Australian Cuisine — Burger with the Lot

You know how something along the lines of fifteen of the top eighteen basketball players in the world are from the United States?  Well, a list of the most terrifyingly deadly animals in the world would look similarly skewed in Australia’s “favor.”  Even something as seemingly innocuous as an Australian magpie will attack anything that moves within fifty feet of its nest.  Oh, and if it gets an opening it will peck at your eyes.

Australia quick facts:

  • Capital: Canberra
  • Population: 23,091,091 (2013 estimate)
  • Notable Australians: Rod Laver, Mick “Crocodile” Dundee, animals that want you dead

It is no surprise then, in light of their deadly surroundings, that one of the icons of Australian cuisine is a cholesterol-packed monstrosity of a meal that pays no mind whatsoever to health-consciousness, known simply as a burger with the lot (recipe follows).  There is nothing out of the ordinary about the patty (though we are certain there must be someone Down Under who is making it with kangaroo instead of beef); it’s pretty much the burger patty we’re all used to.  No, it is in the toppings that a burger with the lot becomes distinctly Aussie.

Burger with the lot

SERVES 2 VERY HUNGRY ADULTS

For the patties:

  • 2/3 pound ground beef
  • one pinch each of onion powder and garlic powder
  • one to two splashes Worcestershire sauce
  • one generous pinch chili flakes
  • pepper

Toppings, portions left to the individual’s taste:

  • Beets, sliced
  • Pineapple rings
  • Ketchup (Aussies use a similar “tomato sauce” that is thinner and spiced differently)
  • Lettuce, shredded
  • Tomato slices
  • Bandon Cheddar cheese (Aussies would be unlikely to use an Oregon cheddar)
  • Carmelized onions
  • Fried egg, over easy
  • Bacon

And, of course:

  • 2 hamburger buns

First, we prepared the patties.  The ingredients were thoroughly combined in a bowl and set aside for the flavors to distribute:

meatmixture

Then the bacon was put in a pan to crisp:

bacon

…and the onions were put into a skillet with a little canola oil (you know, because healthy) to carmelize:

onionsinpan

Cooked until just crispy, the bacon was removed to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.  The onions were removed from their pan after achieving a nice brown color and set aside in a bowl.  Meanwhile, we shaped the patties:

pattiesraw

…awaiting their introduction to a hot skillet.

Once the bacon and onions were removed from their respective skillets, the excess bacon grease was poured away and both pans were kept on burners set to just above medium.  The patties, immediately before cooking, were lightly salted on both sides, then into the hot bacon residue they went (feel free to use the name Hot Bacon Residue for your garage band):

pattiesinpan

After maybe six minutes or so they were ready to flip:

pattiesflipped

After another three minutes, the eggs were put into the leftover canola oil:

eggsinpan

…and the patties were topped with a slice of cheese:

pattieswithcheese

Once the burger patties were done and the egg whites set, everything was laid out into a convenient (though pretty expansive) assembly station:

Burger w/ the lot assembly station.  Clockwise from upper left: onions, tomatoes, ketchup, lettuce, bacon, beets, pineapple, eggs, patties, buns.
Burger w/ the lot assembly station. Clockwise from upper left: onions, tomatoes, ketchup, lettuce, bacon, beets, pineapple, eggs, patties, buns.

There is freedom to assemble a burger with the lot however you desire; we opted for sound structure over any kind of flavor pairing or textural considerations:

burgerassembled
The Leaning Tower of Olympia

To eat, we recommend squeezing the burger to compact it as tightly as possible and opening your mouth wide.  Be ready to spill runny egg yolk and burger juices all over your plate and self.

A burger with the lot has inspired us: we plan to make a beet and pineapple relish soon to replicate the flavors of this gem of a burger in a more easily assembled and consumed form.  We think it would be great on a hot dog also.

The lot burger has also provided inspiration for at least one Aussie native.  Starting in 2010, Sean Muir took a year-long journey to all corners of Australia (eating over 100 burgers with the lot in the process) in order to find the best one.  Any world cuisine would be proud to call a food that inspires that kind of cult devotion its own.

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