rat and roach burger

rat and roach burger

No rats nor roaches were harmed in the making of this post.

I was digging through my old photos and found this one. It’s a BBQ recipe I made in May 2005.

When your sister visits from the land of the outdoor grill, New Zealand, you can’t just serve sausages and potato salad. You need to raise the bar. The answer came from a book she’d bought me, Summer On The Grill by Phillip Kraal. This mighty burger leapt from the page at me. It’s named for a Kiwi pub called “The Rat and Roach” and is an enormous burger with all kinds of delicious contents and toppings. The photo doesn’t quite do it justice; I’ve squished it down and is slightly dwarfed by my spatula-hands. It’s the size of a dinner plate and about 10cm high. A slider it ain’t. It reminds me a little of a muffuleta sandwich, with the bonus of being a burger with attitude.

If you’re looking for a showstopper or centrepiece for your BBQ, this is it.

Rat and roach burger (serves 12):

For the patty:

1kg beef mince

1 onion, finely diced

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

Big handful parsley, chopped

2 tablespoons thyme, chopped

2 tablespoons ketchup

200g grated cheddar

1 egg, beaten

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons fresh black pepper

½ teaspoon curry powder

6 tablespoons breadcrumbs

Everything else:

10 slices smoked cheese

1 onion, diced

2 tomatoes, sliced

Garlic mayo

Lettuce, shredded

2 beetroot, sliced


A really large bun, a loaf really. About 30cm in diameter

  1. Mix all the patty ingredients together in a huge bowl. You may need to add more or less breadcrumbs to help make a firm mix. Shape into a large patty 30cm round and 4cm thick.
  2. Put on to a hot BBQ for about 10 minutes each side. After turning once, lay the cheese slices on the cooked side while the other side cooks.
  3. To prepare the bread, cut in half lengthways. Butter the cut side and place the cut side down to toast.
  4. Sauté the onions and tomatoes lightly (if you have room on the BBQ cook them alongside the beef). Spread the toasted side of the bun with garlic mayo, then place the cooked patty on top.
  5. Arrange the onions, tomato, lettuce and beetroot on top of the cheese. Spread the other piece of bread with ketchup and place on top of the filling. Serve cut into wedges.

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