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Home Made Burgers


Here’s something I posted last year when we were in lockdown in Sydney…and here we are back in lockdown again!

But the weather is lovely with clear sunny days (well, mostly!) and spring is in the air. Which is the perfect reason to do some outdoor eating and home made burgers are the way to go.

Make the burger patties and then get creative with some fillings and garnishes – I’ve given some suggestions.

Eat, enjoy and beat the lockdown blues!

For the burger:

Ingredients

500g minced beef, preferably organic

1/2 medium onion, finely chopped

1 free-range egg

1 handful of fresh breadcrumbs

1/2 heaped teaspoon of Dijon mustard

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 slices of cheddar cheese

The other 1/2 onion, cut into rings

For the bits and pieces that go with the burgers:

4 soft bread rolls

Handful of baby gherkins

Cherry tomatoes

Sun dried tomatoes

Any green leaves you fancy – rocket is always good

Avocado slices

2 teaspoons American mustard

2 teaspoons tomato ketchup or 2 teaspoons tomato chutney

Method

Preheat the oven to 210 degrees C fan-forced.

Scrunch all the ingredients together. Use the breadcrumbs as required to bind the mixture. Divide into 4, then lightly mould and pack each burger together into burger shapes. Place the burgers on a baking tray along with the onion rings. Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. The burgers should still be pink in the middle – cook for a few minutes longer if you want them more well done.

Just before they are done, place a slice of cheese on top of each burger and place back in the oven for a minute to just melt the cheese.

To serve:

Cut rolls in half and place on a plate. Place a burger with its slice of melted cheese on top of half of a bread roll. Squeeze some mustard and tomato ketchup on top, or spoon some tomato chutney onto the bread roll before you add the burger. Now add any of the bits and pieces as you fancy, using my suggestions or making up your own. I definitely recommend scattering the charred onion rings on top of the burger, really tasty!

I did a couple of different combinations on different nights.

A really delicious and easy meal and equally as good as take away!

Roast Beef on French Bread with Sweet Onion and Raisin Chutney

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Roast scotch fillet on French bread with greens, cherry tomatoes and lashings of onion and raisin chutney. A perfect weekend lunch – my lunch today in fact! Very easy and quick to prepare, if you have the chutney already made and bottled.

Another early Saturday morning walk to the Orange Grove Markets in Lilyfield yielded some lovely produce – fat red and brown onions, Jerusalem artichokes, baby salad greens, sugar snap peas, cherry tomatoes and French bread. The artichokes will be savoured later this week.

Sweet Onion and Raisin Chutney from July 2013 delicious. magazine.

Ingredients

100 gms raisins

300 mls sweet fortified wine (I used Pedro Ximenez sherry)

100 mls sunflower oil

1.5 kgs large onions, halved, thinly sliced (I used 1 kg only – it seemed to be enough – and a combination of red and brown onions)

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

125 mls white wine vinegar

Sea salt and black pepper

Method

Place the raisins and and wine in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil. Immediately remove, then set aside to soak for 2-3 hours (or overnight).

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, for 30 minutes or until the onions are soft and starting to colour and stick to the pan.

Add the sugar, cook, stirring frequently for a further 30 minutes or until the onions are a rich brown colour.

Add the vinegar and soaked raisins, including the soaking liquid, then cook stirring often, for a further 30 minutes, or until the mixture is thick. Remove from the heat, and season with sea salt and black pepper.

Spoon into sterilized jars and seal.

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Roast Scotch Fillet

Ingredients

350 – 500 gms piece scotch fillet (this is enough for 1-2 large sandwiches)

Sea salt and black pepper

1 tbl olive oil

1 tbl butter

Method

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C. Place a heavy based baking dish in the oven to heat through.

Thoroughly coat the fillet in salt and pepper on all sides. Drizzle with the olive oil over all sides. Place in a hot frying pan, searing quickly on all sides to caramelize the fillet. Turn the oven down to 180 degrees C. Place in the baking dish in the oven with the pan juices, adding the butter.

Cook 15 – 25 minutes depending on the weight of the meat and how well cooked you like it. The piece of beef I cooked was 350 gms, and I cooked it for 15 or so minutes for medium rare.

I used the skewer test – checking for “doneness” by inserting a skewer into the meat for a few seconds, removing and placing against my lip – cool means underdone, hot means cooked fine, scalding means overdone! I’m sure there must be a website somewhere that explains this principle a little more clearly!

Remove from the oven when cooked to your satisfaction and leave to rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing thickly.

Sandwich

Assemble the sandwich with the following ingredients or whatever takes your fancy:

French bread stick, butter, roast beef, cherry tomatoes, baby salad greens, sugar snap peas, sweet onion and raisin chutney, plenty of salt and pepper.

Can be eaten in the sunshine with a glass of something white and chilled or inside with a more robust red. I chose the latter…

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