Food and drink

Burgers!


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It was my Dad’s birthday this week and with the forecast for the weekend being dry weather we headed down to their house for a barbecue.  I thought it would be nice to take some homemade burgers along so knocked up a batch this morning. 

Burgers aren’t complicated, they’re one of the easiest things to make at home and because it involves getting your hands dirty by mixing the ingredients then shaping the patties by hand, they’d be great to make with kids.  Essentially all you need is mince and seasoning, though you should add a little olive oil or similar to help stick it all together and keep it moist.  You can customise them any way you want, add some chopped peppers, sun dried tomatoes, spices or anything else you fancy.  Experiment with them and have fun, they’re much better than the burgers you buy in shops so enjoy them.

In the end the weather forecast was wrong, it wasn’t just dry it was sunny as well.  A scorching day and the burgers went down a treat. 

Makes 6-8 burgers

750g steak mince
1 medium onion
Olive oil
Parsley
Paprika
2 fresh chillis
Sea salt and black pepper

Finely chop the onion and gently fry it in a pan until soft.  Then let it cool and place it in a large mixing bowl.
Also finely chop the chilli and add it to the bowl along with the mince, a couple of teaspoons of paprika, a handful of chopped parsley and a tablespoon of olive oil then season heavily.  You can’t taste this until it’s cooked so it takes a bit of practice to get the seasoning right.  Be brave as there’s few things worse than an underseasoned, bland burger.
Mix everything up in the bowl using your hands.  Squeeze all the ingredients together and mush it all up into a large ball of burger patty. 
Tear off chunks about the size of a snooker ball and squeeze and shape it between your hands into a round ball.  Flatten the patties between the palms of your hand into burger shapes and press a couple of fingers into the middle to make a slight dent.  This should help prevent the burgers tightening up back into a ball shape when heated.
Place the burgers in a fridge for half an hour or so to firm up and then fry, grill or barbecue. 

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