A Really Good Burger

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I know it’s Mother’s Day tomorrow, and I’m looking forward to going over to Mum’s and getting cooked for by my brother, but lately I’ve been craving a big juicy burger and was inspired by the Australian outback spices that I bought when I was buying the Lemon Myrtle for my Lemon Myrtle and Macadamia Anzac Biscuits. Along with the Lemon Myrtle I bought Bush Tomatoes, Tasmanian Pepper Leaf and Wattle Seed. This is probably a dish that would be perfect for Father’s Day!

I wanted to make a burger with the right amount of tender meat, sweet/tart relish, fresh salads, creamy mayo, tasty/melty cheese and of course the perfect bun. I also made some yummy Thyme and Lemon Myrtle Sweet Potato Chips to go with the burgers but we munched them all before I could get any photos.

With the Bush Tomatoes I made a Bush Tomato and Roasted Red Capsicum Relish, the Bush Tomatoes give a sort of caramelised/sun-dried tomato flavour (if you can’t get Bush Tomatoes you can substitute sun-dried). I used the Lemon Myrtle in the mayonnaise, which adds a mild citrus flavour. I tried to make the mayonnaise from scratch but I did something wrong and it ended up runny and tasting purely of oil, so I had a mini tantrum and used whole egg mayonnaise instead. I’ll try again when I’m not annoyed at myself, and if anyone has a fool-proof mayonnaise recipe I would love to try it!

I wanted the beef patties to be perfectly tender and juicy so i made them MASSIVE and used the best quality mince I could find. I think it’s important to sauté the onion, garlic and herbs rather than adding them raw to the mince mixture to ensure you don’t end up with a big chunk of raw onion in the middle of the patty. I have also found that not overworking the mixture stops toughness, as well as lightly packing the patties. (This also works for meatballs.) I cooked the patties as you would a good steak, turning them only once or twice and cooking them on a medium heat to ensure a yummy caramelised outside and a tender/just cooked inside.

For the bread rolls I turned back to Dan Lepards’ book ‘Short and Sweet’. I used his basic loaf recipe but turned it into 6 rolls and substituted a third of the flour for Spelt Flour to add some denseness. They were delicious! His kneading techniques are lengthy to explain in writing so if you’re interested I would recommend buying the book!

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Recipe

Bush Tomato Relish

Ingredients

2 red capsicums, roasted, skins peeled, sliced
1.5kg ripe egg tomatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Spanish onions, finely chopped
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
220g (1 cup) caster sugar
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
15g dried bush tomatoes
1 teaspoon ground tasmanian pepper leaf
1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes

Method

Cut a cross in the skin at the base of the tomatoes. Blanch in boiling water for 30secs, remove from boiling water and submerge into iced water. When cool enough to handle peel skins, remove seeds and dice.
Heat oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan, add capsicums, onions and 1 teaspoon salt and cook over low/medium heat for 10 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and cook, uncovered, over medium heat for 1 3/4 hours or until thick and reduced.Spoon immediately into sterilised jars (see note) and seal. Relish will keep, refrigerated, for up to 3 months.
Lemon Myrtle Mayonnaise (This makes more mayonnaise than you need but you can keep it in a jar in the fridge for a week or so, it’s delicious with chips!)

Ingredients

440g whole-egg mayonnaise (or make your own)
1/2 bunch parsley
1 heaped tsp lemon myrtle

Combine ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.

Beef and rosemary patties (These amounts make 6 very large patties, you could make 8 or 10 smaller thinner ones if you want but I love them nice and thick so that they remain juicy on the inside.

Ingredients

1.2kg good quality beef mince
1 tbs olive oil
1 large brown onion, finely chopped
3 gloves garlic, crushed
1/4 cup fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
2 tbs dijon mustard
2 tbs worcestershire sauce
1 tbs dried oregano
1/2 cup breadcrunmbs
1 egg
olive oil, for grilling

Method

Heat oil over medium heat, sauté onion, garlic and rosemary until soft. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and use hands to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste (if unsure, roll a small amount into a patty and grill so that you can taste it).
Shape mixture into patties and refrigerate for a couple of hours.
Heat oil over medium heat on the flat plate of a bbq or in a large frying pan. Cook patties, turning only once or twice, until brown and caramalized in the outside and just cooked on the inside (you can cut one open slightly to check). Cooking times will depend on how thick you make the patties.

The Burger

Ingredients

6 burger rolls
2 fresh tomatoes, sliced
1 red onion, finely sliced (a mandolin is ideal)
1 fresh beetroot, boiled, peeled, finely sliced (a mandolin is ideal)
baby cos lettuce leaves
6 slices jarlesberg or other swiss cheese
beef and rosemary patties
bush tomato chutney
lemon myrtle mayonaise

Method

To assemble burgers cut the rolls in half horizontally. In order, on bottom half of roll, place tomato slices, beetroot, cooked beef patty, tomato relish, cheese, red onion, mayonnaise and lettuce. Top with top half of the roll and enjoy!

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