Saturday 1 August 2009

Homemade Beef Burgers

My husband loves ordering gourmet burgers, be it at the likes of Spruce, Brewerkz, Botak Jones, Blooies etc, but it never occurred to me to make my own burgers at home. Last weekend, whilst browsing through The Sunday Times, I was pleasantly surprised to see some recipes for homemade beef and chicken burgers. I had the cooking itch once again and decided to follow through, of course with some improvisations along the way. I added certain ingredients which I thought would make the beef patties taste much better with some minor research done on the internet. I am not much of a burger person, but my husband is and he absolutely loved what I cooked that day. To repeat the words of The Sunday Times, "Do try this at home!" It was absolutely satiating...


Original recipe yield: Serves 2 as a main course. You can serve it with salad on the side - in our case we served it with russian recipe on the side. It's one of the recipes on this cookblog.


For Beef Patties:
-1 packet of minced beef (arond 330 gm)
- handful of coriander leaves, fresh and chopped
-1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 tbsp tomato ketchup, 1 tbsp Linghams chilli sauce
- a dash of mixed italian herbs
- a dash of ground pepper
-3 tbsp of rolled oats (optional)
- 1 tbsp chilli powder or paprika
- 1 tbsp chilli flakes (optional, if you wish for a slightly spicier taste)

To assemble later:
- Hamburger buns (2-3), cut in half
- Lettuce
- Tomato
-Dijon mustard and tomato sauce, 1 tbsp of each and mixed in a small saucer at the side
- Cheese (optional)

1. With your hands, mix all the ingredients listed for the beef patties in a bowl. Mix well.
2. Divide the mixture into 2 or 3 patties, in our case, as we preferred the beef patties to be thick, we divided the mixture into just 2 patties. Form each patty into a burger shape, compress with your hands. You can leave it in the freezer / fridge for around 10 mins plus if you have some time in between but this is not strictly necessary. It will help the patties stay together.
3. In a wok, heat some cooking oil and fry on low heat for 3-5 minutes on each side. Pierce your fork through the patties to ensure that they are cooked (not sticky) and browned. Be careful not to burn these. Slightly charred is all you need!
4. The hamburger buns can be toasted either in a toaster or over the stove. We sprinkled a slight dab of olive oil (just a couple of drops on the white of each side of the bun) and place the buns on our dry pan on low heat, toasting them for around 3 minutes.
5. Assemble the hamburger buns - you can use your creativity at this stage. If you like pickles, add pickles by all means. For ours, we added some sauce (mixture of dijon and tomato sauce) at the bottom of the bun, just a wee bit, place the patty on top, then a slice of a tomato, then half a slice of cheese, then a letture leaf, and finally the top of the hamburger bun.
6. Viola! The hamburger is done.

Note: I heard worcestershire sauce can give a delicious flavour to barbequed meats. Add a dash of this to the beef patties mixture if you have this at home. I didn't, but my bun still tasted delicious.

I find that Lingham's chilli sauce has a very distinctive taste, but you can substitute with any other brand of chilli sauce instead, the herbs and spices added to the beef patties will help to make up for the flavour.

The mixture of Dijon mustard and tomato sauce is not necessary if you don't mind your burgers dry. The beef patties turned out pretty tasty.

If you prefer melted cheese, just add your cheese over the beef patties when they are cooked but are still on the hot pan for about a minute, just before you take the patties out of the pan.

For a healthier version, the patties can be grilled over a griller or baked in your oven instead of frying them over a pan.

Note to self: The burgers were so delicious we wolfed them down at one shot. Considering the total costs of this meal (i.e. minced meat etc., but noting we could use the remaining sauces and had some existing sauces), the meal caused us less than 8 dollars! And a gourmet burger could easily cost you at least 15 bucks these days in a western food restaurant. Fast food joints don't count, the beef patties certainly arent as wholesome as these!

Kind of eager to try doing up chicken burgers next week!


noodles said...

hi what mixed italian herbs did you use?

noodles said...

I followed your recipe and managed to create a rather tasty burger (no paprika though). However, the patty crumbled when I was eating it. This didn't happen when I cooked it in another way (with milk and bread instead of oats, but too dry).

Can you advise on this? I pan-fried with olive oil and butter for 300g of minced beef.

The Cook said...

Hi Noodles - apologies for the late reply. We used "McCormick Italian seasoning". You should be able to get it in supermarts. I am not big on any particular brand at the moment, you can use Masterfoods as well - I am sure they have combined Italian Herbs which is much more convenient. Some people would buy "Masterfoods Thyme", "Masterfoods Rosemary" etc and just mix the different italian herbs together - but I suggest you get a bottle of mixed seasoning. Saves time!

Re your second comment - there are a few questions to ask. Did your mixture seem too watery? If so add less liquid / egg the next time. If it's not due to the above, do a little bit more pressing / squeezing the patty with your hand and keep it longer in the fridge before cooking (at least 30 mins plus). Another way to avoid crumbling is simply to bake instead of fry. I did not face the same problem using my own recipe, there was slight crumbling and I had to very careful when frying but my patty pretty much stuck together!

The Cook said...

Btw I didn't use olive oil - for frying I use canola / sunflower oil. I have read before that olive oil is not suited for frying at high temperatures, and even though it's a healthier alternative, i guess this has put me off using olive oil for frying (only for salads and tossing in pastas). It may be a possible reason why your patty doesn't stick together..