We all love burgers, a sweeping statement perhaps but one which is most probably, more than likely true! But a trip to any local supermarket and a quick perusal of the freezer aisle will show you there ain’t many folks buying burgers at the moment – so how to get your burger fix? Simple you make them, using fresh ingredients, which you can hopefully trace back to its local roots!
My mum always used to make burgers for us as children, and we loved them, and I have continued to make them. My recipe has always been very simple;
- about 400g mince (beef or lamb);
- one egg yolk;
- finely diced onion pre-fryed for a few minutes in a little oil (plus if you feel that way inclined a crushed clove of garlic;
- a little flour to bind;
- a teaspoon of mustard or a good shake of Worcestershire Sauce (both optional);
- salt and pepper,
- and a handful of whatever herbs I have to hand (plus sometimes a little shake of chilli flakes).
Bung it all together, shape into burger patties and fry in a non-stick pan, draining the oil at least once, being brave enough to leave them and only turn a couple of times (or they break up).
But I knew there had to be more to making burgers!, and I knew the vast recipe book that is the internet was going to help me out. So, I may be burgered out, I may also be a little chubbier, but I am fairly certain I haven’t eaten any horse (this week) and I have found some great recipes to share.
My first burger offering isn't the usual beef burger, but a delicious pork alternative. Prior to making this recipe, I have rarely used pork mince, I have now and again mixed it with beef mince when making a pasta meat sauce, so I was pleased to not only find this recipe, but when cooked I really liked the taste, the pork with the apple and sage has a very distinctive taste, personally I did find the sage a little over powering, and next time I make the burgers I will cut the amount of sage used in half (and 'a handful' is a very subjective amount, my next handful will be a lot smaller). The ingredient list is commendably short, the apple adding moisture and taste and also helping I think as a binding ingredient.
BBC Good Food is probably my favourite site for finding recipes, the variety is fabulous and you can nearly always find what you need!
This I think is the first time I have actually made a Hairy Bikers recipe, which did surprise me, as I have always been quite a fan of the boys, and their food. Made using low fat beef mince, it is a lighter burger which is made even more so by the addition of courgettes, which are grated and added like the apple in the recipe above, not just adding some moisture but also I think, helps with the binding. The burgers are easy to make, and are extremely tasty, making I would think a perfect summer evening meal. I made the whole recipe, serving the burgers in ciabatta rolls with mozzarella (I didn't use the low fat version), and I was surprised at how tasty and full of flavour they were. Definitely going on the must do more of list!
I was looking about for a lamb burger to make, and although there are lots of recipes, the first one I tried (not this one) tasted bland and greasy, so I went on a hunt for a more flavoursome recipe, and I found plenty using herbs and spices, but when I did some sums, buying all the ingredients and pastes for just one burger was enough to buy out the now discounted freezer aisles in my local supermarket. So when I found this recipe, I was not only pleasantly surprised at the taste, but also the ingredient list is not too long, it falls down right in the middle of so few ingredients its tasteless and so many it should be gold plated it costs so much!
If the thought of a bit too much neigh and not enough moo in your burger has totally put you off, or of course, if you are already a vegetarian, then there are plenty of meat free recipes to tempt any taste-buds. I wanted to find one that wasn’t too much a taste and ingredient leap of faith for those quarter pounder lovers, and I think I found it, these burgers are based on rice, cashew nuts and breadcrumbs for the main bulk, as well as vegetables and flavours (including honey!!). The ingredient list is quite long, and it does require a little more effort to make, but I really enjoyed the results, they are tasty and satisfying. As with all non-meat recipes, I am never looking to replace meat, but simply to enjoy the food and these veggie burgers really fit the bill. A great recipe find!
Even if we all forget about the recent events in processed food manufacturing, it might hopefully mean we make a few more recipes from scratch, and spend a little more time finding out where our food comes from, it may well mean the outcome has a positive effect on us consumers!