I don't think I need to play up the hamburger. I could go on about the juicy meat patty. The various tasty toppings that you can add to create a burger masterpiece. The various sauces to finish it off to perfection. I could say that a side of fries or onion rings with mayonaise or tomato sauce (ketchup) is just greedy but essential to the burger experience. I could remind you what it's like to take your first bite into a burger, juices dripping, as you can't help but smile inside as all the flavours mingle in your mouth.
Yeah, I really don't need to play up the humble burger, I think we're all on the same page.
What I love about burgers is not only are they a treat to eat when out, but they're also super quick and easy to make at home. This recipe is put together in under 10 minutes, and you'll have a burger on your plate in about 20 minutes at the most, from start to finish. That's a meal that I love! What's also great about making your own burgers is that you can actually make them pretty diet friendly and you don't have to compromise on flavour.
I use 95% lean ground beef and I make them a little smaller (making 6 patties instead of a more generous 4), use only a small dollop of my favourite Irish tomato relish, caramelised onion, juicy tomato slices, lettuce and tangy pickles. Serve it on a wholemeal or wholegrain bun which adds a lovely nutty flavour, then serve a salad on the side. I'd call that a balanced meal and it still tastes amazing!
Of course, if you're in the mood for a real treat then you can go wild. White burger bun, some good quality cheese melted onto the burger, a side of fries or crisps, served with an ice cold beer or Coke.
I'll have my burgers both ways, yes please!
My husband bought me this nifty little burger press, I think it cost something like €2 or €3. I love it when a cheap little device can help make a delicious meal! You put a ball of the mince mixture on the bottom half, then press down with the top half, and voila, a perfect burger patty that holds its shape a doesn't break apart when cooking, even though this recipe doesn't have any bread crumbs or egg to help it stay together. Another reason I love this burger so much, it's all meat! Of course, you don't have to have one of these little gadgets to make your patties, you can shape them by hand, but keep a look out for this cheap little burger maker, it's really handy.
The reason I've called this a herbed burger, well, it's only got two herbs in it, but the flavours are beautiful and pronounced without being overwhelming. I use flat leaf parsley and mint. Yes, mint.
I've mentioned before that my mom is Greek so a lot of the flavours that I enjoy are very Greek. One of my favourite mezze is dolmathes. Little meatballs made with lamb and beef mince, served with a side of tzatziki. And in these tasty little meatballs is mint.
Now, I wouldn't put mint into a bolognese sauce or lasagne, but somehow it just works so well in meatballs and my burger patties. My husband goes crazy for my home made burgers, and he agrees, it's the mint that makes the difference.
Of course you could leave it out and just use parsley, but I would seriously urge you to try it just once. If you don't like it after giving it a try, fine, it's still a great burger patty recipe minus the mint. But I think you'll enjoy it too!
Makes 4 - 6 Patties
500g Ground Beef (I use 95% lean, but you can use any good quality mince you prefer)
2-3 large cloves Garlic, crushed
10 - 15 leaves Fresh Mint, finely chopped
1/4 cup Chopped Fresh Flat Leaf Parsley
1 tsp Ground Sea Salt
1 tsp Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
- Put the mince in a large bowl and loosen up with a fork
- Put the rest of the ingredients into the bowl with the mince and combine together
- Tip: I find it best to use your hands for this. Simply mush the ingredients together, tossing the mixture occassionaly so that the herbs and seasoning gets evenly distributed
- Divide mixture into 4 or 6
- Shape into patties about 1.5cm - 2cm thick
- Keep them in the fridge covered with plastic wrap until ready to cook
If grilling in the oven
- Turn grill/broiler on to hottest setting
- Brush a little olive oil onto each patty and arrange on an oven tray
- Once oven is ready, grill patties for about 2-3mins on one side
- Flip patties and finish off by grilling for another 2-3mins or until done
If frying in a pan or skillet on the stove
- Heat your pan or skillet on highest heat with a splash of olive oil
- Tip: Your pan needs to be really hot so that the meat sears well, don't be afraid to crank it up!
- Cook patties on one side for 2-3mins
- Flip and cook the other sides to finish off for another 2-3mins or until done
- Assemble your burger with your favourite toppings and enjoy!
I prefer to use a 95% lean ground beef, just for dietry reasons, but a little bit of fat in the mince is good, it adds flavour and keeps the burger moist. Just do not get cheap and very fatty mince, your food is as good as the quality of the ingredients you put into it. A lot of fat and the patties will shrink down too much, not to mention the fatty taste it will have.
Burgers are a great base to serve with various toppings. Try different cheeses, bacon, fresh or caramalised onion, pickles, sautéd mushrooms etc. The same goes for sauces, instead of just the usual ketchup, try a tomato relish or onion marmalade, mushroom, cheese, garlic or black pepper sauces. Anything goes!
You can, of course, also cook your burger over flame, there's nothing like barbecued (braaid!) burger, yum!
To freeze, stack patties seperated with squares of parchment or greaseproof papers and place in freezer bags. Defrost overnight in the fridge.