These mini cheeseburgers are perfect for celebrating Heritage Day on 24 September. Present them on a pretty serving plate as a starter or serve them as a main with all the usual sides. They’re easy to make and have a hint of spice




  • 4 rashers of bacon
  • 500g red onions, thinly sliced
  • 1t finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1t sugar
  • ¼t coarse sea salt
  • ¼t ground black pepper
  • ½ cup tomato sauce or ketchup
  • 1T chilli-garlic sauce, such as Sriracha


For the patties


  • 1kg lean beef mince
  • 2T Dijon mustard
  • 1½t coarse sea salt
  • 1t Worcestershire sauce
  • ¾t ground black pepper


To garnish


  • 6 thin slices mature cheddar cheese
  • 12 small dinner rolls or cocktail rolls, split
  • 2 plum tomatoes, each cut across into thin slices




1. In a large pan over medium heat, fry the bacon until crisp, 10–12 minutes, turning occasionally. Place the bacon on paper towels to drain. Add the onions, thyme and sugar to the pan and cook until the onions are tender and lightly golden, 10–12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with the salt and pepper.

2. Prepare the braai for direct cooking over medium-high heat 200°–260°C.

3. In a bowl, whisk the tomato sauce and Sriracha.

4. Gently combine the patty ingredients. With wet hands, form 12 loosely packed patties of equal size, each about 1.5 cm thick. Don’t compact the meat too much or the patties will be tough. With your thumb or the back of a spoon, make a shallow indentation in the centre of each patty. This will help them cook evenly and prevent them from puffing on the braai.

5. Brush the cooking grates clean. Braai the patties over direct medium-high heat, with the lid closed as much as possible, until cooked to medium, 6–8 minutes, turning once when the patties release easily from the grate without sticking (if flare-ups occur, move temporarily over indirect heat). During the last minute of braaing, place two quarter slices of cheese on each patty to melt and toast the rolls, cut side down, over direct heat.

6. Spread some spicy tomato sauce on each bottom bun half, and top with a patty, a tomato slice, bacon and caramelized onions.


This recipe serves six people