A recent report from the World Health Organisation has cautioned that processed meats, such as ham, bacon and sausages rank alongside cigarettes as a major cause of cancer.

Meats are processed to change the taste or extend shelf life, usually by smoking, curing, or adding salt or preservatives. WHO has advised that we cut down on these modified products as they are “carcinogenic to humans”.

With this in mind, we have rounded up our favourite recipes that you can make at home using good-quality, unadaltured meat when the craving for a burger or a sausage sandwich strikes.

James Martin’s ultimate burger:

Burgers are about great meat, seasoning and nothing else. Served in a brioche bun with home-made mayo, this is the business. Proper home comfort food.



500g minced beef steak
3 egg yolks
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp cider vinegar
Juice of ½ lemon
300ml rapeseed oil
25g wholegrain or beer mustard
2 tbsp vegetable oil
4 brioche rolls
8 gherkins, sliced
1 beef tomato, sliced
½ round lettuce, leaves separated
1 red onion, sliced
200g cheese slices


Put the minced meat in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper, then divide into four and form into patties.

Set on a plate, cover and place in the fridge for one hour to firm up.

Meanwhile, prepare your barbecue (if using) so the flames have died down and the coals are just glowing.

To make the mayo, whisk together egg yolks, Dijon mustard, vinegar and lemon juice in a bowl or small processor. Still whisking, start adding the rapeseed oil in a very thin trickle to make a mayonnaise; the mixture should be thick yet light once all the oil is incorporated. Stir in the mustard and season to taste.

Rub the patties with the vegetable oil, then place on the barbecue and chargrill on each side for two or three minutes (alternatively cook over a high heat on a griddle pan).

To assemble, place each patty in a brioche roll with the gherkins, tomato, lettuce, a few onion slices, cheese slices and the mustard mayonnaise. Secure with wooden skewers to keep them together, if you like.