Recipe: Make our cheeseburger salad

A bowl of cheeseburger salad

Is your dad or partner watching his weight? Why not rustle up this healthier take on a burger for Father's Day? - Credit: Charlotte Smith-Jarvis

 In a meeting this week a male colleague (you know who you are) commented on how disappointed he is with all the rubbish lining the shop shelves for Father’s Day.
“It’s as if they think we’re all lining up for slippers, crates of beer, chocolate and 3XL Homer Simpson T-shirts,” he sneered. “Dads these days want to be a bit healthier don’t they? We don’t want a load of junk food.”
So, Mr Grumpy (please note I’ve bought my husband copious amounts of chocolate) this week’s recipe is for you - even though you don’t like food that’s ‘mucked about with’.
My hubby’s meal of choice is a cheeseburger. He’s eaten so many over the years he’s got his own little burger scale of ‘goodness’. God forbid you serve him anything that’s brown (or worse grey) in the middle.
When he accompanies me on food reviews, I have to avert his gaze from the burger option on the menu. ‘Our readers don’t want to read about the same thing every week,” I tell him, “Now pick something else!”
In what I’m billing as my Father’s Day Special, I’ve combined Mr J’s affection for the burger with aforementioned colleague’s request for something a little bit healthy.
The meaty elements, and even the onions, can be cooked without oil if needed (you can grill the beef and bacon) to up the health stakes. So the only real ‘naughty’ (but very very nice) part of the dish is the sauce.
It has all the components of a great burger - fresh salad, gherkins, beef, bacon, crispy bun - and some cool additions in the form of easy beer-braised onions and a spicy jalapeno, cheese and mustard drizzle.
It’s already had the seal of approval in our household. If your dad or partner is a burger fiend watching his weight post-lockdown, give this one a whirl.
Cheeseburger salad
(serves 4)

2 bags salad leaves, washed and dried
1 small punnet cherry tomatoes, halved
400g lean steak mince mixed with seasoning and formed into marble sized balls
4 rashers lean back bacon, cut into small pieces
2tbsps cornichons or gherkins sliced
2 burger buns, torn into croutons and grilled or fried until crisp
For the beer braised onions:
2 large onions cut into rough chunks
Pinch salt
Pinch sugar
300ml stout
Oil for frying
For the jalapeno, cheese and mustard sauce:
200g Swiss cheese or mature Cheddar
1 egg yolk
1tbsp cornflour
1tsp Worcestershire sauce
100ml beer
100ml milk
1 jalapeno chilli deseeded and finely chopped
1tbsp grain mustard
Put a splash of oil in a small saucepan and add the onions. Saute for a few minutes on a high heat until they char here and there and soften a little. Add a large pinch of salt and sugar and pour in the beer. Bring to the boil, then put on a low heat with a lid until really soft and melting.
Make the cheese sauce - wash out the onion pan and use that. Put all the ingredients in the pan and warm on a low heat and cook until molten and spoon-coating. Allow to cool slightly.
While the cheese sauce cools pop the bacon and beef ‘nuggets’ in a frying pan with a little oil. Cook on a medium heat. Allow the beef to form a crust underneath before you attempt to turn the pieces or they will break up. Check one for doneness.
Fill four bowls with the salad leaves and tomatoes. Add the gherkins and beer braised onions. Drizzle over some of the sauce. Finish with the bacon, beef and croutons.