Cookery Corner: Cidery Cheeseburgers with a Warm Salad

Happy bank holiday everyone in England! I hope you lovely Discussers have had a great time. We didn’t do all that much, but for today I did rustle up some home made burgers and a warm salad for tea. We don’t have a barbecue so it was all cooked on the cooker, but even so it was a good meal.

I’m funny about burgers. I love them, but I’m fussy about them. For me a burger needs to be a rustic affair; I can’t stand uniform pressed burgers and in this area of eating I can’t stomach frozen/re-heated ones. I always make my burgers from scratch.

023  It starts with a pack of mince; use your judgement for the amount you’ll need to feed the people in your party. Mix it with whatever you want to flavour it and anything goes– I’ve used mushroom pate before now! Today I mixed in a good sprinkling of Italian herbs, some garlic and a generous glug (or three) of Magners Irish Cider. Other varieties of cider are available, but personally I don’t much care for these sub-par ciders! Add to the mix an egg to bind the stuff all together and then dig in. Remember to remove any rings or you might end up with a greasy ring and I’m telling you now that nobody wants one of those. The image to the left is of the meat concoction once I was satisfied that everything was mixed and that the meat was suitable tender.

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Next, form the meat into patties. Fun fact: the patties will shrink during the cooking process so aim to make your uncooked patty larger than the burger bun or you’ll wind up with a wonky looking burger! I make my patties by rolling the meat into a ball then placing it on a floured surface and pressing the heel of my hand onto the meat. I owned a burger press once, but your hand will do just as nicely. I then put the patties on a plate with greaseproof paper on top and chilled them in the fridge. The longer you chill the better, but today I started late so the patties only got half an hour (and that’s pretty long for me!) so its not crucial. Just be gentle with them when you flip them, kay?

My husband, Tony, is very much a no-salad guy. He’ll eat it if he has to, in other words, if he feels that whoever lovingly prepared it will be offended if it’s left uneaten. In a flash of inspiration once upon a time, I decided to make a warm salad. It’s nothing fancy, just peppers and mushrooms softened in garlicy butter over a low heat, then served atop of a bed of lettuce leaves. Easy peasy and Tony loves it. So, while my burgers were chilling in the fridge I did just what I mentioned above.

031 028 I tend to cook the burgers and the salad at the same time as the veg doesn’t take long and I like pinkish burgers. I made two much smaller and thinner burgers for the little Gavellors so they were cooked more thoroughly and quicker, leaving them time to cool before serving them. I had requests for cheese, so I sliced up some cheddar with herbs and laid it over the cooking patties so that the cheese melts into the meat properly–I hate the idea of cold cheese on a hot burger.

I made some potato wedges to go with the rest of the food, or rather I heated some frozen ones up. I do fancy having a go at making my own, but today was a lovely sunny day and we spent most of the afternoon in the garden instead helping my son garden, read: cover themselves in soil and bang pots together, while my daughter helped her dad clear out the shed and ride her bike. Frankly there are more exciting things to do than make everything from scratch, but we enjoyed the bits I did do! Now you can enjoy the picture below. So I hope you all put your bank holiday to good use, because we’ve got ages now until the next one in August, although I always enjoy that one as my birthday happens during that week and Ali Gaveller and I have exciting plans for that week. For now though: burger.

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