How to build the perfect burger

It’s Burger Day on 28 May across the world, and to celebrate it we asked Chef Grant Parker of The Plettenberg for his burger recipe.

He responded by supplying all the different components that make up the perfect burger. Try your hand at all, or even just some of the components. Or, even better, come and enjoy Chef Parker’s burger poolside on our terrace overlooking Formosa bay—paired with a craft beer, local wine, or cocktail.

How to build the perfect burger
Serves 8

275g cake flour
125g water
27g egg
22g soft butter- not melted
16g sugar
14g milk powder
5g salt
14g fresh yeast


  • Mix all together at speed one for 3mins
  • The second speed for 4-5mins
  • Wrap -1hr room temp
  • Shape-110 gms
  • Proof-trays silpat mat in a bin bag
  • Milk glaze
  • Bake at 180 12-25 mins

1 kg beef mince
1 red onion diced fine
Ground black pepper
Maldon sea salt


  • In a large bowl, mix the mince and red onion
  • Add the black pepper and salt to your taste
  • Mix all the ingredients together, break off a small piece
  • Pan fry with a little oil, no seasoning and cook till how you like your mince
  • If need be adjust the seasoning to your liking
  • I weigh and my burgers to 200 grams and shape them into patties
  • Wrap them in cling film if you are not using them straight away and keep in the fridge
  • Heat a griddle pan to very hot
  • Place your patty into a dish and add oil to coat
  • Grill your burger on either side till crispy outside, finish off the burger in an oven, 180 degs Celsius until your preferred temperature is required.
  • Goes well with onion marmalade, burger relish, crispy streaky bacon and boerenkaas.

15 mls olive oil
1 small onion
2 garlic cloves, chopped fine
1 small fresh red chilli, halved, deseeded, finely chopped
500 grams tomatomes, coarsely chopped
30 mls brown sugar
30 mls white wine vinegar


  • Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat
  • Add onion, cook, stirring often for 5 minutes or until soft
  • Add garlic, chilli for 2 minutes till aromatic
  • Add tomato to mixture, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until tomato breaks down
  • Add sugar and vinegar and cook until mixture thickens

45 ml butter
15 ml oil
1kg red onions sliced thinly
250 ml brown sugar
90 ml balsamic vinegar
85 ml red wine


  • Heat the butter and oil in a heavy based saucepan
  • Fry the onions for 15 – 20 minutes, until soft and translucent
  • Add sugar, vinegar, wine and salt, cook over a low heat
  • Stir until sugar has dissolved.
  • Cook for 20 – 30 minutes until syrup

What is your must have on a burger? Let us know in the comments.

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