Hartford House

The Home of Good Conversation, Fine Wine and Classic Horses.

Award-winning hotel and restaurant situated at Summerhill Stud on the picturesque KwaZulu-Natal Midlands Meander, South Africa.

Beef Burgers Recipe

 Beef Burger Photo : Jackie Cameron

Beef Burger
Photo : Jackie Cameron

Beef Burgers

A beef burger must be completely savoury. Seared in beurre noisette (butter heated until slightly brown in colour and releasing nutty aromas) - with mounds of caramelised onions, Dijon-enhanced mayonnaise, fresh rocket, crispy bacon and sliced avocado all nestled within a homemade crusty cheese bun - it's a taste explosion.

Beef Burger Patties

Yields: 3 x 140 g


200g Topside Mince

1 sprig Rosemary

2 cloves crushed Garlic

2 medium Tomatoes, 135 g chopped

½ medium Onion, 85g chopped

1 Egg Yolk

Salt and Freshly ground Black Pepper


40 g Cake Flour for dusting

15ml salted Butter


1)  Mix all the above ingredients together. Roll into a firm ball and roll in the flour to form an outer layer of flour.  Push the patty meat into a cutter to form a neat, round shape.

2) Heat a pan, add butter and get it to the noisette stage (just so it is releasing the nutty aroma), place burger into this and sear. Remove, place burgers onto a tray and set the pan aside

3) Place into a hot oven until cooked (200°C for 25minutes-turning over at half time). Just before serving heat up original pan and give the patty a good searing. Then serve

Burger Bun Rolls

Yields: 6 large rolls


1 pct. Instant Yeast

2 cups Lukewarm Water

5 cups of Cake Flour

8 ml fine Salt

10 ml White Sugar

54ml salted Butter


1) Sponge the yeast in ½ cup of the lukewarm water together with 2ml of the sugar amount. Let stand in a warm place for a few minutes or until double in size

2) Place this yeast mixture into a large bowl, add enough flour to make a batter, cover with a cloth and allow to form bubbles

3) Then add the other ingredients, mix well and hand-knead for ten minutes or until smooth

4) Place into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, place in a warm place and allow to double in size

5) On a floured surface roll the bread rolls dividing the dough into 6 mounds

6) Place onto a greased tray, cover with a cloth and allow rising until double in size

7) Bake at 200°C for 20 minutes or until cooked

Homemade Mayonnaise (for Aioli just add garlic to the below recipe)

Yields: about 200 ml


2 Egg Yolks

10 ml Water

10 ml Dijon Mustard

90 ml Sunflower Oil

90 ml Olive Oil

Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice for taste


1) Whisk the egg yolks, mustard and water very well until thick and creamy in color 

2) Add both of the oils, to form a permanent emulsion, very slowly. (Chef's note: This will prevent the Mayonnaise from splitting and will result in a thick consistency. A perfect situation is when a spoon can stand up right in the Mayonnaise when finished. A lot of whisking!)

3) Finish with lemon juice and warm water and set aside.

Caramelised Red Onions

Yields: 400-450g


655g Chinese style (sliced) Onion

500 ml Red Wine

150 g Treacle Sugar


1) Place all of the above ingredients into a heavy based pan. Allow to simmer until onions are caramelised and most of the red wine has reduced to make red wine syrup that is coating the onion slices (which takes about 35 minutes).

Putting the Burger together

Toast the freshly baked buns in the oven-finish with a slice of cheese. Butter the buns, top the base bun with fresh rocket leaves and then the burger patty. Top this with the chunky tomato and onion relish then two crispy bacon pieces. Complete with two tablespoons of avocado guacamole (Avo, salt, pepper and lemon juice), caramelised red onions and a tablespoon of Dijon-enhanced mayonnaise. And serve with crispy Potato Chips

Please post your comments and any food-related questions below.

I look forward to hearing from you.

 jackie cameron

Jackie Cameron
Head Chef
Hartford House
+27 33 263 2713