Saturday, 16 February 2013

Pork and Beef Burgers

The hectic pace of work recently, a desire to find solitude in the evenings, and a general reluctance to cook have led to me eating out almost every other weekday. This in turn has led to me developing an especially strong penchant for burgers. At its peak, I found myself browsing websites in the States dedicated to the sandwich, since, in all honesty, they are probably more familiar and more comfortable with it than the British are.

Truth be told though, I have always loved burgers. From the McDonald's cheeseburgers I grew up with, to becoming acquainted with Gourmet Burger Kitchen in the UK, to being told stories of the burgers in Shake Shack in New York City, there was something rather alluring to a juicy patty of prime minced beef with a slice of cheese in a sesame seed bun.

Eating out tends to be a rather expensive affair however, and with a bag of frozen Basics mince yet to be finished, it would almost be criminal if I did not try my hand at making my own burgers. After all, the idea seems simple enough - roll the mince into a ball, flatten to a patty, and grill. Alter the patty composition if desired, and serve with whatever makes a burger tasty.

Defrosting the mince in a microwave proved to be a little tricky. I found that it is best to microwave in small batches to avoid uneven heating. 1.5-2.5 minutes on defrost should suffice.

Form balls to be flattened to patties later on.

Those who might want to make fun of the photo above might be surprised that this is a result of a valid technique - smashing - and is popular though not without controversy across the Atlantic.

Serve in sesame seed bun with Basics iceberg lettuce and other condiments of choice.

The burgers turned out really well, largely thanks to the crust the patty developed through the Mallard reaction. As these were burgers, I ate with my hands, leaving no cutlery to wash up, always a nice bonus. One main problem would be controlling the defrosting of the mince in the microwave so that it is defrosted and not cooked, and forming up patties that do not fall apart. Off the top of my head you could either use binders like egg white, or freeze the patties overnight between baking sheets.


  1. Should the title be Pork and Beef (and Horsemeat) Burger? =)

  2. Erm no....? Because there were no horses?


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