I've had burgers and I've had burgers – but Yanni's burgers are the best I've ever eaten. He is on a mission to serve the best hamburger and as far as I'm concerned he is pretty much there. His regular visits to the States have certainly paid off and he moulds and cooks his amazing burgers to order from his little van, which is based in Dulwich but which also travels all over London – check out themeatwagon.co.uk to find out when he's in your area.
Yanni uses a good amount of fat in his ground chuck steak which is crucial for keeping his hamburgers nice and moist. He also slaps a cheese slice on the burger when it's almost done and then puts a cloche over the top to let it steam a little, which is an inspired extra touch.
Yanni's burger is served with a homemade chilli relish which is a mixture of fresh and pickled chillies. I think the recipe is a well-guarded secret, so for this recipe I have used a mix of 60 per cent ketchup and 40 per cent Tewksbury mustard with slices of dill pickle and beef tomato.
1kg coarsely minced chuck steak with about 20 per cent fat
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
A little vegetable oil for grilling
4 slices of cheese
4 soft burger buns
Mould the mince into round patties the same size or a little larger than the burger buns. Season the burgers then heat a griddle or heavy frying pan and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, keeping them nice and pink. If you are using cheese, just place on top of the burger for 30 seconds or so to melt it.
Meanwhile, lightly toast the bun, assemble with your chosen relish and serve immediately.