Pastrami Burgers



  • 50g unsalted butter

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 1/4 cup canola oil

  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced

  • 350g good-quality pastrami, sliced

  • 900g ground beef (80-20 blend)

  • 8 slices Swiss cheese

  • 4 soft sesame burger buns, split

  • 8  lettuce leaves (about 1 small lettuce head)

  • 2 Flavorite Truss tomatoes, thinly sliced

  • Caraway coleslaw


  1. Place the butter and garlic in a large cast-iron skillet and set on a stovetop over medium heat. As the butter melts, the garlic will infuse the butter and become fragrant. Stir well and season with salt and pepper; transfer the garlic butter to a small bowl and set aside to cool.

  2. Place the same skillet back over medium heat to warm up. Add enough canola oil to coat the skillet, about 2 tablespoons, then add the onion. Cook over medium heat, stirring for 10- 15 minutes until the onion caramelises. Season with salt and cook until soft and evenly brown, about 3 more minutes. Transfer the onion to a plate and set aside.

  3. Raise the heat level to medium high and add enough canola oil to coat the skillet, about 2 tablespoons. Add the pastrami and cook, turning a few times, until crisp, 7 to 8 minutes. Remove the pastrami and set aside, leaving any accumulated juices in the skillet.

  4. Divide the ground beef into 4 portions and form into 4 tight balls. Sprinkle them all over with salt and pepper. Place the hamburger balls in the skillet and sear 30 to 40 seconds, then use a strong flat metal spatula to flatten them. Continue to press with the spatula and cook for 2 1/2 minutes until the burgers develop a crust on the bottom.

  5. Flip and cook foe another 1 minute to develop a crust on the other side. Use a spoon to baste the burgers with the pastrami fat in the pan.

  6. Top each burger with 2 slices cheese.  Leave covered 30 to 40 seconds, until the cheese has melted, then remove the lid. When the burgers are at the desired point of doneness and the cheese is melted, top each with a pile of crispy pastrami, then set the burgers aside.

  7. Brush the cut sides of the buns lightly with the garlic butter. Toast the buns directly on the grill over the campfire until golden and crisp around the edges, 15 to 20 seconds. Flip and lightly toast the outside of the buns, another 15 seconds.

  8. Assemble each burger by layering the bottom half of each bun with pickle slices and caramelized onion, then a pastrami-burger patty. Top each with lettuce, juicy tomatoes and the top half of the bun. Serve with caraway coleslaw.