Over a year ago, I posted about my home-made burger. On reflection, I have to admit that there was little to make it stand out from the crowd. Time for a big rethink. Time for a reheat and while I’m at it, time for a challenge. There are over 300 million of you out there who believe that you make the best burgers in the world. Yes, Americans, I’m talking about you. You certainly make and eat the most burgers, consuming over 40,000,000,000 of them each year. Yes, forty billion burgers. But the best? I doubt it. Not withstanding the growing horse meat scandal across Europe, that will run for donkey’s years, we have the better ingredients here in Ireland.
Now, the challenge. Beat my Donegal Beef and Cashel Blue Cheese Burger if you can. The beef is grown in the lush pastures just outside the town of Lifford in County Donegal, the most northerly county in Ireland. Cashel Blue is one of the world’s finest blue cheeses, produced with great care in County Tipperary.
Small side note: Tipperary is the Wife’s home county. Everything out of Tipperary is magnificent. (Just thought I should let you know.)
So, what am I serving it with? I could just squeeze some tomato sauce over it, throw on some lettuce and onion and pop it in a corn syrup sweetened bun. Then all I would have to do is crack a Bud and serve it with some extruded Freedom Fries. Hmmm….
No, it will be served with paprika sweet potato chips, thyme leaves, roasted parsnip chips, English mustard, and an Irish chutney. The wine to accompany this world beater is French (To make up for the fries perhaps?).
Enough sniping, here’s the ingredient’s shot:
I use two mince types to get the right mix of meat to fat and also to have a blend of meat types.
My burger ingredient list is as follows:
- 1 kilo (2.2lb) of good quality mince (half rib, half round)
- 2 eggs
- 2 big handfuls of breadcrumbs
- Salt and black pepper
- 1 teaspoon of hot paprika
- Cashel Blue Cheese (or a substitute if necessary) for filling
- Balsamic vinegar to paint the burgers
The rest of the ingredients:
- A few parsnips
- A sweet potato
- English mustard powder
- Sheridan’s ‘Chutney for Cheese’ or similar.
First, put all the burger ingredients except the balsamic into a bowl.
Next comes the hard work. Mix it up. I did it by hand. You might want to do it with a mixer. There’s a lot of mixing.
Next comes a small bit of inventiveness. Regular readers will know that I use pastry cutters for a huge range of functions from poaching eggs to shaping black and white pudding. I now turn them to burger making.
A pastry cutter two-thirds full makes enough for the lid. Shape them out by hand till they look like this picture.
Add the cheese and then manipulate the lid onto the burger.
The lid manipulated and integrated into the base. Nobody knows there is a big lump of beautiful cheese in there, except you and me.
You should get four burgers out of the kilo of beef, if you skimp a little. I did not skimp and got three with some mince over.
Next step is to put them on the griddle and cook the outside.
While that is doing, peel and chop the vegetables.
Next the sweet potatoes get a coating of olive oil and paprika.
Then the parsnips get a coating of olive oil and black pepper.
Finish the burgers off in the oven for ten minutes. This will ensure they are cooked through. When they are done, take them out and let them rest for a couple of minutes.
If you made them right, they will not leak their cheese interior until you cut into them and let a flood of incredibly flavourful, aromatic cheese pour out onto your plate.
The flavours are big, bold and work incredibly well together. This truly is the prince of burgers in a world of pretending patty paupers. Try it and see for yourself. Once again, sorry America. If you think you can do better, let me know…