Summer is here, which means it’s time to get the barbecue out of storage and invite your friends round for a party. While most of the culinary action will naturally be happening al fresco, spending a little time in the kitchen beforehand will help make your food stand out from the crowd.
In this case, we’re talking about putting together some delicious toppings that will really elevate your burgers and hot dogs to another level. We’ve put together a collection of 10 tasty toppings you can try at home, from classic to crazy. There’s plenty for meat-eaters, vegetarians and vegans to enjoy here, so tuck in!
A nice tangy relish is great on a beefburger, and it’s so easy to make. Simply heat a teaspoon of vegetable oil in a pan and add:
- 250g fresh corn
- 1 chopped red chilli
- 75ml cider vinegar
- 25g caster sugar
Bring it to the boil, then reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes. The mixture will thicken nicely and you will end up with a relish that has a lovely sweet and sour kick. Mix in a handful of fresh, chopped coriander leaves and you’re ready to go.
Cajun Onion Rings
Onions are the go-to topping for burgers and hotdogs, but we’re not talking about the soggy mush you’ll find in many commercial eateries. For a proper topping, you want your onions to have a bit of spice and crunch to them.
- 1 large onion, cut into rings around 1cm thick
- 50g plain white flour
- 100g breadcrumbs
- 2tsp Cajun seasoning
- 2 egg whites
- Vegetable oil
Put the flour and onion in a large plastic food bag, seal it and shake well. Whisk the eggs and then tip the onions into the mixture.
Add the breadcrumbs and seasoning to the flour, shake it all up again and then dip the onion pieces in one by one until all are coated.
Lay them evenly spaced across a greased baking tray and bake for 30mins at Gas Mark 6, turning halfway through.
This dish is popping up all over the place at the moment. Often served on toast as a breakfast dish, it’ll work equally well smothered over a veggie burger.
- 2 avocadoes
- 1 red chilli, chopped and de-seeded
- 1 garlic clove, grated
- Juice of 1 lime
- A pinch of salt
- A drizzle of olive oil
- Chopped coriander to finish
All you need to do is peel and de-stone the avocado, mash all the ingredients in a bowl until you’re happy with the consistency and you’re good to go.
This one takes a bit of time, but it’s certainly worth the effort. You’ll need:
- 2 ½kg boneless, skinless pork shoulder
- 2tsp smoked paprika
- 2tsp mustard powder
- 1tsp garlic powder
- 1tsp onion powder
- 3tbsp olive oil
First, set the oven to Gas Mark 2, heat some oil in a frying pan and sear the pork. Then place the pork on a wire rack inside a roasting tin. Mix all your seasoning together and brush over all sides of the meat. Pour a cup of water into the roasting tin, cover the whole lot with foil and leave it for 5 hours.
When it’s cooked, drain the juices into a measuring jug and mix 125ml of that with 4tbsp of barbecue sauce. Pour that over the pork and you’ve got yourself a truly indulgent burger or hot dog topping. Just make sure you put enough napkins out!
Bavarian sweet mustard
This one doesn’t actually require you to do anything, it’s just delicious and a great alternative for those who aren’t a fan of the hotter mustards out there.
A popular German condiment often served with boiled Weisswurst, you’ll be able to find it in most European delis. Simply spread a generous spoonful across your burger or hot dog bun and enjoy.
Pineapple certainly divides opinion when it comes to barbecue toppings, but don’t be so hasty to rule it out. Rather than just throwing a plain old pineapple ring on top of your burger, why not create something a little more exciting?
Simply mix the following together in a bowl and spoon onto your burger or hot dog. This will work equally well with beef, chicken or vegetarian alternatives.
- 1 tin of pineapple chunks, drained
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 1 red chilli, chopped
- 1 tomato, diced
- 1 shallot, diced
- Juice from 2 limes
- A handful of chopped coriander leaves
- Salt and pepper to taste
Finally, why not try this twist on the traditional Cuban sandwich?
Simply add the standard Cubano accompaniments of ham, Swiss cheese, mustard and sliced gherkins to your hot dog. A true Cubano contains roast pork, so your hot dog can act as a substitute in this case.