This is my solace when the world is a cold, cruel place. Many would go for creamy mash and gravy, stick-to-your-ribs mac and cheese or some soul succouring chocolate treat but this is it for me when my soul and psyche have been ravaged and stand in shreds. One bite of this heavenly combination of sinus searing wasabi, blood rare beef, molten cheese and buttery avocado is all the salve I need, except maybe for a chunk or two of really good, dark, pain dulling chocolate. No, I don’t think a burger is a waste of a sirloin steak. Extravagant? Maybe. Wasteful? Never, for a burger or heartache such as we’re talking about.

Preparation : 20 mins  Cook: 5 mins  Serves: 1 wounded soul

1 sirloin steak, about 200 g, fat and gristle removed then finely chopped         
1 slice w
hite bread, softened in water then squeezed dry
1 small onion, peeled and grated
Salt to taste                                         
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
A pinch dried thyme, oregano or marjoram       
A pinch powdered English mustard              
2 hamburger buns, split                           
2 slices b
ack bacon                                 
2 slices
Gouda, Emmenthal or Havarti cheese slightly wider than the bun
2 generous tsp mayonnaise                                 
1 tsp p
repared wasabi                          
A small handful rocket (arugula), rinsed and drained                       
1/2 small ripe avocado, stoned, peeled and sliced into 8 slivers

  • Combine the chopped sirloin, bread, onion, salt, pepper, chosen herb and mustard in a roomy bowl and mix thoroughly. Form into 2 patties slightly larger than the diameter of the buns and set aside. Wash your hands then toast the cut sides of the split buns.
  • While buns toast, heat a pan with about 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and when smoking, brown the bacon on both sides. Remove the bacon from pan and set aside. Return the pan to high heat.
  • Put beef patties in the pan. Press down on patties lightly with a spatula while they brown. After about a minute, turn patties over and cook other side for no more than a minute. Don’t overcook. That really would be a waste of good sirloin.  I like to give them barely a minute on each side over high heat. They should be still very pink inside.
  • Turn off heat and lay a cheese slice over each patty, while still in the pan. This will allow the residual heat to melt the cheese slightly. Remove buns from the toaster and spread each bottom half evenly with the mayonnaise and wasabi.
  • Top bun bottoms with the cheese covered patties. Lay 4 slivers avocado on each patty before covering each burger with the bun tops. Serve as is or with chips and slaw, though these burgers taste so good on their own, I’m perfectly happy with them as they are.

Drink suggestion: If you’d like a drink to go with this, try a glass of dry, peppery French Shiraz or Syrah, a racy Sauvignon Blanc or a dry German RieslingA Japanese beer is pretty wonderful too.