There are ordinary burgers and then there's the Cook School Burger!
For the pickled cucumber, cut the cucumber into slices an angle. Place these in a colander over a bowl and sprinkle with table salt; set aside for 15 minutes. While the cucumber is curing, tip the rest of the ingredients for the pickle into a small pan and simmer for 2 minutes then set aside to cool.
After 15 minutes, rinse off all of the salt from the cucumber and dry the slices on a tea towel. Add these to the cooled pickle and leave to infuse for 20 minutes or so. When ready the cucumber may be served drained with some of the spices or in the liquid pickle as required.
For the paprika mayonnaise, place the crushed garlic and paprika into a bowl and mix. Add the water and mustard and mix again, finally adding the mayonnaise. Add more water until the consistency you like is achieved. Refrigerate until required.
For the burgers, heat a pan and add the olive oil. Gently cook the onion and garlic until soft, but not coloured. As soon as the onions are soft, tip the contents of the pan into a bowl to cool.
Heat a dry pan and toast the cumin and coriander seeds until they begin to snap and pop in the pan. As soon as this happens transfer the seeds to a clean mortar and allow to cool. Crush the toasted seeds to a powder and set aside. (Use pre-ground spices if easier.)
In a large bowl mix the raw beef, cooked onion, all the spices, salt, pepper, mustard and ketchup together. Work in the egg yolks one by one. Add the breadcrumbs; if the mix is too loose add a pinch more crumbs but don't overdo it. Finally fold in the parsley and marrow taking care not to let the marrow crush into the mix. Having the marrow really cold will help.
Break the mix into 5 equal parts and with your hands form each part into a patty about 2cm thick. Some vegetable oil on the hands will prevent it sticking to your fingers. Pop the burgers into the fridge until required. You can store them here for up to 12 hours before cooking if you cover them with a thin film of oil to prevent oxidation.
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Heat a ribbed griddle pan or the BBQ until hot. Whilst the pan is heating toss the sliced aubergine and tomato in olive oil and grill for no more than a minute on each side. (Keep the tomato raw, if you prefer.) When cooked lightly season and keep to one side.
The griddle pan - or BBQ - should now be hot enough to start cooking the burgers. Brown the burgers on the first side for two minutes before turning over and cooking the second side for a similar time. Turn the burger once more and cook for a further minute.
Either finish cooking on the BBQ or remove the burgers onto a baking tray then finish the cooking in the oven until the core temperature of the meat has reached 78C. A thermo probe is very useful here. As the burgers are finishing off in the oven add the grilled aubergine and tomato to the oven to warm through.
Lightly warm the ciabatta in the oven or toast on the BBQ, remove, slice open and set a slice of beefsteak tomato onto a piece of bread and season. Top with a dollop of the mayonnaise and some warm aubergine. Place one burger on each filled bread top with some pickled cucumber.
Go for the best Scotch beef that you can afford.
600g minced rump of beef
75g beef marrow, cut into 1cm chunks
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
½ clove of garlic, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
2 egg yolks
2 tbsp fresh breadcrumbs
1 tsp coriander seeds
½ tsp cumin seeds
pinch cayenne pepper
2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped
4 tsp tomato ketchup
1 tsp Dijon mustard
pinch Maldon salt
5 slices ciabatta bread
dash olive oil
5 thin slices of aubergine, cut lengthways
5 thick slices beefsteak tomato
For the pickled cucumber
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tsp water
pinch mustard seeds
pinch coriander seeds
5 black peppercorns
½ star anise
¼ tsp caster sugar
For the paprika mayonnaise
¼ clove of garlic, crushed
¼ tsp Dijon mustard
¼ tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp water