Homemade Beef Burgers

I make my own beefburgers as most bought ones contain rusk or breadcrumbs, which is fine if you don’t suffer from coeliac disease. Not only can you get your butcher to mince you some good quality free-range beef but you can get more for your money.

I always make mine the same way but was intrigued to read in the Sunday Times, in a cookery article by someone whose name I forget, that his stepson – William – made his beefburgers with the same ingredients that I use, only he added an egg to his basic mixture. He also gave the recipe for a ‘Ploughman’s burger’ this just had some added extras to the basic mixture. I had to try his recipe and they are very good indeed, and I’m sure he won’t mind if I share his recipe with you.

I also make a spicy burger just by adding sweet chilli sauce to the basic mixture, but if you like them really hot just chop an extra chilli into that mixture.

I imagine that any flavouring could be added to the basic mixture including a curry paste – though that is one flavour I have not tried yet!

I serve the plain beefburger in warm soft rolls with a tomato relish or a garlic mayonnaise. The Ploughman’s burger the same way. But I think would serve the chilli burger with some soy sauce, chopped spring onions and red peppers and the curry burger with mango chutney mixed into some plain yoghurt.

All of them go well with a salad, a glass of wine, a warm summer’s evening and family and friends.

(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients:

Basic recipe:
2lbs/900g Good minced beef
1 Large onion very finely chopped
2 Cloves of garlic finely chopped
A good handful of chopped parsley
Salt and black pepper

Ploughman's version:
To the basic mixture add 3½-4 ozs/100g of grated mature cheddar cheese
3tblsps Dijon mustard
4 heaped tblsps Onion marmalade

1 In a large bowl mix all the ingredients together with your hands until well mixed.

2 Shape the mixture into burgers; they can be whatever size you wish to make them.

3 Place them in the fridge for an hour or two before using, as the chilling helps stop them falling apart when cooking.

4 They can be cooked medium-rare or well-done depending on taste, and a BBQ gives the best flavour.

NB The burgers can be made in advance and frozen, but they are best used within 2 weeks. Important defrost thoroughly before cooking.

Enjoy!

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Cherry Vodka

This one comes from my Mum…

Last year Giles made some blackberry vodka – it is yummy. It set me thinking about what other fruit could be used. I had a lot of cherries given me and although I love them I could only eat so many! I made a cherry pie and then thought about steeping some in vodka. I made it the same way that Giles did his blackberry one, and will let you all know the result in about three to four months time.

I will try it with other summer fruits when they are ripe and report on that too!

(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients:
1lb/450g of Cherries, chopped
½lb/225g Unrefined Sugar
Vodka

1 Chop the cherries into smallish pieces and place them in a large jar.

2 Add the sugar.

3 Pour over the vodka until just covering the chopped cherries.

4 Seal and then shake the jar every day until the sugar is dissolved.

5 Place in a dark cupboard for three to four months, strain and serve.

6 Serve on its own or topped up with a sparkling wine.

Enjoy!