All entries for Saturday 26 May 2012
May 26, 2012
I do love how summer smells.
What does summer smell like in your part of the world?
These are my current summer notes from my part of the world:
Freshly cut grass,
Pimms and lemonade,
Lancome Midnight Rose,
salty sweat and soltan sunscreen (let's keep it real!)
The charcoal smoke of barbeques!
I like spotting faces in places, can you spot the faces?
This beef burger recipe originated from Meagan (my Canadian friend from Oreo Cheesecake fame!). Meagan said that she didn't know how to cook, but produced great cheesecake and these juicy homemade beef burgers. Maybe they have a much higher standard of home-cooking in Canada compared to the UK?!
She never told me the recipe when she lived in the UK. Was it because she was stunned that none of her UK friends had ever thought to make their own burgers and was worried that our brains would get fried by the complexity of it?
I'm joking. I think it was just me, at that point, who couldn't getthat home-made burgers could be so easy to make. When I visited Meagan and Darren a few years ago, in Canada, I watched Meagan make them in less than 10 minutes: that's how she convinced me of the utter ease of this recipe. Oh winter BBQs! That's another great thing about Canadians. It was the beginning of March, there had been lots of snowfall, temperatures had plummeted to -25C during the day, and Meagan and Darren decided to put on the BBQ. A gas one that sits out on their porch, naturally. Why not?
But back to the subject. These home-made beef burgers are really easy and quick to make, cheaper and much tastier than any you'll buy in a shop. I think that there are three reasons why these burgers are so simple to make:
- They use ingredients that most of us have in our cupboards.
- I use porridge oats which eliminates the step of making bread crumbs or crushing cream crackers.
- I use spring onions instead of onions, because no matter how finely I chop white or red onions, the onions always cause my burgers to fall apart in the cooking process. Spring onions provide the flavour and the burger holds together.
Please feel special because I have especially measured out the ingredients for you in order to give you this recipe. When I make these burgers I normally do a few squirts of tomato ketchup, mustard, a handful or so of oats, a bit of salt and pepper, as many chopped herbs as I fancy etc. So, if you'd like to, you can use my ingredients as a guide, and flavour it as your tastebuds lead you. On the other hand, I do get irritated with recipes that say things like, a bunch of dill or coriander etc., it's just not helpful when you're starting out. Oh I remember, back in the day, when I first came across Jamie Oliver's Naked Chef recipes. His personality and style of cooking appealed to me. However, when he wrote things like 'a glug of olive oil' it was utterly meaningless and put me off making his recipes. Please! I don't know what you mean by a glug or a bunch!
This recipe makes 8 medium sized burgers (approx 75g each). I pretty much double the recipe if I want to make more and modify the seasoning (by that I mean everything apart from the beef, spring onions and egg) depending on how it tastes. You can eat raw beef so it's possible to taste as you go, only if you want to! I don't mind it.
Ingredients for Easy, Peasy, Juicy Beef Burgers
- 1lb/454g minced beef aka ground beef in the US
- (Highly recommended, but optional) 2 spring onions, finely chopped - I use all of the spring onion including the green bits on the top. I know that some people only use the white bits.
- 50g porridge oats, or rolled oats
- 1 egg
- 1 clove of garlic, crushed
- 3 tbsp tomato ketchup
- 1½ tbsp barbeque sauce (woodsmoke flavour preferably)
- 1½ tbsp french mustard
- a shake of worcester sauce - difficult to measure that one, sorry.
- ½ tsp salt (add more if needed)
- ½ tsp ground pepper (add more if needed)
- Optional herb flavourings. Add these according to how you want them to taste, but here's a guideline: 10 stalks of parsley with leaves - finely chopped, including the stalks and 6 stalks of dill, finely chopped.
1. Get a plate/tupperware box to place the burgers that you're about to make before cooking them.
2. Put all the ingredients into a large bowl and mush [mix thoroughly] them together with your hands.
3. Wet your hands so that the mixture doesn't stick to your hands. Pick up a handful of the beef mixture. I weighed this out specially for you guys, and I think that anything between 70-80g is a good size. Gently roll it into a ball, then press it down firmly into the thickness that you want it, so that it forms flat-ish, round-ish disc shape. If you'd like to freeze them at this stage, spread them out on a baking sheet in one layer and place the sheet flat in the freezer. Once the burgers have frozen, you can store them into a bigger freezer bag. Take them out the day or morning that you want to eat them and let them defrost completely before cooking.
4. Barbeque them or grill them - the choice is yours, or if you live in the UK, depends on the weather. Serve as you like. My current favourite is to eat them with fresh bread with some guacamole, freshly cut tomatoes, and salad.
I've since taught this recipe a couple of times. Always with a bellyful of laughs and burgers.