What a combo! Delicious Peter Augustus Butchers wagyu burger, cooked to perfection on the BBQ, topped with spicy, sticky & sweet caramelised onions, peppery rocket, horseradish aioli and grated frozen blue cheese. All of this paired with a cracker of shiraz from Dandelion Vineyards. It's going to be hard not to read on and race to the store for the ingredients!
Why I Love This Wagyu Beef Burger
Everything about it. I mean, what's not to love. It's quick - burgers take a matter of minutes to make and if you go with shop-bought caramelised onions it's even quicker too! The wagyu beef is so tender, full of flavour and is quite possibly one of the juiciest burgers you will ever put in your laughing hole.
What Is Wagyu Beef
When we talk about Wagyu beef we automatically jump to Japan and think of these might beasts that are larger and fatter than your average cow. They have an insane amount of marbling and cost a pretty penny. You do get American wagyu and also Australian wagyu but the fat levels don't tend to be the same level as their Japanese counterparts. The main reason is that they are usually crossbred.
One of the main components of Japanese wagyu beef is the conditions. Japanese breeders go to great lengths to have the cows in an as stress-free environment as possible. So much so that if there is a "troublemaker" he or she is removed.
Wagyu in Japan is described as having a "light beer" flavour meaning it's not that big bold beefy flavour you get from regular beef. In Australia and America, it has a little more beefy tones to it so probably a "mid-strength". Ultimately, the quality is phenomenal, the taste is unreal and you won't go wrong with it. Especially when making burgers - the extra fat content is cracking for making the most epic wagyu beef burgers!
Shaping The Wagyu Patty
There are many weird and wonderful ideas about how to keep your burger "moist" and how to shape them too. Ideas like stick a dimple in the middle so that it holds its shape rather than swelling and shrinking during the cooking process. I've read about putting ice inside a burger to keep it "moist" during the cooking process too.
But, to me, there are only 2 ways and they are pretty simple so don't stress too much. The optimum size for a wagyu burger or any burger is about 150-180g. Yes, you can go as big or as small as you want but to me, these are the perfect sized patties. If you want to do a double burger then drop them to about 120g each.
I either go with the smash burger concept or flatten them out so they aren't too thick and make sure they are about 1 inch larger than the bun.
Let's start with the smash burger - for this method, you roll the burger into a ball and place it onto a super hot griddle or cast iron pan. Using something heavy such as a saucepan, frying pan or a specific smash burger weight press down on the wagyu patty until it's about 1cm thick. This process will cook it quickly and give you an epic crust. Typically you use higher fat content meat for this so that's why the wagyu patties work great!
Option number 2. This works for any cooking method. Find something round that's a little bigger than your burger bun - I use a plastic container lid and shape the burger into that. Once shaped, remove from the container lid and then press down on it ever so slightly again to add a touch more diameter to it. Now if the burger shrinks a little it'll shrink back to the size of the bun - simples!
Cooking Wagyu Beef
Keep it simple! You won't need much oil if any at all so for me I drizzle a tiny bit over the patty and season with salt. Using either a cast iron pan, griddle or BBQ grill I cook the burger on high heat to get that nice crust or char marks for 2 minutes per side. Once cooked, I leave it to rest for 2-3 minutes before adding the toppings and devouring it. Resting your meat no matter if it's a burger, steak, chicken or pork is IMPERATIVE. This will allow the juices to redistribute and give you a juicy burger every time!
Love them! They are super easy to make and will last for a week in the fridge. Literally chopped onions, salt, oil & butter is all you need. You can add other things like chilli flakes, thyme, brown sugar and balsamic into them too. I'm a fan of that to make them a little "extra fancy" but if you don't have these ingredients to hand then just cook them for a little longer with the basic ingredients and allow the natural sugars to release from the onions and to caramelise.
Frozen Blue Cheese
This is probably the best thing you are going to learn today when adding blue cheese to a burger. The truth is, not everyone loves blue cheese. It's strong and can overpower food easily. Often when you get blue cheese on burgers it comes in big chunks, partially melted and you can't taste the rest.
All you need to do is pop the blue cheese in the freezer for about 30 minutes and let it harden. Now, when you are adding it to your burger just grate it over the top. Don't be scabby, you can add loads. By freezing it, it allows you to grate it finely with ease and because you are grating it finely it will melt easily and also won't overpower your wagyu burger - MIND BLOWN!!
FAQ & Helpful Tips
sure can, if you can't get hold of wagyu or it's not in your budget then of course you can substitute regular minced beef. My only advice is to try get a higher fat content of beef to make that burger extra juicy!
also yes! Swiss, cheddar, monterey jack, havarti etc will all do the tricks. I'd probably steer clear of feta and/or goats cheese but that's just me.
100% - ALWAYS rest meat and fish before serving. This is a crucial part of the cooking process and allows the juices to redistrubute evenly
Wagyu Beef Burger Wine Pairing
I know, I know you are seeing the word wine pairing with a burger and thinking "mate give me a cold beer". Burger and beers is a classic combo and have been done a million times and probably another million too. But, for a burger of this magnitude, I'm all about a good Aussie shiraz. This week and many weeks leading up to this I have been enjoying some great wines from Dandelion Vineyards.
I decided to go with their Lionheart of the Barossa Shiraz with my epic wagyu beef burger. Coming in at $30 a bottle it's both a great drinking and aging wine. Tuck 6 of these away for 5 years, it won't break the bank but you will be the talk of the dinner party when you pop out an aged Shiraz that only cost that much!
For those of you who can't wait the wine is a beautiful deep purple colour that makes you want to dive right in instantly. On the nose, we see red and black fruits, peppers, cocoa and a touch of herbaceousness too. Once you have taken a sip it's hard not to gulp! Beautiful red fruits, plums, spice in all the right places, developing tannins with just the right amount of acidity too. With 30mins + in the decanter, you are going to struggle to not finish the bottle 😉
Alternative Burger Creations!
Inspired by my epic wagyu beef burger then click these links below and cook up some more delicious creations 😉
Happy Cooking & Happy Eating Friends!!
- 6-700 g wagyu mince (24oz)
- 4 tbsp caramelised onions shop-bought or recipe below
- 50 g rocket (2oz)
- 100 g mayonnaise (1/2 cup)
- 40 g horseradish sauce (1/2 cup)
- 80 g stilton blue cheese (3oz) frozen
- 4 burger buns
- 4 red onions sliced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
- Form 4 x burger patties and flatten them out to be larger than the size of the bun *see tips*
- Mix mayonnaise & horseradish sauce together
- Cook the burgers on your BBQ @ 200c for 2-3 minutes per side for a nice medium burger
- Place a little horseradish mayo on the base followed by your burger. Top with caramelised onions, grate some stilton over the top and finish with a little more mayo on the top bun
- Repeat and DEMOLISH with a glass of Lionheart of the Barossa Shiraz!
- Heat the olive oil on low heat and add the onions, chili flakes & sea salt to the pan
- Cook on a low heat for approx. 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally so they don’t stick
- Once the onions are soft add the brown sugar and balsamic. Cook for approx. 5 minutes longer until they softened and caramelised. Stir regularly as they can burn easily.
- chef knives
- chopping board
- mixing bowl
- measuring utensils
- BBQ or Grill pan
- cheese grater or microplane
- frying pan if making caramelised onions
- when forming your burger patty it’s important for it to be thinner and wider than you want it to be. As the burger cooks it will shrink in diameter and grow thicker in height. I always start with mine about 1” wider than the burger bun
- allow your burger meat to rest for 2-3 minutes before serving so that the juices have time to redistribute
- you can use shop-bought caramelised onions BUT homemade ones are 100% worth making
- I have put the measurements/weights for the mayo and rocket. The truth is you can just eyeball it 2 parts mayo to 1 part horseradish is a good ratio but you like more or less spice!
- freezing the blue cheese seems odd but it allows you to grate it with ease giving you a nice kick of blue cheese without overpowering the burger