Australian burger recipe

BH&T AustraliaBurger with the Lot
Oh, Australia! How we love your people and your burgers. Some of the nicest people I’ve met have been Aussies. And now, one of my favorite burgers is inspired by their burger traditions.

From CIA World Factbook

But, before we go into the food, let’s get oriented in the world. Australia is a large continental island in the South Western Pacific Ocean.  Theland mass is just slightly smaller than the continental US.

The flavors of Australia are largely influenced by the British who began settling the island in the late 18th century.  Recently there has been more awareness of and experimentation with traditional aboriginal flavors and ingredients.  However, since most of those ingredients aren’t readily available outside Australia (kangaroo meat anyone?), nor are they commonplace in every day Australian cooking, I decided to stick with more main-stream flavors.  Australia is also the first country I’ve come across that has a burger that is widely accepted as the Australian burger.  So, rather than concoct something with Vegemite that we would all probably regret (yes, I found some Vegemite and tasted it and I can’t understand how an otherwise lovely group of people could claim this as a yummy food product – it’s gross), I decided to try to make the Australian burger.  I double checked my facts with my Aussie friend (gotta love a country that the natives refer to as Oz), and came up with a couple of musts – the authentic burger must have Worcestershire sauce in the meat and must have pickled beets (beetroot to the natives).  The rest is really ala carte.  For the ultimate “Burger with the Lot”, a perfectly fried egg is essential for the final ingredient.  Eating something that has beef, cheese, bacon and a fried egg takes a certain amount of courage and is not for the cholesterol challenged among us, but OMG – it is SOOOO GOOOD!  The pickled beets were perfect counterpoint to the richness of the egg – I’m in love with this burger.  Eat with caution and in moderation, but this is bound to change the way you look at a burger with everything.

I didn’t attempt a veggie burger with this one as it just didn’t make much sense given that meat and egg are two of the toppings.  We did try two Australian Shirazes and they worked well with the rich flavors of the burger.  The Peter Lehmann 2008 Shiraz was actually a little on the mild side for Australian wine, but the flavors were rich and complex enough for a $15 wine.  New to us was the Chocolate Box 2007 Dark Chocolate Shiraz – I was a little disappointed that I didn’t get a strong chocolate flavor, but only a little, cause the wine was tasty – big, rich fruit, exactly what you expect from an Aussie Shiraz.  Again, $15 and a good value.

One note – this burger is a bit of a pain to make because you want the burger and the eggs to be done at the same time – it helps to have a friend cook the burgers while you cook the eggs.

So grab a friend or two, a bottle of Shiraz or two, take a Lipitor and get ready for a rich and tangy burger that requires about 12 napkins to eat with any kind of grace at all.

If you like this burger, try the Colombian Burger it’s also messy and delicious!

Australian Burger with the Lot
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion sliced into 1/4 inch thick rounds
8 slices pancetta sliced thin*
4 burger buns
1 pound 80% lean ground beef
4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
4 ounces sharp cheddar sliced into 4 slices (preferably Australian cheddar if you can find it)
Bib lettuce
1-2 tomatoes (sliced)
4 Tablespoons ketchup
12 slices pickled beets**
4 eggs cooked sunnyside up

*you can use regular bacon but the flavor is a bit too strong for the other ingredients, pancetta has a softer flavor that really compliments the other ingredients.  You can find it in the deli section of a well stocked grocery store.

**these can be found in the international (English) section or in the canned vegetable section of a well stocked grocery store and they typically come in jars.  I used the plain ones rather than beets with lots of different spices, experiment and find what you like.  If you can’t find already pickled beets, just buy sliced beets and pickle them yourself with vinegar, you can find lots of recipes and how to on the internet.

Heat oil in a non-stick sauté pan, add onions and sauté over med high heat for about 10 minutes until lightly browned and soft (I don’t try to keep the rounds together as I like my onions completely softened, if you keep them in rounds, you’ll get a firmer texture – do what makes you happy).   Remove onions from pan and set aside.  Lower heat to medium and add pancetta.  Cook pancetta until lightly browned turning once.  Remove pancetta and set aside.

Combine ground beef with Worcestershire sauce and salt.  Form into four patties and cook on indoor grill pan until they reach desired temperature.  Add the cheddar cheese when the burgers have 1-2 minutes left to cook and melt cheese slightly.

Lightly toast burger buns.  On each bottom bun layer; lettuce, 3 pickled beets, burger, grilled onions, tomato, pancetta, ketchup and one sunny side up egg*** – then end with top bun.

I suggest each person cut their burger in half before eating in order to break the egg yolk and get all that yumminess in every bite.

***Note:  I am not including a recipe for how to cook a sunny side egg because Master Chef Fernana Point perfected the technique and I have nothing to add.  If you don’t have your own method, do an internet search on his name along with “sunny side up egg” and you will find the details.

©Copyright 2011 Linda Monach

This entry was posted in australian and oceania recipes, beef burgers and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

57 Responses to Australian burger recipe

  1. Nerida says:

    You nailed the Aussie burger, Linda! Made me feel homesick just reading this! Well done, mate!

    • linda says:

      Thanks Ned – couldn’t have done it without your help. can’t wait for your blog, always looking for new recipes!

  2. Honeyberries says:

    Sounds delicious, mate!

  3. ken jones says:

    Hey Linda,
    Jane and I liked the Australian burger. Here is a video of our experience.

    • linda says:

      i loved the video. you guys are the best. the pancetta was sliced perfectly, the eggs looked great and you got everything together at the same time. i’m glad you tried the beets – strange, but they do work – i guess those Aussies know a thing or two about a thing or two. I can’t condone the cheddar/jack substitution though – i don’t even think that’s a real cheese – don’t you own plain old cheddar?

      thanks for trying out the recipe – what country is next?

      btw – an indoor grill pan is just a long pan that you put on the stove with ridges to make you think you’re eating real grilled food. you’re right, I’m a wimp for not braving the cold weather and cooking on a real grill, then again, if i’m not mistaken you were using a gas grill which is only slightly more manly than cooking inside 🙂

  4. Pingback: Burgers. Juicy, Juicy Burgers. | Sinting Link

  5. wilful says:

    Well speaking as an Aussie (NOT Ozzie) I can say that you were well informed, and that’s a pretty decent attempt at a burger with the lot, old school style. You’re missing fried onion, that would definitely be there, and our tomato sauce (what you would call ketchup) isn’t as sweet as yours.

    Pancetta’s not really traditional but it’s a nod to our Italian immigrant culture, OK?

    • linda says:

      Thanks so much for the affirmation. I couldn’t get a good sense of the ketchup issue, good to know it’s a little less sweet. I realize the pancetta was a stretch, the problem is that bacon from one country to another can be really different – even different cuts of meat. I searched to try to understand what Aussie bacon is like, but finally gave up and went a totally different direction. Sometimes you’ve just got to make it up as you go along.

      • wilful says:

        I think (I could be wrong) that what you call “canadian bacon” is what we call bacon.

        Anyway, I’ll be looking out at the rest of your recipes. A big challenge you’ve set yourself! Good luck.

        I came here via if you weren’t aware of where the sudden traffic spike was from.

        Oh, nice selection of the Peter Lehmann Shiraz. An honest good value representative Aussie red, I would say. I drink it regularly.

        • linda says:

          I’ll have to look back at my notes, I really did try to figure out the cuts of pork and what exactly Australians called bacon. I think you’re right that it was similar to Canadian bacon, but I think Canadian bacon is a texturally difficult addition to a burger. maybe I’ll try it along with pineapple next time.

          a friend of mine made my Afghanistan burger for a friend of his, she posted me on metafilter, that is how we all got here. i’ve never met her, but i’m glad she liked my burgers!

          Peter Lehmann is pretty reliable and I’m trying hard to stay in a reasonable price range (especially now that I don’t have a full time paying job) – now if you are willing to go over $25, we could really talk about Shiraz, and Zin, and Cab…but that’s another blog 🙂

          • Lexa says:

            As an American living in Australia, canadian bacon isn’t the same as Australian bacon. Most common here is middle cut bacon. What you will find, though, is that where Americans only eat the streaky part, Australians leave on the ham end (thus it’s a full rasher, much longer than American bacon). So, it’s mostly the same bacon, but it also never cooked as crispy as Americans make it. Aussies leave it softer with quite a bit of chew.

            Anyway, I think you definitely did the Australian burger justice. 🙂 Beetroot and egg is a total must. I’m not a fan of the pineapple myself, but as you can see, some swear by it.

          • linda says:

            bacon and cheese are the hardest things to figure out without actually tasting them. i can’t get behind soft and chewey bacon of any sort, i think i’ll stick with pancetta, not authentic, but fun.

            thanks for your feedback – i’m seriously dubious of the pineapple, but it does seem to get some folks worked up, i’ll reserve judgement and give it a whirl.

  6. brendan says:

    hit it spot on! definitely need some onion, and then to really add a bone of contention, throw in a slice of pineapple for an extra 50 cents and then you’d get a real fish and chip shop burger with the lot.

    for a good reference for anyone travelling to melbourne, australia (dont know the good ones in other cities..) head to danny’s burgers in north fitzroy or andrew’s in south melbourne.

    look forward to more recipes!

    • linda says:

      somehow everyone keeps missing my onions – too many ingredients! I will try the pineapple and report back. thanks for your comments, love hearing from natives.

      • Tim says:

        I’m from Australia and yes the pineapple *is* a very important ingredient! Sliced pineapple from a can will do!

        Also for sauce, I don’t know anyone who uses Worcestershire but most barbecues I go to it’s either a combination of tomato sauce (ketchup) and mayo OR barbecue sauce!

        And I think everyone is missing the onions because they aren’t listed in your ingredients (but I can see them in the picture!)

        • linda says:

          hi Tim – another lover of pineapple – i hear you and will definitely be trying it. my good friend from the land of Oz was the source (along with the lovely world wide web) for the Worcestershire sauce mixed in the meat and tomato sauce on top. it makes a tasty combo. as for the onions, it’s the second ingredient on the list, it just seems that it isn’t popping. i’m planning to do some formatting work over the next few months to make the recipes more readable. stay tuned…

  7. Bianca says:

    As an Aussie I think you almost nailed it- but you need pineapple on there too! I don’t think an Aussie burger is complete without pineapple.

    • linda says:

      You aren’t alone on the pineapple issue. I promise I’ll try it. Do you use fresh or canned, grilled or raw?

      • Katie says:

        Canned and raw, normally! If you’re feeling inclined you could pop it on a grill for half a minute either side but it’s not essential. Sounds odd but I promise it is good stuff.

  8. wilful says:

    Oh and I obviously can’t reed verry weel. Of course there are fried onions in your recipe, I don’t know what I was saying.

  9. Lexa says:

    Oh, I also have to add that I love that you suggest sharp cheddar cheese. Basic Australian cheddar (or tasty cheese, as they call it) is much sharper than typical mild American cheddar. I think even medium American cheddar would work, if one doesn’t prefer sharp cheese, but it needs the bite, for sure.

    This is making me super hungry for burgers. 🙂

    • linda says:

      i loved the whole concept of “tasty cheese” when i read it – especially since i love a sharp cheddar. i’m lucky that my local Whole Foods carries a tasty Australian tasty cheese…hunger for burgers is the idea, glad my evil plot is working 🙂

  10. Cuttlefish says:

    Can’t wait to try one!

    For possible future reference, fried egg is also a traditional topping for burgers in Bulgaria (possibly due to Aussie influence–one burger chain is “Tazburger”, but I also had the egg-topped burger at a fancy hotel, so it has spread). The burger patty, though, is either pork or chicken, rather than beef. No lettuce, onion, pickles… a loaded burger, for us, meant a pork patty with mayonnaise, yellow cheese (kashkaval), and fried egg.

    Best burger I have ever had. Might have been the company, though.

    • linda says:

      I’ve also had a filet mignon with a poached egg on top and it was amazing – egg and beef, who knew? I’ll keep your comments in mind for Bulgaria, good to get a jump on the Bs.

  11. thomas says:

    Spot on. (Personally, I wouldn’t include the egg, but it’s certainly traditional)

    I never saw anything quite the same as Australian bacon when I was living in the US. Pancetta is reasonably close for flavour, much closer than most US bacon. The texture of the real thing is chewier, though.

  12. dishy says:

    Isn’t “large continental island” rather redundant? I don’t know of any small continental islands.

  13. HeathAS says:

    I’m so so hungry now! You’ve inspired me! I’ll be making some home-made tuck shop burgers within the next few days. The only problem with our Aussie burgers is sometimes you gotta open your mouth so wide to get ’em in you end up with a facial cramp or lock jaw!
    a side of chips covered in chicken salt & a soft drink to wash it all down is norm too

    • linda says:

      lol – i’m really concerned that adding the pineapple may be too much for me! i need to start stretching to prepare 🙂

    • Lisa says:

      Chicken salted chips! this makes me want to go home so much hahaha. Americans apparently haven’t heard of chicken salt. I almost cried.

      • linda says:

        ok, now you’ve made me curious. I will have to order some and try it out. you Aussies are keeping me busy – and well fed!

  14. Lisa says:

    I’m Australian and the idea of pineapple in a burger makes me want to hurl. I also hate beetroot in burgers and never could figure how that was Australian… The egg and bacon though OM NOM NOM. I’m studying in America at the moment and whenever I get a burger made I always make them add an egg.

  15. vipit says:

    You certainly be worthy of a round of approval for your post and most importantly, ur blog as a whole. Very far up quality material.

  16. Hello! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and tell you I truly enjoy reading your blog. Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that cover the same topics?

    • linda says:

      welcome Wychowanie. I don’t know of anyone doing what I’m doing, but there are a few people out there interested in international cooking. As I was researching the various countries, I came across a few interesting sites. is a site all about cooking authentic meals from each country. There was also a blog from someone in NYC who was trying to eat at restaurants for each country in the world, but I can’t remember/find the url. there are also lots of burger bloggers out there, but most of them are focused on reviews of burgers at restaurants. lastly, you can find innumerable cooking blogs, a couple of my favorites are and enjoy

  17. Luigi Fulk says:

    Great article, mate. Just discovered your blog. Please keep up the good work!

  18. Android TV says:

    6. Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wished to say that I have truly enjoyed surfing around your blog posts. In any case I will be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again soon!

  19. Rick T says:

    OK, so you take neither credit nor blame for this one, right? Because this is Australia’s burger whether we like it or not. I really sort of paled at the thought of it. Beets? Seriously? And a sunny-side-up egg? This is gonna taste like a trainwreck. But no. It wasn’t half bad. The beets came across like a slightly sweeter version of a pickle, and th egg really just added some depth and heft to it all. So, I’d urge that nbobody be afraid to try it just because those ingredients sound, to American ears, very odd. I think this is the least exotic set of tastes or textures so far. A very unthreatening taste. But a word to the wise? Anyone reading, use a substantial bun. It’s thick and it’s wet, so either pick a bun that’ll stand up to it, or grab some extra napkins. I served it with Fosters (“It’s how to say ‘export-only’ in Australian.”) because I didn’t have time to run across town to the import beer place, but on reflection, I think a simple lager like Fosters isn’t a bad match.

    • linda says:

      you got it Rick T. This recipe is not so much a recipe as a list of stuff that Australians eat on their burgers. I agree on the bun, although you have to be careful not to add too much more height or it becomes impossible to eat. Lots of napkins and a fork and knife, just in case, that’s my recommendation.

  20. Yeah you beauty! a bonzer burger, I don’t eat beef [only when in Oz] so I substitute bison. a bit leaner but tasty.
    Slurp, yummo!

  21. Pingback: There’s Nothing Like Australia Tour 2012

  22. bradley says:

    i looooooooooooooooove it!!!super///

  23. Pingback: There’s Nothing Like Australia Tour 2012 | kary osmondkary osmond

  24. Sue says:

    It’s funny that you put the link in to the Columbian burger even tho you didn’t include the obligatory pineapple slice in this one. It’s the one obvious connection. Did you ever end up trying an Aussie burger with pineapple? Otherwise well done on a pretty spot-on interpretation, tho I think a runny egg may be slightly gourmet – most humble fish and chip shop type places tend to break the yolk, in my experience. Oh, and I think you may be promptly exported if you were seen eating it with a knife and fork!!

    A great site by the way, you’ve done an epic job. Time for me to get the frying pan out and explore the world!

    • linda says:

      Glad you are enjoying the site Sue! I did explore the pineapple version – the debate was quite heated on whether or not to add pineapple, but I’m voting on the no pineapple side. Here’s my write up

      I think this burger shares a messy exuberant spirit with the Columbian burger – with or without the pineapple. And I didn’t indulge in a knife and fork, I let the goop flow all over my hands and make a mess, so I’m in no danger of exportation 🙂

  25. Thanks for sharing! With a touch of vegemite this burger would be perfect 😉 lol

  26. Pingback: Kenyan burger recipe | burgers here and there

  27. Marcel says:

    Dear Linda

    Today I’ll try to make your burger.
    I am from Holland and during the worldcup football, every time when the Dutch team is playing, we make a meal originated from our opponents Tonight that will be The Australians. After the match I will let you know the reactions of my family.

    • linda says:

      congratulations on your victory over Australia – I’m sure the burger made the difference!

      • Marcel says:

        Thank you very much. It was a very exciting game. And you are absolutely right. The burger was great. Will keep this one as a favourite. Next Monday we will eat a Chili burger. Hope it has the same effect as the Aussiburger had.
        Greating Marcel

        • linda says:

          I think you’ll like the Chilean burger too – and it’s pretty easy, so it won’t interfere with the match! Best of luck

  28. Andrew says:

    Pineapple is very much in the optional category. Most local, hamburger joints (in the days before burger chains decimated them included pineapple in the ingredients for a hamburger with the lot. But it was about as common to say “no pineapple” as it was to leave it in. With todays non-burger-chain hamburgers being almost boutique items the chance customise them seems much reduced.

    As an aside to your reaction to Vegemite. This is a common reaction from non-Aussies, especially Americans but it’s not your fault you weren’t blessed with Australian birth.

    • linda says:

      I continue to be amazed that pineapple seems to generate so much interest, despite that fact that (IMHO), it adds very little interest to a burger! 🙂

      Yes, my inability to appreciate the wonders of Vegemite are clearly a result of my poor choice of birth place.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *