Tom Aikens BBQ recipes

Homemade burger bun

For the bun
700g high-gluten bread flour
200g wholewheat flour
100g rye flour
50g sugar
20g salt
100g butter
40g fresh yeast
2tbsp malt extract
400g water
250ml buttermilk

This is best done in a kitchen aid, as it will be very difficult to do it by hand. Put all the ingredients in the bowl together, and mix it until they’re all well incorporated, the dough is nice and smooth, and is quite elastic (this means the gluten in the flour has developed in the dough). Cover the dough with a damp cloth, and let it prove for 20 minutes until it’s doubled in size.

Cut the dough into 130g pieces and roll each into a round burger-bun shape. Put them on a baking tray, spread out evenly, leaving some space in between each one. Brush them with some beaten egg to give a nice colour and sprinkle sesame seeds on the top. Let them prove again until they’ve doubled in size—which will take about 30 minutes or so—then bake them in a 190˚C–200˚C oven for about 15 minutes until they’re golden in colour.

Onion chutney

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1400g peeled and sliced onions
250g sliced red peppers
8g salt
2g ground cumin
15g fine chopped ginger
140g dark raisins
325g light brown sugar
475ml cider vinegar
20g mustard seeds

Put all the ingredients into a pan. Simmer it on a medium heat, bring to a slow boil, then turn back down to a simmer, stirring the ingredients now and again. Cook for 1–11/2 hours or until the correct consistency is reached and all the liquid has reduced.

Homemade burgers

2kg minced beef
200g minced-beef fat
600g finely diced onion
30g finely chopped garlic
30g salt
3g pepper
4g thyme
4g oregano
2 eggs
75g butter

Melt the butter in a saucepan, and when it’s melted, add the onion, garlic and seasoning, with some of the salt and pepper. Cook this until the onions and garlic are soft and opaque. This will take about five minutes on a medium heat. Two minutes before the end, add the herbs, so they get cooked out, bringing out all their flavour.

Once the onions are cooked, put them in a colander to cool, draining any excess liquid. While they’re cooling, take the minced beef and fat and put in a bowl with the eggs and the rest of the salt and pepper. When the onions are cooled to room temperature, put them in the fridge to chill, then add to the beef and mix it through with your hands. Cook a piece to check the seasoning’s how you want it, and, once you’re happy, form the meat into 250g burgers. Using your hands, roll the beef into a round ball and then preferably into a suitable ring mould if you have one, pressing down on the meat onto a piece of non-stick parchment paper which you should cut to a square a little bit bigger than the burger.
You should end up with about 10 burgers.

They’re best left for a couple of hours to set, then they’re ready to cook. You can grill them to whatever temperature you like and finish them with cheese and bacon on the top.

Smooth tomato ketchup

6kg tomatoes
1.2kg onions
700g red peppers
200g light brown sugar
400ml cider vinegar
2g mustard powder
12g cinnamon sticks
4g each of allspice berries, cloves, mace, celery seeds, black peppercorns
2 bay leafs
14g garlic cloves
64g coarse sea salt
2g smoked sweet paprika
165g tomato paste

Sweat off tomatoes, onions, red peppers and garlic for about 1 hour with salt only until they’re reduced by half and have a thick consistency. Blend until smooth and pass through chinoise, then put it back in the pan with rest of ingredients and cook down by a third.

Fresh mayonnaise

5 egg yolks
12g English mustard
20g white wine vinegar
10g lemon juice
1.1 litre vegetable oil
1tbsp water
5g salt
10 turns fresh milled black pepper

Put the mustard, salt, pepper, vinegar and egg yolk and whisk in a bowl, then slowly pour the oil on to the egg mix, whisking well. Keep adding all the oil. You’ll probably need to add a little water to the mix as it may get too thick and split.