Friday, 7 October 2011

Friday Night Fakeaway: Homemade Cheeseburgers

I've written before that I can't go very long without getting major cheeseburger cravings.   Having instituted the concept of the 'Friday Night Fakeaway' at home recently; feeding our cravings for curries, burgers, pizza, fried chicken and the like, without flaking out too much on our 'homemade is best' principles or busting out on our food budget.  It's proved so popular that, quite often, the menu for the following week's 'Fakeaway' is discussed and decided while, or occasionally even before, we eat this week's! I used to make beef burgers exactly as below, but using salt and pepper for seasoning, until I read Nigella Lawson's Feast and was wholly won over to the Zuni Café method she writes about in that book.

Beef Burgers

700g lean 'steak' mince

3/4 tsp caster sugar
3/4 tsp salt

Split rolls, sliced cheese and Special Burger Sauce (and see below), to serve

Put the meat in a large bowl, sprinkle it with the salt and sugar, squidging it all together with your hands. Form the meat into six burger patties.  Place them on a tray lined with greaseproof paper. Cover with clingfilm and chill them in the 'fridge until just before you need them, but do give them a chance to return to room temperature before cooking them. Brush them lightly with oil (I, almost exclusively, use British rapeseed oil in cooking now, but I just use the ordinary stuff here and save the cold-pressed for 'best') before cooking them under a medium-hot grill.  You could also fry them in a dry non-stick pan, barbecue them (though maybe not in this dismal weather) or even bake them in the oven. Keep an eye on them, though - you want them only just cooked through, still juicy and possibly, even, still slightly pink in the middles.

We like to eat our burgers in split rolls (cut-sides lightly toasted, please) with slices of Monterey Jack cheese and dollops of Special Burger Sauce, the recipe for which is taken from The Takeaway Secret by Kenny McGovern; a lovely book and an absolute must for any 'Fakeaway' aficionado.  The brand recommendations given in this recipe are Mr McGovern's; I have to say, I agree with him.

Special Burger Sauce
(American Fast-Food Style)

4 tbsp mayonnaise (recommended brand: Hellman's)
2 tsp yellow mustard (recommended brand: French's)
2 tsp tomato ketchup (recommended brand: Heinz)
1 tbsp finely chopped gherkin

In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, yellow mustard and ketchup.  Add the chopped gherkin and mix well.  Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before use.

I also cook some Real Oven Chips to go with burgers; while I have never been especially enamoured of chips, the same cannot be said of the rest of the household who LOVE them.  I would possibly be ousted from the pedestal I happily occupy if I ceased my provision of bowls of chips!

Happy Friday, everyone! Cath xx

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