Borough Burger

Borough Burger

Lara Holmes

Iqbal Wahhab, our illustrious founder, is quite the connoisseur when it comes to burgers. We spent months eating at different places around London to see what take other chefs had on the humble burger, until finally he introduced me to my now good friend, Wyatt Shevloff. Wyatt was to be the head chef at one of Iqbal’s new ventures and has a vast knowledge of Southern soul food and American barbecue. Who better to help me out in our quest to come up with our mighty Borough Burger?

In my opinion a burger is predominantly about the quality of the meat. After trial and error, playing around with fat percentages and even having a go at mixing raw bone marrow with the beef, the best result was a burger of minced rib trim with a fat content of 30 per cent. Wyatt came up with a fantastic spice mix to season the burger, which enhanced the smoky barbecue flavour from the grill. He also had a recipe for the mayonnaise-based burger sauce using the spice mix as a seasoning in the sauce itself. We also trialled a few different buns. I initially wanted a classic sesame seed bun but we ended up going with a half brioche style, which incorporates a little sugar and butter into the dough resulting in a slight but not overpowering sweetness, and a superb soft texture. It was well worth all the experimentation. We now have a very well executed classic that flies out the door on a busy market Saturday.

The seasoning is not only great for burgers. If you make up a batch and store it in a sealed jar in a cool dark cupboard it will keep for a year. You can pull it out when you’re having a barbecue and use it for dusting chicken wings or seasoning steaks. The burger sauce can be kept in the fridge, covered, for 1 week.


Quantity Ingredient
4 x 200g beef burgers, 30 per fat content
4 half-brioche burger buns or classic sesame seed burger buns
1/2 iceberg lettuce, shredded
4 large thick slices mild cheddar cheese
2 large ripe tomatoes, sliced
2 large gherkins, sliced
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced into rings
sea salt
freshly milled black pepper
thrice-cooked chips, to serve

For the burger seasoning

Quantity Ingredient
4 tablespoons soft light brown sugar
1 tablespoon caster sugar
3 tablespoons smoked paprika
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
2 teaspoons freshly milled black pepper
4 tablespoons sea salt
1 tablespoon table salt
1 tablespoon garlic salt
1 tablespoon onion salt
1 tablespoon celery salt
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

For the burger sauce

Quantity Ingredient
100g mayonnaise
1 large gherkin, finely diced and squeezed dry
1 large tomato, deseeded and finely diced
1/2 red pepper, roasted, peeled and finely diced
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely diced
5 drops tabasco sauce
1 tablespoon american-style mustard
1 tablespoon tomato ketchup
1 teaspoon burger seasoning


  1. First, make the burger seasoning by mixing all the ingredients together, then transferring to a sealed jar.
  2. Mix all the mayonnaise ingredients in a bowl, then cover with clingfilm and place in the fridge until ready to use.
  3. Preheat your oven grill to high.
  4. Heat a large griddle over a high heat. Season the burgers liberally with the burger seasoning and place them carefully in the hot dry pan. You won’t need to use any oil as the fat in the burgers will gradually release. Seal the burgers until well caramelised on both sides, then turn the heat down to low. If you like your burgers medium-rare, as I do, allow the burgers to cook for 2 more minutes, turning them a couple of times so they cook evenly. For well done add another 3 minutes to the cooking time. Remove the griddle from the heat and allow the burgers to rest in the pan.
  5. While the burgers are resting, slice the burger buns in half horizontally. Toast the buns lightly under the grill. Mix four tablespoons of the burger sauce with the shredded lettuce and distribute the dressed lettuce evenly between the bases of the buns.
  6. Place the cheese on the burgers and put them under the grill until the cheese melts, then place the burgers on top of the lettuce. Place the sliced tomatoes on next, followed buy the sliced gherkins and red onion rings. Pour over a little ketchup and place the bun lid on top. Enjoy your burger with the thrice-cooked chips.
British cooking
slow cooking
roast dinner
Sunday roast
roast lunch
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