This week is all about the burgers since this weekend is Memorial Day, and the unofficial start to summer and grilling and meat and all those things.
I love a good burger and I think it really is the one food that I crave (like, crave) more than any other. However, rarely do I succumb because is there anything worse than a bad burger? An unseasoned patty, a soggy bun. Lackluster toppings. Weak cheese. Add sub-par fries to the mix and I’ve just crushed all my hopes and dreams for nothing.
That was overdramatic (maybe not really) but the point is that I believe in the burger and believe that it can be fantastic. I also think that it can be fun, and that’s what I’m trying to do this week by twisting up recipes you may remember seeing before and making them up in a way that will shake up any summer barbecue. Sort of the reverse of what I did with the Aussie Burger Chili. Summer food to winter, winter food to summer. It’s a two way street with a little imagination.
I’m not going to waste any time and start with the weirdest one straight away: the Bobotie Burger. No tame burgers here. Don’t worry, you can handle it.
A lot of years ago I cooked South Africa and in doing so made its national dish, bobotie. If you’ve ever looked at the ingredient list you may have shaken your head like I did. BUT, if you’ve ever tried you’d agree with me that the flavor defies logic to make one tasty dish (custard? Good. Jam? Good. Beef? Good…). My kitchen success wasn’t a fluke and the deliciousness has subsequently been confirmed at The Animal Kingdom lodge. Bobotie is Bomb.
Which is why I made it into a burger. I took all the weird flavors and mixed it in with ground beef. The cranberries became a cranberry mayo, and the custard became a fried egg that spewed its golden liquid all over the whole thing. It packs a load of flavor, proved to be a bit messy, but also that every bite was totally worth it.
I don’t particularly like mayo and I know others in this camp. Don’t let that deter you; rather than making a cran-mayo, just slice up the jellied cranberry and use that as a topper instead. Don’t just omit the flavor. That would be wrong, and bad.
Think eggs on burgers are gross and excessive? Try it, and you’ll never go back.
- 1 pound lean ground beef (I like 90/10)
- 4 TB grated yellow onion
- 1 TB apricot jam
- 1 TB fruit chutney (I used mango)
- 1 tsp curry powder
- ½ tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- ¼ cup jellied cranberries
- 3 TB mayonnaise
- 4 eggs
- 4 hamburger buns
- Lettuce to garnish (optional)
- Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
- Make the burgers: In a medium bowl, combine the beef, onion, jam, chutney and spices. With your hands, combine well and form into 4 uniform patties.
- Grill about 3 minutes per side, depending on how you like your beef cooked. Once they are cooked to desired amount, set aside to rest about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, add about 2 TB of the jellied cranberries. Heat in the microwave about 15 seconds to loosen it up. Mix in the mayo and remain cranberries. Set aside.
- In a frying pay, in a generous amount of oil, fry each egg to over-easy. Set aside.
- Assemble the burger: bun-mayo-lettuce-burger-egg-mayo-bun.
- Devour. Enjoy.
- Don't like mayo? Rather than making a cran-mayo, just slice up the jellied cranberry and use that as a topper instead. Don’t just omit the flavor.
Written over red bean ice cream (coming soon!).