high heat will create a lovely crust on the outside of burger that will lock in the juice, and closing the lid on the barbeque will have the same effect as an oven does, trapping the heat and allowing the burger to continue to cook on the inside. Olly’s burgers cook especially well for a perfect pink, but if that’s not your thing, adding an extra two minutes on the cook time will give you well-done without killing it. Looking at the recipe, one and a half cups of mushrooms for four burgers may seem like a lot but trust me when I say that mushrooms are the masters of disappearing acts. The moment they hit the pan, all the moisture they hold evaporates, and they shrink to about half their size. One cup uncooked will give you a generous serving to top each burger. If you’re not a mushroom person, you could always swap them out for a nice, drippy fried egg.
I cannot stress enough how under-rated homemade fries are. They’re so easy to make, taste absolutely stellar and are BAKED! You can now eat French-fries throughout the summer without a shred of guilt. One of my favourite things about homemade fries however is how creative you can be with the seasoning. Truffle-parmesan French fries are tangy, salty, crunchy and will definitely be a crowd favorite. I cannot stress enough how important two things are to ensure your fries are crispy and crunchy; a high oven temperature and space between the fries. Oven temperature for fries must always be over 200C so that they get a nice crispy skin, and it is so important that the fries do not touch each other in the pan. A pan of crowded fries is a recipe for a soggy potato mess, and nobody wants that at a barbeque. If you have any picky eaters amongst the crowd, once the fries are done you can set some of them aside and give them the classic salt and pepper treatment, or even make a quick garlic-mayo dipping sauce to serve!
1 packet Olly’s Beef Burgers
1 small wedge brie cheese
1 ½ cup chestnut mushrooms, sliced thinly
Handful baby spinach leaves
1 packet fresh Parma ham
1 jar onion jam
6 potatoes, thoroughly rinsed
3 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
½ tsp garlic salt
4 tbsp parmesan
2 tsp truffle oil
Chopped parsley, to top
4 buns, lightly toasted
1. Leave Olly’s beef burgers to defrost in the fridge overnight.
2. In a small pan, sauté the mushrooms with 1 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper until they shrink to half their size. Set aside.
3. Pre-heat oven to 210C. Line two baking trays with parchment paper and set aside.
4. Cut the scrubbed potatoes, skin on, in half, then in half again length-wise. Cut the potatoes into thin fries and transfer to the lined tray.
5. Cover the fries with 1 tbsp olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic salt and mix to coat all fries. Spread the fries evenly across the baking sheets, making sure they do not touch. Cook for 20 minutes, until the edges are crispy.
6. When the fries are still hot, sprinkle with parmesan, salt, pepper, and truffle oil and mix to coat. Serve with a sprinkle of fresh parsley.
7. Heat the grill on medium-high heat until the pan is very hot. Add in 1 tbsp olive oil and add the burgers to the grill.
8. Season the topside of the burger with a bit of salt and pepper and cook for 5-6 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium. Flip the burger, season the other side and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
9. Two minutes before end of cook time, cut eight slices of brie and place two slices on the top of each burger; allow to melt.
10. Spread a heaping tablespoon of onion jam across the bottom bun, then top with the beef patty, some sautéed mushrooms, then a handful of fresh spinach leaves and a slice of parma ham. Serve parmesan-truffle fries on the side.