We love a good burger in our house.
We don’t have them very often so when we do it’s a real treat.
Our children have never been to a McDonalds, Burger King or any other junk food purveyor.
I can imagine that when they do (although I’d like to think they never will…) it will be a real eye opener for them. I can just see them going back to the counter with the sad little burger in hand… “What’s this? You call this a burger?”
I don’t know why more people don’t make their own? You can buy a kilo of mince meat for a lot less than it costs for a kilo of burgers. All you need to do is add a bit of seasoning, mix and form into a rough Pattie and throw on a grill, BBQ or frying pan.
However you can let your imagination run wild and flavour your meat with a vast array of ingredients.
And then you have your toppings, now this is where the fun starts!
You have to have cheese of some sort. I love a slice of Monterey Jack on a beef burger, but a medium cheddar is just as nice. If you want to ‘Posh’ it up I would go with some crumbly Stilton. One of my favourite burgers is a Mediterranean influenced lamb burger topped with a piece of grilled Halloumi and some ‘Ome made Tzatziki.
I like a nice mustardy mayonnaise on my beef burgers along with a little salad leaf, slice of tomato and I’m sorry but gherkins are good too. I also think a beef burger needs a good squirt of tomato ketchup.
Lately we have been making veal burgers. I know that some people are a little put off by veal but the place that we get it from uses the male animals from the place that they get their milk supplies from. If the animals are not sold for meat then they would be slaughtered at birth anyway. So personally I haven’t got a problem with eating veal that’s a by-product of the dairy industry, and from some where that has high standards for animal welfare.
Mince veal has quite a delicate flavour and it makes a really nice burger that compliments other ‘add ons’.
Heres a recipe you might want to try but feel free to add your own ‘add ons’ as everyone has different tastes. The burgers could be made with any sort of meat though.
1.2Kg veal mince (or beef or lamb), Waitrose often have a deal on veal mince, hence the amount which would cost £10
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
A really good grind of black pepper
A couple teaspoons of mustard. Dijon or wholegrain works best
And that’s it, although you could add other things if you fancy. Get your hands in the bowl and give it a really good ‘squish’ to thoroughly mix the ingredients into the meat.
I then line a tray with greaseproof paper, form the meat into burgers, place on the tray and chill which lets the burgers firm up a little. If you’re finding you have more meat on your hands than tray a tip is to shape the burgers using slightly wet hands. You may notice on the photos that we made some little meat balls from the same mixture, these were used in the Kids’ pack-up for their school lunch (I never got pack-up as good as theirs!), they would be equally as good in a tomato sauce with some pasta for a quick lunch or supper.
And that’s it your burgers are ready to go and be cooked using your preferred method.
So we had these little beauties topped with Chorizo, Monterey Jack cheese, an ‘Ome made tomato and habenero chilli salsa and some rocket and baby spinach leaves all sandwiched in a mini Ciabatta bun with a squirt of American style mustard spread on for good measure.
The salsa is really easy too if you want to have a go. Just dice some tomatoes, onions and chillies (which can be left out if you don’t want the heat). Add enough sugar to lightly coat the mixture, a little splash of vinegar and a good squirt or squeeze of lime juice. It now needs a good pinch of salt (I personally like a nice salty salsa)and a good grind of pepper. Again a salsa can easily be customized to your own liking.
We had these with some nice chunky baked chips and a little more salad leaf on the side.
Be prepared for juice dribbling down chins and arms, but then that’s all part of the enjoyment!
And don’t forget to tell you’re kids how much nicer and healthier Home-made burgers are compared to the high street, mass produced crap of fast food vendors!