The kids in the family I work for were calling out for burgers. Their parents don’t eat a lot of bread or buns or much wheat based food, but they love their meat.
So, I designed this meal to include the burger pattie part that they do like, making them a bit more gutsy in flavour and making it a bit more glam for the “guests”.
I’m sure the judges on Masterchef would slam me for my chive garnish but hey, I don’t care – I LIKE IT.
1kg of quality low fat minced beef
2 finely sliced shallots or white onion – panfried till soft and translucent golden
1 t cumin seeds
1 t coriander seeds
1/2 t cardomon seeds
3 black peppercorns
1 star anise
4 cloves garlic chopped – ½ for burger mix, ½ for potatoes
6 finely chopped chives
1 1/2 T mango chutney
2 eggs for binding ( many use breadcrumbs but I prefer not to)
Rice bran oil or your choice of light oil for frying
Good olive oil for roasted potatoes
3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
1 -2 aubergines / eggplants
Himilayan salt – fine is best
Good sloshes of basil- flavoured olive oil
4 large potatoes for roasting
I cos lettuce
2 chopped fresh tomatoes
1 chopped baby Lebanese cucumber
long shaved parmesan slices
a generous splash of a gutsy mustard vinaigrette
This quantity made 2 large patties for adults and 6 smalller ones for the kids.
I made plain burgers for the kids (just meat, fried onions and seasoning) but the ingredients above would be for a kilo of beef doing only the adult version with all the spices etc.
Turn on oven to 180 degrees.
Prepare potatoes for roasting.
(I chose to do hassle- back potatoes which no one, including me, can make as well as my dear dad, the first time I ever ate them I loved them so much I begged him to make them for 5 consecutive nights until we ran out of garlic.)
Hold your potato long ways cut a thin slice off the bottom of it so it now has a flat surface to ‘sit’ on. Thinly slice not quite all the way width-ways through the potato – across ways as the potato lies flat on its flat bottom. These fine slices allow garlic and oil to bake into the potato which you now rub and place over each potato so that when its cooking, and the edges go all crispy and delicious. You can use butter if you want to really go to town.
Put potatoes in oven 35 mins before preparing to serve the meal.
Lightly sprinkle a flat pan with Himalayan sea salt, place the aubergines, sliced lengthways about the width over your little fingernail, onto the salted pan, sprinkle more salt onto the top and leave for 15 mins to draw out the bitter juices. Then, dab both sides of the aubergine with paper towel to soak up the seeped juices, drizzle reasonable generously with basil- flavoured olive oil .
The aubergine takes 30 minutes to bake in the oven, before serving.
Panfry onions till soft and golden. Lightly toast all seeds and dry spices in dry wok or pan over medium heat for a couple of minutes to draw out the flavours. Finely grind in a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle. Cook for five minutes in oil with the prepared onion. Add the garlic and continue frying till garlic is cooked. Add the mango chutney.
Add all these ingredients to the minced beef – in a large bowl.
Add the eggs and chives. Season well.
Shape burger patties into your preferred size.
Dipping hands into a bowl of water helps to shape clean balls, and keeps your hands less sticky!
Fling a salad of your choice together, I used the ingredients listed above.
I usually allow 15 mins for burger patty cooking 6-7 mins per side, but over here in France, people eat their beef patties rare-ish so allow for longer if you want them cooked completely through.
On a medium hot grill pan, cook your patties, turning ONCE.
Allow rest time for meat – in a warmed oven, covered – 5-10 mins before serving.
Assemble as you like, this is how I did mine for the grown ups.
Serve with very good mustard and any other condiments of your choice.
(Finally, of course, the burgers and aubergines would be more delicious done on the BBQ.)