I love food. Food is awesome. I’ve had a tricky relationship with food in the past but we had a talk, made up and now we are proper mates, me and food. Someone wise once said to me, “sometimes your body needs broccoli but occasionally your soul needs cake”. True dat innit. I tweet about food quite a lot on that there Twitter. Most days I’ll post a #tweetwhatyoueat around teatime.
Some people have said that my food sounds fancypants but I don’t see it that way at all. I have a husband, two kids and a mortgage to pay. I buy the best quality ingredients I can afford (a monthly visit to the butcher and a weekly online shop) but it has to be hearty, non-faff food on a budget.
I cook for my family and for my own enjoyment but recently a few Twitter peeps have asked for some of my recipes. Easier said than done because my cooking style is quite instinctive. I rarely weigh or measure and chuck things in depending on my mood or what I have in stock, so producing a written recipe is hard! Later they came back and said they’d tried it and found it easy and tasty! This made me beam with pride! Bit weird. I’d only ever cooked for me. It’s my little slice of time in my own kitchen-shaped bubble. I didn’t expect to feel so excited about other people taking an interest in MY food!
Then my Twitter buddies started saying I should write a blog. A BLOG?! Eek! I’ve never ventured into the blogging world before. Bit scary. Very scary. Terrifying. I cook for my husband and kids every day, for my parents occasionally but I don’t do dinner parties. It’s very rare that my food is unleashed on the wider world. What if everyone else thinks it’s cack?!
Anyway, here it is. A very simple recipe for lamb burgers. A big favourite in our house. Quicker, cheaper and healthier than takeaway or ready-made burgers. Be gentle with me!
1lb (or a normal sized supermarket pack) of lean minced lamb
1tbs jarred caramelised onions or sweet onion chutney
1tbs balsamic vinegar (not too much or the mixture will be too wet)
1tsp (or 1 clove) minced garlic
Mint (I use a dollop of jarred stuff but use freshly chopped if you have it)
Pepper (I don’t add salt because I’m cooking for children but add some if you think it needs it)
A little oil for cooking (I use mild olive oil but this is entirely personal preference)
4 wholemeal rolls
4 gherkins, sliced lengthways
– I do this in a food processor with the mixing attachment (rather than the chopping blade) but you can do it in a bowl with your hands just as easily. Chuck all the ingredients into the bowl or mixer and work it until well mixed. Don’t overdo it if you’re using the mixer or it’ll be a smooth meaty puree – not a great texture!
– Divide into four and shape with your hands into patties. If I have time, I leave them to rest in the fridge for 20 minutes but this isn’t strictly necessary. If you work during the day, you can make them in the morning and leave them in the fridge so they’re ready to cook as soon as you get home.
– To cook, I use a griddle pan but you could grill them or use a normal frying pan. Rub the burgers with a little oil and wait until the pan is really hot before putting them in. They need about five or six minutes each side. Turn them once halfway through. DO NOT keep turning, fiddling or poking them or they’ll fall apart!
– I serve them in wholemeal rolls with sliced gherkins and ketchup. Corn on the cob and a side salad go really well. Some stilton crumbled on top would be tasty but it’s up to you. Coleslaw, oven chips or homemade potato wedges – serve them however you like!
– In the summer (if it ever arrives) you can use this same recipe to make little kofte kebabs on skewers for the barbecue. Use it exactly as it is or add some spices (maybe chilli, cumin or whatever you fancy).