Burger Bite

Sunday night dinner? Here’s another old favourite. Why is a hamburger just so satisfying? There’s something so straightforward and honest about it that hits the spot when you just feel like something filling and comfy.  Always good and absolutely simple, but a few must dos to make sure it is always yummy.. ….

While you can make it as simple as the basic recipe I am setting out here, you can add paremsan cheese like Jeremy does, chopped flat leaf parsley, a sprinkle of breadcrumbs, a couple of beaten eggs. Whatever you do, don’t stint on the chopped onion- it gives it a flavour that can’t be beaten, and a rough chop makes the burger more textured, which is nice to chomp on! You get good results from mixing beef and pork mince- so stick with that formula for that familiar home made taste.  If you want the texture of the patty to be ‘lighter’ add a quarter of a cup of bread crumbs and a beaten egg or two to the mix.

Dad loves his burger in a sourdough bun. Staggering back to campus in the wee hours, my uni friends and I would sometimes stop at the food truck by the Drill Hall Gallery and order a burger.  It came with a fried egg, and slices of tinned beetroot.  These days I find all of that a bit overwhelming to wrap my mouth around, and like my patty on a salad. Makes for a nice packed lunch too, dont forget.If you want to really dress up your burger, serve it in a nice bun ( crusty on the outside, soft on the inside), with a thick smear of goat’s cheese, some mint leaves, baby arugula and a relish made of pickled beetroot. VERY yummy.

So while I know you dream of In-n-Out burgers from the drivethrough at Westwood ( so do I, occasionally!) here’s a burger recipe you can try at home. Cheers, darling.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 kg minced pork
  • 1/2 kg minced beef
  • 1 to 2 large onion, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
Optional:
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 beaten eggs

Method:

  1. Mix the minced meat together with the chopped onion in a large bowl. Add salt,    about 2 teaspoons, and cracked pepper and mix well.
  2. If you are inspired to add the other ingredients mentioned (parmesan, breadcrumbs, parsley, etc) do so at this point.
  3. Form meat into tennis ball size shapes.
  4. gently press flat between your palms to about 1 inch thickness.
  5. place on a greased grilling rack and grill on a medium to high heat until golden brown and then turn over and cook on the other side as well.
  6. You can store the extra patties in an airtight container for a few days in the fridge or even freeze for a week.
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A lifetime of Bolognese

 

From the time you girls could eat solid food bolognese was a favourite. The first time I ever had the sauce cooked at home was in Lahore, Pakistan. Dad and I were newly married, and there we were in a new country, sharing a house with a quirky English guy who was working on a project to preserve the old city.

John did not do anything domestic at all.  He worked, and came home to meals, and then spent the rest of his time working more in his room. But when he heard we were returning to Australia, John did a surprising thing: he cooked us a farewell meal.

From the American commissary where we were able to shop for ‘western’ provisions, he bought his ingredients of tomato paste, a package of parmesan cheese and a large can of tomatoes. He coerced Parvez the driver into taking him to the market, and found his other fresh ingredients.

I remember the excitement in the house: he seemed to be cooking all day. The smells that wafted from the kitchen were so tantalizing. After six months of eating mainly dhal and chapatis, the meal was delicious and memorable.

Our family recipe is the sum of many friends’ versions. When Graeme and the family came to stay in Richmond, I found he was liberal with the balsamic vinegar. In Los Angeles, Jon cooked his amazing version for our two families one night, and it had small chunks of steak in it with the ground beef. Our friend Madge mentions milk as an ingredient. I love that our family’s ultimate go-to comfort food meal has been shared at our table where ever we’ve lived with just about all our friends. Enjoy it at your table, with your friends! Oh, and be sure to make it your own along the way.

Bolognese Sauce

  • 2 lbs lean beef mince
  • ¼ lb. lean beef steak cut into thin strips ( optional)
  • 1 small can tomato paste (6 oz)
  • 1 large can crushed tomatoes ( about 28 oz) 
  • 1 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • salt to taste or freshly squeezed juice of ½ a lemon
  • a sprinkle of pepper

 

Method:

  1. In a heavy saucepan, heat the oil, and sauté the onion and garlic
  2. When the onion mixture is beginning to melt, add the meat and stir until evenly browned.
  3. Add crushed tomato, tomato paste and a ¼ cup of water  (if very dry)
  4. Stir in the parsley and bring the sauce to a gentle  bubble
  5. Turn the heat down, add balsamic vinegar, salt/lemon juice, sugar , pepper, and stir well
  6. Simmer on a very low heat for at least 30 minutes
  7. Serve over al dente pasta, sprinkle with parmesan or chili flakes