I don’t know about you but we haven’t used the BBQ in this house yet. I bet you guys are cooking up a storm and grilling to your heart’s content, but I’m doing nothing of the sort. I’m cooking yes, but only because we have to eat, but during these hot days there’s no enjoyment to be found in the kitchen.
Whenever I meet up with friends, one of the first questions they ask me is “what are you cooking today?” Such a great question. Seriously. It’s a simple one really, but there’s always a reasoning behind it which I totally get. Because when you’re the one in charge of feeding the people living in your household, thinking about what to cook every single day, or more tediously, day in, day out, it starts to feel as too much of a chore. I applaud every one of you though. I know where you’re coming from and I understand.
In Surrey you mean…? Err…nope! It’s so dreary today I could cry! I really don’t know if there will be a summer here, but till it arrives (perhaps *if* is a better term) here’s a recipe which reminds me of the warmer months. Grilling (with a good extractor in the kitchen: very important) cheers me up. I don’t know why but it makes me feel better. Most probably because it’s quick and really easy if you can deal with some splatter. If that bothers you, you can get one of those grilling contraptions. But you don’t really need one. The less gadgets, the better.
One of my favourite things, especially when I’m really hungry is a good burger. I like to make the mixture before, place the patties on a tray, cover with cling film, put them in the fridge to cool before any cooking is done. I found that this one of the best ways to keep them intact while on the grill. I add chilli in mine. If you don’t like chilli or are allergic to it just season with a little salt and pepper; you will definitely need some seasoning in this. You can play around as much as you like with a recipe like this, depending on what you love best. As far as the breadcrumbs go, I always keep some handy in the freezer. I hate waste so whenever I have some two/three-day-old bread I whizz it up in a food processor. I either divide the quantity into containers or freezer bags*. Very very simple. This recipe will give you approximately 5 burgers (150g each). But sometimes I make smaller portions which will or course give you more. (For a niftier version, you can make sliders – a trendy name for little hamburgers.) You need:
- 500g lean minced beef
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 6 tablespoons breadcrumbs*
- 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 – 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (optional but I love it)
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon chilli powder (for a spicier version try 1 teaspoon chilli flakes)
- ¼ teaspoon mixed spice
- salt and pepper for extra seasoning (especially if you omit the chilli)
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- flour, to bind
Throw in all the ingredients, except the flour into a large bowl and mix. The easiest is to use clean hands.
Form the mixture into 5 to 6 patties, about 125g-150g each. (You will eventually eyeball it with practice, but I used to weigh them and still do sometimes.) Bind them on a large tray using some flour, and remove any excess by tapping them lightly between the palms of your hands.
Cover the patties with cling film and place the tray in the fridge to cool. You will find this useful while cooking on the grill. I’ve learned this the hard way!
When you’re ready to party, make sure that the grill is nice and hot and cook the burgers for about 6 minutes on each side. Serve on baps with tomatoes, lettuce, any relish you prefer and/or a thick slab of cheese!
A classic. Enjoy…outside…