Homemade BURGERS – or, Build your own Burger!

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This Mr Sat. Night’s burger – lettuce, slightly melted cheddar, and red onion..

Once I’d got this simple recipe straight in my head, I never bothered buying ready-made burgers again. I hope that once you’ve tried it, and discovered how good a homemade burger can be, that you’ll do the same!

This is the basic, really easy, home-made burger, and everyone just picks their own toppings. The recipe is simple, but it does require chilling (about 30-40 minutes – or 15-20 if you’re just in from work!), so a little forward planning is necessary. They are perfect for throwing together the night before, and simply whipping out of the fridge straight onto the pan when you get home the next day. The thing I love about these is not just the taste, but the fact that you know exactly what’s in them when you feed them to your nearest and dearest.

They also freeze like a dream, so they’re ready anytime you feel a burger moment coming on :)

My home-made oven chips are in a separate recipe, so that you’ll be able to find it again. Here’s the link to my latest, and I think my best Oven Chips! http://eatingforireland.com/recipe/my-latest-oven-chips/ 

Oven chips (10)

But don’t forget my traditional Potato wedges, if you prefer them – http://eatingforireland.com/recipe/my-home-made-crispy-oven-chips/

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EQUIPMENT:

  • A large bowl for mixing
  • a grill pan for cooking (although I’ve used an ordinary frying pan for these, and it’s absolutely fine)
  • a small saucepan, for the onions
  • Baking tray (or a large plate)
  • Baking paper
  • Cling film

INGREDIENTS: for the burgers: This makes 6 really big burgers, so of course you can reduce the size for the kids, and get lots more out of this recipe.

  • 500g good quality, low fat mince

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  • 1 and a 1/2 medium onions, chopped finely – keep the 2nd half whole for later on.
  • 1 large fresh egg
  • 4 slices of bread, blitzed into crumbs, or if you’re like me, I always have a bag of breadcrumbs in the freezer – so say about 50g or so..
  • A decent handful of grated Parmesan cheese
  • Oil,
  • S+P
  • Low fat cooking spray.

To serve: Burger buns of your choice. And toppings – See NOTES.

METHOD:

  • Heat a little oil in the saucepan and add the onions. Allow them to cook gently until  softened but not coloured – about 10 minutes. Allow to cool.
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I used one white and one red onion today, simply because they were there. Either is fine..

  •  Put everything else into the bowl.
  • When the onions have cooled a little (you’re going to chill these burgers anyway, so don’t be too precious about this) add them to the bowl, and either mix with two forks, if you’re posh; or remove all jewels, wash and dry your hands carefully, and get stuck in.
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The posh way.. ;)

  • Either way, mix everything together until it becomes one big lump.

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  • Divide the mix into the size and number of burgers that you require. Try to make them a similar thickness throughout – it will help when cooking them. (as I said earlier, they freeze brilliantly, so don’t worry about having to use them all in one go)
  • Put the burgers onto a lined baking tray, cover with cling film and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

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  • While they’re firming up, you can get ahead, make the oven chips, and set up your toppings. There’s a list of suggestions below in the NOTES section.

TO COOK THE BURGERS:

  • Heat your pan to a medium-hot heat
  • Spray one side of each burger with low-fat cooking spray and place them, sprayed-side down, onto the pan.

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  • Then just leave them there for about 5-10 minutes, depending on thickness. You are only going to turn these once.
  • Have a peek at the underside of one of the burgers, and if it’s crispy and brown, you’re ready to turn it.
  • Spray the uncooked side of the burger before turning.
  • Give the second side about 4-8 minutes.
  • While you’re cooking the second side, split your burger buns and place them, cut-side down, onto the pan until slightly toasted on one side, and heated through.

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  • If you want to melt some cheese onto a burger, put  a slice of cheese on top of the cooked side burger and let it warm up there.
  • When the second side is nicely browned, it’s time to put your burger together..
burger 2

I love French mustard on my burger!

NOTES:

A selection of the following, depending on what your family favourites are:

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  • Lettuce, tomatoes, the remaining half of the second onion, sliced; cheese, crispy bacon, roasted mushrooms..
  • Any number of dressings – sweet chilli sauce,  mustard, barbeque, mayo, relish, chutney..
  • Burger buns – I like sourdough rolls, but plain flatbread is good too. Rather than toast them I tend to pop them, cut side down,  onto the grill pan along with the almost-cooked burgers.
  • If you’re trying cut down on the carbs, try roasting two large Portobello mushrooms and use them instead of burger buns. I always think that toasted pitta bread work well too – in that case you could add some cool Greek yoghurt or tzatziki.
  • Naturally, you can add any spices you fancy to your burgers – cumin, mint, just pick your favourite!
  • Don’t forget that you can swap out the minced beef for turkey, lamb or pork.
About

I started writing down recipes in an old copybook when I was about 16. With 6 children at home, my Mother was always glad of a hand in the kitchen, and really allowed us to experiment - as long as we washed up afterwards, and left the kitchen immaculate! Having a tidy kitchen has followed me through my life, as has the habit of writing down my favourite recipes; except that these days I write them for my website, and add photographs when I can. The website really started when it occurred to me that my daughter might like to have these recipes when I've forgotten them. In my early days of cooking for family and friends, I used to phone my Mum all the time to ask her for the recipe for some of our favourite family dinners. She rarely had a recipe to hand - I think, like me, she made a lot of it up as she went along.. So welcome to Eating for Ireland - these are the recipes that my friends and family having been eating these past 40 years.. yes, I truly am ancient! They are tried and tested, and have worked for me for all that time - I have updated them as new ingredients became available - I really hope you'll find something that you can make into a family favourite of your own. You don't have to tell anyone where you found these great new dishes that you're serving up - it can be our little secret, but I'd really love it if you could give me a sneaky 'follow' on Facebook and Instagram.. So off you go - have a good rummage around, you're bound to find something new! My sincere thanks to all of you who have found a recipe that you liked and dropped me a line to tell me - I really do love to hear from you! Happy Cooking! Becks xx

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