How to cook like American Dad

how to cook like american dad

American Dad Season 8 out on DVD this week and, to celebrate, a load of us journos got invited along to London’s Central Cookery School to learn how to cook burgers. Americans like burgers, you see: it’s one of the few facts anthropologists have been able to discern about that primitive and noble people.

In my case, I needed the lesson; I’ve never been a cook. On my second night at uni, I burnt my hand taking pizza out of the oven. A year later, I was still struggling to cook an egg. Now, age 24, I mark down anything more complicated than pasta as “too much risk”. I am a shell of a man, but American Dad was there to help.

Specifically, Stan Smith, or at least his stand-in – a charming man with blue suit, brash manner and suspect accent – who ribbed and goaded us through a lesson in making minced steak patties. Stan also turned out to be a veggie, which I’m claiming as this piece’s scoop.

I’m yet to show any symptoms of dysentery, salmonella or food poisoning, so it’s safe to say I’ve made an advance. I’ve limped through basic food preparation and you can too: if you want to enjoy your new American Dad DVD in the same way I did, you can find the recipe below. I’m sure Stan’s available for hire as well.

Burgers with fennel-roasted tomatoes and crispy new potato wedges

For 2 burgers


200g good quality beef mince (not lean)
120g chuck steak
Half an onion, finely grated
2 thick slices of onion (rings)
2 slices Emmental
4 medium salad/new potatoes
10 cherry plum tomatoes
1 tsp coarsely ground fennel seeds
1 tsp dried oregano
Sea salt
Ground black pepper
Sunflower oil
Olive oil
2 good quality burger buns or fresh bread rolls
Cos lettuce, beefsteak tomatoes, spring onions


1. First make the burger patties. Gut any sinew away from the steaks but keep the hard fat. Roughly chop the steaks into about 2cm pieces. Then, using a sharp knife cut up the pieces to form a coarse mince. This will take quite a while.

2. In a bowl, mix the mince, chopped steak, grated onion and a small pinch of salt and pepper. Mix well together but don’t overwork.

3. Empty the bowl onto a clean work surface and form tow round patties. Flatten the patties out and push a dimple in the centre. Rub all over with oil and place onto a plate in the fridge.

4. Next the potatoes. Set the oven to 200°C. Wash the potatoes but leave the skins on. Cut into wedges. Dry with kitchen roll and tip into a roasting tin. Pour over about 11tbsp sunflower oil, sprinkle over some sea salt and mix until evenly covered.

5. Distribute the potatoes evenly in the roasting tin, trying to avoid them touching as much as possible.

6. Place in the oven 30-40 minutes until crispy at the edges. Use a spatula to turn them over a couple of times during cooking. It doesn’t matter if they stick to the pan and have to be shoved off as this will create crispier edges. When cooked, place onto kitchen roll and keep warm.

7. Slice each of the tomatoes in half and arrange cut side up on a baking sheet. Sprinkle over the fennel, oregano, some salt and pepper, and olive oil, and place in the oven for 10 minutes. When they look nicely roasted (crinkly and starting to colour) take them out, tip into a bowl and dress with a little more olive oil.

8. Take the burgers out of the fridge. Get a large frying pan or griddle pan really hot, then turn down to medium (or use a medium hot barbecue). Place the burger on the heat. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, depending on how you like it (6 minutes total should be medium-rare, but push the burger with your finger to check). When you turn the burger, place the cheese on top.

9. In the same pan, on the grill, place the onion slices next to the burger. Turn at the same time as turning the burger.

10. Slice the rolls and assemble your burgers. Place the onion slice on the bottom, then the burger and cheese.

11. Serve with the potatoes and the tomatoes either inside the burger or on the side with a crispy, fresh salad.

I am Ramsey. Hear me roar.

American Dad Volume 8 is out now on DVD from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment