Monday, 2 July 2007

Oh Burger!

I've just about given up on the idea of any more barbecues for now (bloomin' weather), but I can't go long without serious burger cravings. Cheeseburger cravings, in fact. So, this afternoon I made some burgers and tonight we had them for supper. You can put all sorts of bits and bobs into burgers; I've seen recipes for them with upwards of half a dozen ingredients, bound with egg and all sorts. A good burger needs nothing more than some good beef, minced (or very finely chopped, if your patience can stand it) and some seasoning. I made mine without salt so that James could have a small burger too. He's reached a stage where he howls indignantly all the way through meals if he feels he's getting something different, and therefore 'inferior', to everyone else.

Beef Burgers

250g beef, minced
black pepper
salt (if there are no babies dining with you tonight)

Put the meat in a large bowl and season it to your liking, squidging the seasoning through with your hands. Form th meat into burgers and place them on a tray lined with greaseproof paper. Cover with clingfilm and chill until just before you need them. Brush them lightly with oil before you cook them. I do ours on the (very hot) stove top griddle, but you can grill them, fry them in a dry non-stick pan or even bake them in the oven. Keep an eye on them, though - you want them just cooked through, or even still slightly pink.

Burgers are, as you would expect, assembled to individual specifications. Hubby likes two burgers, in rolls but otherwise unadorned, Chris likes a little cheese as well. Me, I like a well-loaded burger; lettuce, cheese, plenty of raw onion (again) and a good dollop of ketchup. Burgers are the only thing I eat ketchup with, but I can't imagine them without it.

To go with the burgers, I prepared a big plate of cut-up salad veg, or crudités if you like. I also cooked a tray of herby potato wedges in lieu of chips.

Herby Potato Wedges

sunflower oil
mixed dried herbs
black pepper

Preheat the oven to 200°c. Cut the potatoes into wedges (quarters for small spuds, sixths or eighths for biggies). Put all the wedges into a bowl or freezer bag and pour over some sunflower oil (probably a couple of tablespoonfuls if you're measuring it). Tip the wedges out onto a large baking sheet and sprinkle a large pinch of mixed dried herbs over them. Grind on some black pepper, then bake them for 30-40 minutes until crisp and browned without, soft and fluffy within.

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