Classic Beef Burger….with a Twist
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I do try to be a relatively healthy eater. I’m neither strict nor obsessive, but I do genuinely enjoy healthy, fresh food. However, now and then I hit the wall, and sometimes crave those fatty, meaty foods. I’ve never been a burger type of girl. Don’t get me wrong there have been countless times I’ve been joining the drunken queues of Burger King in London Victoria, close to missing the last train home, but so desperate to get me mits on that double-decker cheese burger. But once in a blue moon, that cheeky disc of meet and spices calls my name.
Since meeting my other half, I won’t deny the fact the hips have gotten larger, the bingo wings are in full swing and the cellulite practically glows in the dark. But, what I do love is the fact we share a passion for food. The past few years, he’s developed a dream to own and run a pop up bar, with the hope to one day own a beautiful country-side pub, with an amazing menu and large selection of whiskys and British Ales. We were having a drink in our favourite back-street pub in Tooting, The Selkirk, when we started brainstorming ideas for his pop-up bar. For those of you who live near Brixton, you (hopefully) will have spent hours in Brixton Market, shopping, eating drinking, and he wants to bring this young foodie culture to a Market,not too far from where we live.
South London is full of Thai food, Indian Curry Houses and Polish Cuisine – all are favorites of mine. During our drunken brainstorm, we thought, why not work towards a burger joint? In central London they thrive; Honest Burger, Byron Burger, Five Guys – they all have taken London by storm, so why not bring this American Dream to the South?
So this began my challenge to create the best burger. I wont lie, the first attempt wasn’t great. But the flavours and the accompanying sides worked really well together so I’m going to share this with you, and hopefully continue to share my progress over the winter months until I perfect the best, British burger.
Ingredients: 6 Jacobs Cream Crackers // 3 slices of brown/granary bread toasted and made into crumbs // 500g quality minced beef // 1 large egg // Salt & Pepper // 1 tsp Coconut Oil (heat in the microwave for 10 secs to melt // 2-3 twigs of Thyme // 2 table spoons of Dijon Mustard // Sliced Courgette // 1 Red Onion // gherkins// Burger Buns (optional) // Cheese of your choice
Method: Crush your crackers – now do this what ever way is easiest for you. I put them into a plastic bag – sandwich bag – and then wack with a rolling pin. It’s great for getting frustration out :). Pour into a large bowl and add your breadcrumbs. Then add the beef, egg, oil, thyme and mustard into the bowl and get your hands dirty. Make sure everything is mixed really well together. Sprinkle a small amount of salt and a generous portion of pepper and give it one final mix. If the mixture is too wet, add a little flour or some more breadcrumbs – but add a little at a time so not to go too dry.
Wash your hands and dust a plate or chopping board with some plain flour. Grab a medium/small sized ball of mixture, work it together and then flatten into burger shaped discs. Repeat this process until you have a plate full of burgers and pop into the fridge for 20 mins to cool. This helps them keep their shape and marinade the flavours.
Pre-heat a large griddle (or frying pan) for 2-3 minutes on a high heat, then turn it down to medium. Pop in 2-3 burgers, using a spectacular to gently press down, and also to help you move the burgers around so they don’t stick. I’d cook them for 4-5 minutes each side and then place back onto a clean plate.
Serving is entirely your choice. I would discard the bun. To me, bread in this case is a waste of valuable eating space. But to others, it’s the most important bit. I would first sprinkle on some blue cheese followed by a few rings of red onion. Now I love raw courgette, so all i do is take a potato peeler and peel 2-3 thin layers from the courgette and place this on my burger. Chuck a few gherkins on the side of your plate and you are good to go.
When i made this for dinner last, I accompanied the plate with a carrot, red cabbage and courgette coleslaw which i will share the recipe for very soon. Now grab those burgers, and enjoy!
Where to buy? The beef is the most important part of this dish, so it’s one time i would say pop to the meat counter in your local supermarket. Morrison s, in my experience, has a fantastic meat counter and the staff are always so helpful.