I’m not a burger girl. Weird way to start a burger post, I know. But there is a method to my madness. Firstly, my mouth is too small to fit a full burger bite in. Ever tried to eat a burger with a knife and fork? Ya. Then there’s how long I take to eat anything. Lots of little bites and lots of chewing. Before I know it, it’s all cold, the roll is soggy from onion ring oil and that’s super appetizing. What’s with the roll anyway? A mediocre semi-fresh roll is used to house a selection of beautiful ingredients, for what, just to keep them all in place while you gorge yourself? The fillings don’t taste nearly as good with a mouthful of sub-standard bread anyway! Lastly, why fill up on unnecessary carbohydrates when you already have a side of fries? I much prefer a deconstructed, bun-less burger myself.
Then there’s the predicament of the DIY burger. How big or small or thick or thin do you make the patty to get an evenly cooked, sizzled to perfection burger than doesn’t fall apart while frying it? It’s not as easy as you think.
So now that you’re questioning your long-standing love for burgers and whether they are worth all the effort, let me tell you how I recently developed a deeper appreciation for burgers and burger-making, with the help of the Progressive Perfect Burger Press, a Jamie Oliver recipe and some magic ingredients.
I recently posted a recipe that featured the Progressive Spiraliser. Progressive loved my post so much that they sent me a little gift to say thank you. It was the Progressive Perfect Burger Press! Thank you very much Progressive – you guys rock!
So even though burgers are not at the top of my list of favourite fast foods, I still couldn’t wait to test this gadget out. Must be that inner-scientist creeping out again. My husband was just as excited because I think he is secretly competing to be the world’s biggest burger fan. So, we turned to an old faithful beef patty recipe from Jamie Oliver and threw in a few extra ingredients which I wouldn’t normally choose to add to a burger, just cos I had a hunch they may be amazing together. And let me tell you, the combination of these delicious ingredients, the Progressive Burger Press, and my version of the “Cracking Burger” recipe resolved all my burger issues.
It was deliciously juicy, and the flavour and texture combination of all the ingredients, although unusual, just worked. I used one crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside buttered ciabatta bun half as the base to make the bite more manageable and tastier, onion rings which were de-oiled with paper towel and evenly sized and shaped patties made with the Perfect Burger Press. They didn’t break apart in the pan, they cooked quickly, they didn’t need to be pressed down in the pan to fry them evenly and they didn’t burn on the outside before cooking through the centre. This is owed to the dimple in the centre of the patty created by The Perfect Burger Press dimple insert. It’s an essential tool for all those OCD Burger-makers & loyal Burger-lovers out there.
To get your hands on one of these babies, go to
http://progressivekitchenware.co.za/product/perfect-burger-press/ OR search for ‘Progressive Perfect Burger Press’ on Yuppiechef, Boardmans or Takealot.
The Beefed up Beef Burger Recipe
- 12 Salticrax or Woolworths Water Biscuits
- handful of Italian parsley (finely chopped stalks & leaves)
- 500g beef mince
- 1 egg
- a dash of freshly ground salt & pepper
- a dash of Ina Paarman meat spice
- olive oil
- 2 heaped tsp Dijon mustard
- baby spinach
- Melrose cheese slices
- Jalapeno Hummus (from Food Lovers Market)
- 2 onions (sliced into rings)
- 2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
- 4 Portobello mushrooms
- 2 Woolworths ciabatta rolls
- Woolworths plain salted crisps
- Turn your oven to 180°c
- Throw your crackers into a Ziploc bag or something similar. Close the bag and using a rolling pin, break the crackers until they have a fine consistency
- Add the cracker crumbs, egg, parsley, mustard, meat spice, salt & pepper and mince into a large bowl, and use your hands to mix well.
- Divide the mixture into 4 balls
- 1 at a time, place each ball into the centre of the burger press non-skid base
- Using the comfort grip pusher, squash the ball until it cannot be squashed any further
- Lift the press comfort grip pusher, leaving behind the patty, and lift the dimple insert by the overhanging handle
- Turn the dimple insert over and using your fingers, lightly turn the patty out onto a non-stick surface. Repeat with the last 3 mince balls
- Heat up olive oil in a large pan on medium to high heat
- Fry the patties until just cooked through, about 3 – 4 min on each side, while frying the onion rings in the same pan, then place in a dish on some paper towel to absorb excess oil
- Meanwhile coat your mushrooms with olive oil, place them onto an oven tray stalk side up and shave some butter and garlic evenly into each of them. Bake for 20 min or until soft and cooked through. Then remove from oven and set aside on paper towel
- Place the ciabatta rolls into the oven and bake for 5-8 min
- Meanwhile, get all your burger toppings ready
- When the ciabatta rolls are done, slice them in half, butter them and place butter side up onto 4 serving plates
- Layer your burger toppings in this order: ciabatta half, Portobello mushroom, baby spinach leaves, a patty, a melty cheese slice, onion rings, topped with a large dollop of jalapeno hummus
- Serve each burger with a side of Woolworths plain salted crisps
- Tuck in and enjoy!