[WATCH] Smashed burgers with mac and cheese

As seen on last week's episode of Gourmet Challenge, Chef Daniel Grech whips up a tender juicy burger with a side of mac and cheese. Within minutes you'll have the best double cheeseburger with crispy edges and a toasty bun ready to feed the family

Serves 3


For the mac and cheese

  • 200g pasta
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp English mustard
  • ¼ tsp Worchestershire sauce
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups shredded mixed cheese
  • 1 small cube blue cheese
  • 1 cup finely chopped onions
  • Olive oil

For the burger sauce

  • Mayonnaise
  • English mustard
  • Sweet paprika powder
  • Finely diced pickle
  • Worcestershire sauce

For the burger

  • 750g mince beef
  • 3 brioche burger buns
  • 50g butter
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 large onions
  • 6 slices of cheese


The mac and cheese

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Pasta in the boiling water, stirring occasionally until cooked through but firm to the bite, 8 minutes. Drain.
  2. Sauté onions in olive oil and melt butter in the same saucepan over medium heat; stir in flour, salt, and pepper until smooth, about 5 minutes. Slowly pour milk into butter-flour mixture while continuously stirring until mixture is smooth and bubbling, about 5 minutes. Add mixture of 4 cheeses to milk mixture and stir until cheese is melted, 2 to 4 minutes. Add a cube of blue cheese and some pasta water and finish off with a few drops of Worcestershire sauce and a teaspoon of English mustard.
  3. Gently stir pasta into cheese sauce.
  4. Pour mixture into little casseroles and bake in the oven from 20-25 minutes or until bubbly.

The burger sauce

  1. It’s as easy as mixing all your ingredients together. Make sure the pickles are very finely diced.If you want it a little sweeter, add more mayonnaise. More acidic? Add more mustard or pickle juice.

The burger

  1. Separate the ground beef into 6 equally sized portions and form into balls with your hand.
  2. Preheat a large stainless steel sauté pan or skillet over high heat for 2 minutes. Place balls of beef in pan and smash down with a stiff metal spatula, using a second spatula to add pressure. Smashed patties should be slightly wider than burger bun.
  3. Season liberally with salt and pepper and cook, until outer edges are brown, about 2 minutes. 
  4. Once charred on the bottom, flip and top each patty with a slice of cheese. Place in the oven until melted.
  5. Once your burgers are cooked, heat the butter and place your brioche buns face down in the hot butter and allow each side to toast golden brown, about 1-2 minutes.
  6. For the crispy onions, combine flour, salt, and paprika in a large bowl. Slice onion very thinly with a sharp knife. Toss onion rings into flour mixture to lightly coat. Shake off excess flour. Fry onions in a pot of oil for about 1 minute or until golden brown; drain on paper towels.
  7. Top each bun with two patties and your remaining condiments.

Carlo Gerada and Annalise Lovegrove on Gourmet Challenge
Carlo Gerada and Annalise Lovegrove on Gourmet Challenge

Watch Chef Daniel Grech creating the dish from scratch and Carlo Gerada and Annalise lovegrove going head-to-head in the Gourmet Challenge kitchen below:


Don't miss Gourmet Challenge every Thursday on TVM at 18:3