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Pony Burger with Gherkin

Pony burger with roasted pepper, halloumi, bacon and caramelised onion chutney

This gamey meat is complemented perfectly by the sweetness of the chutney and the saltiness of the bacon and cheese


For the chutney

  • 500g red onions, sliced
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp nigella seeds
  • 40g dark brown sugar
  • 50ml balsamic vinegar

For the main event

  • 4 pony burgers
  • 4 burger buns (we used sourdough)

For the roasted red peppers

  • 2 red peppers
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar

For the garnishes

  • 1 block of halloumi, sliced
  • 8 smoked streaky bacon rashers
  • 1 beef tomato
  • 1 iceberg lettuce
  • 4 tsp thick mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp American mustard
  • 4 large gherkins


To make the caramelised onion chutney

  1. Sweat the onions in the butter and olive oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan.
  2. Add the nigella seeds and crushed garlic, cooking until soft and just starting to colour.
  3. Add the brown sugar and balsamic vinegar and bring to a boil.
  4. Turn down to a gentle simmer for about two hours, or until the mixture becomes thick and shiny.

For the peppers

  1. Preheat the grill to the highest setting, then roast the peppers, until burnt and charred all over.
  2. Place them in a bowl, and cover in cling film to cool.
  3. Once cooled, remove burnt skins and de-seed.
  4. Slice the peppers, adding oil and vinegar, and set to one side.

For the burgers and garnishes

  1. Mix the mayonnaise and mustard together and set to one side.
  2. Shred the lettuce and cut the tomato into four thick slices.
  3. Add the bacon to a cold frying pan. Bring it to a medium heat and cook until crispy. Remove and place it on some kitchen paper.
  4. In the same pan, add the burgers and cook for four minutes on each side until cooked through.
  5. Wipe the pan clean, then fry the halloumi slices for a few minutes on each side, until golden brown.
  6. Wipe the pan clean again, to toast the buns.

To build the burgers

  1. Spread a tablespoon of the mayonnaise onto the bottom half of the bun, then some lettuce and the tomato.
  2. Top with the burger, then bacon, halloumi and grilled peppers, not forgetting a dollop of the onion chutney. Complete the burger by spiking a gherkin through it with a cocktail stick to hold it in place.

Thomas’s tip: Serve this burger with your favourite sides, mine being fries and coleslaw spiced with some smoked paprika.

Recipe by Thomas Elson-Knight

Head Chef

The Royal Oak, Meavy


Thomas Elson Knight

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