This challenge was suggested by my colleague Dean after he bought himself a George Forman grill. I’ve been making burgers to a particular recipe for a couple of years now but I thought this would be a good opportunity to test my recipe against one made by my family in Canada. When Dave and I visited my family in Goderich in 2014, my cousin’s wife made us some absolutely delicious homemade burgers and so a couple of weeks ago, I asked Kristen for her recipe. With the recipes and ingredients ready, it was time to put our burgers to the test.
For my original burger recipe you will need the following:-
- 250g beef mince
- 1/2 small red onion, chopped finely
- 2 med egg
- 25g breadcrumbs
- 1/8 tsp hot chilli powder
- 1/4 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp mustard powder
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 25g parmesan cheese
- Olive oil
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
For my adaption* of Kristen’s burger recipe you will need the following:-
- 250g pork mince
- 250g beef mince
- 1 1/2 tsp worcester sauce
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 50g Salt and vinegar crisps, crushed
- Brioche buns
- Cheese (we went for cheddar but I also love blue cheese on a burger!)
- Sauce(s) of your choice
*This is an adaption for 2 reasons. Firstly, Kristen didn’t give me quantities with the recipe, just the ingredient list, so I just went with my instincts and used the amounts I’ve set out above. Secondly, I left out one of the ingredients Kristen recommended – pickle juice. Neither Dave or I eat pickles and I couldn’t find any small jars in the supermarket. I didn’t want to buy a huge jar just for a bit of juice so I decided to leave this ingredient out.
On with the burger making. If you’ve never made burgers before, it is really simple! All you need to do is put the ingredients in a bowl, get your hand dirty by mixing it all up until well combined. You then portion the meat mixture into balls and squash them flat to make your burger patties.
I put the shaped burgers onto a greased tray, brushed the tops with some oil and then covered them with cling film before popping them in the fridge for 10 minutes to firm up.
Practical tip: the ingredients above make a lot of burger meat but it can be frozen to cook at a later date. Simply shape your burgers, wrap them in some baking paper and cling film. Pop them in the freezer and enjoy another day. I also used the left overs from Kristen’s recipe to make some meatballs which I cannot wait to try with a rich tomato sauce and spaghetti!
Whilst the burgers were firming up, I heated up my griddle pan and sprayed it with some cooking oil. This is a bit different to what I have previously done as I normally just use a normal frying pan. However, my mum recently gave me a griddle pan and I thought this would be a good opportunity to try it out. To be honest, I didn’t like it as much as my frying pan. The burgers ended up sticking and I think next time I’ll go back to my trusty frying pan 🙂
Once the pan was hot, I added my burgers and let them cook away for around 7 minutes before flipping them over to cook the other side for another 7 minutes. I gave each side a little longer until cooked all the way through.
Practical tip: the amount of time required to cook your burgers will depend on how thick you make them. The thicker the burger, the longer they need to be cooked for but I suggest keeping the heat on medium to low so as to ensure you don’t burn the outside before the inside is cooked.
Once the burgers were done, I put them to one side and toasted some brioche buns (which I plan to try and make myself one day but for now they were store bought) on the griddle pan.
I added some cheese to the burgers and popped them under a hot grill to melt the cheese. I then cut the cooked burgers in half and added half of mine and half of Kristen’s to each bun. Finally, I added some lettuce and tomato to one of the buns along with some ketchup and mayonnaise; the other I left plain as Dave doesn’t like any of this stuff, he just wanted meat, cheese and bread 🙂 I then served the burgers with some homemade sweet potato fries and we tucked in.
Both recipes produced very tasty burgers, however, I have to admit, Dave and I both agreed that Kristen’s recipe just won the competition. Kristen’s recipe produced a great tasting burger with a really good texture and it was something a bit different from just your run of the mill burger. We will definitely be having these again and I can’t wait to enjoy the burgers and meatballs already in the freezer!
Coming up next week, Challenge No. 23 – Chocolate Truffles