For the first real recipe post of 2016 I thought I might as well do something I am known for and share a seasonally appropriate burger recipe with you all, starting as I mean to go on with something a little different while also keeping it totally achievable for cooks of any level.
As the title suggests I cooked this recipe on new years eve as a final seasonal blow out before the dark cloud of January rolled in from afar to rain on our festive parade. I am not a fan of January. I just find it comes across as the killjoy of all 12 months, hitting you faster than a speeding train it takes you from the festivities of Christmas and the week that follows and shoves you straight back into the harsh light of reality. A month long Monday. The seemingly eternal dark until the post Christmas payday! It’s not all bad but I love Christmas and all the build up that comes with it so when January takes that away from us I get a bit of a grump on the first week or so.
All this considered though, I do enjoy getting together with family and celebrating new year with good food while watching the Jools Holland Hootenanny until Big Ben chimes. As I have stated previously we have just bought a new house so we were determined to have people round as much as possible as we love entertaining and cooking for people, so I developed this recipe specifically for new years eve and it was a great success.
What is it?
Pork – three ways. A burger with a giant pig in a blanket, topped with a rich Mornay sauce on a wholemeal bun with a touch of rocket.
What do I need?
- 500g pork mince
- 200g diced sweet potato
- 1 heaped tbsp. Cajun seasoning
- 1 grated apple
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 red onions, finely diced
- salt and pepper
- Olive oil
- 4 Wholemeal rolls
For the giant pigs in blankets
- 4 97% pork sausages. I used Heck.
- 4 large rashers of Smoked back bacon
For the Mornay sauce
- 2 1/2 tbsp. butter
- 3 tbsp. white flour
- 2 cups of warmed milk
- 2 big handfuls grated Gruyere cheese
- Salt and pepper
What do I do?
- To start with you need to bring a saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil and cook the sweet potato for 10-15 minutes, or until soft enough to slide off a skewer or fork. Then drain them and put them aside to cool, then mash them thoroughly.
- In a hot pan with a little oil, lightly fry the onions until soft then put aside to cool fully (Do this alongside cooking the sweet potatoes).
- In a bowl add the pork, apple, garlic, Cajun seasoning, onion, mash potato and season generously with the salt and pepper. Bring together well and split into 4 evenly loaded patty shapes. (If you have any left over they make great little meatballs for a pizza!) Cover in cling film and place in the fridge to chill.
- In a small saucepan on a low heat add the butter and wait for it to start to melt, then pop in the flour and stir until it comes together into a lumpy texture. Slowly add a little milk at a time while continuously mixing to bring together and thicken. Repeat until all the milk is used up then add the cheese and keep stirring until you get a thick cheese sauce, then season well. Add more cheese if you want it to thicken up a bit more.
- Heat up a grill, griddle pan or in my case I used a George Forman health grill. Butterfly the sausage and wrap it in the bacon. Place it on the hot griddle and weigh it down, either with another pan or close the lid of the health grill to avoid any major curling when the sausage starts to cook. Cook for 4-5 minutes on a medium heat and then turn over and repeat until crispy.
- In another hot pan, fry the burgers for 4-5 minutes a side until browned off and cooked all the way through. Serve immediately on the wholemeal rolls, on a small bed of the rocket, followed by the burger, then the pig in blanket, topped with a good helping of the sauce. Cap it with the top half of the roll and get them served before you go at them yourself!
A celebration of Pork
The finished article
2013 has been a crazy year and the blog has gone from strength to strength over the months, I can only thank everybody who reads the blog for helping it get up an running. Its been a fun start to a life of online food writing.
The highlight of the year for me food wise was battle of the burgers in London, which triggered the Burgathon series. A trio of recipes aimed at getting people to make their own, homemade burgers to enjoy rather than buying shop bought ones, while satisfying my perverse adoration for burgery goodness. So below find all of the Burgathon recipes together in one place! Thanks again for reading. 2014 is going to be huge!
The Mardi Gras burger
The Mardi Gras burger sauce
- 1 White onion, Diced.
- 2 Tbspn Olive oil.
- 2 garlic cloves, minced.
- 125ml Southern comfort/ Spirit of Louisiana liquor.
- 1 tin of chopped tomatoes.
- 2 tbspn brown sugar.
- 3 Tbspn Worcester sauce.
- 1 heaped tbspn good tomato ketchup.
- Large pinch of sea salt.
- 1 Tspn white pepper.
- 600g lean steak mince.
- 1 1/2 tbspn Cayenne pepper.
- 1 tbspn Smoked paprika.
- Large pinch sea salt.
- Large pinch black pepper.
- 2 Tbspn olive oil.
- 4 slices of smoked cheddar.
- 4 Good quality seeded buns.
- Handful of mixed salad leaves.
Firstly you will want to get cracking with the sauce.
- Put the oil into a large frying pan and bring to a medium heat and spread the oil out evenly.
- Add the onions and garlic and cook until the garlic starts to soften and becomes fragrant.
- Add the Southern comfort and simmer for 5 minutes until it reduces to half its volume, cooking out the majority of the alcohol.
- Add the tomatoes, sugar, Worcester sauce, ketchup, salt and pepper. Cook on the medium heat for an additional 10 minutes, stirring regularly until the sauce thickens and the tomato juices reduce and begin to emulsify.
- Take off the heat and leave to cool, then drop the contents of the pan into a food processor and pulse a few times. This will give it a thicker consistency and thicken it up a little.
- Empty into a small container and put to one side to await its meaty vehicle.
Before and after… Father and son.
For the burger…
- Combine the meat, cayenne, paprika, salt and pepper in a large bowl and mix well with clean hands.
- Split and roll into 4 evenly sized balls.
- Pat the balls down into approximately 2 cm thickness and lay on a plate, cover the plate with cling film.
- Refrigerate patties for 20 minutes.
- Preheat a griddle pan on a medium heat. Pre-heat your grill too.
- add a dash of oil to both sides of each burger and gently rub it in.
- Place 2 patties at a time on the griddle and cook for around 6-7 minutes on each side.
- At the end of the second sides cooking period, add the cheese to the top of the burger and leave to melt for a further 2 minutes.
- Take the Burgers off the heat and leave to rest in a warm place for 3 minutes.
- Cut the buns in half and grill each side until slightly browned.
- Add the mixed leaves to the bottom part of the bun, followed by the burger, top it with the sauce and cap it off with the top half of the bun.
This sucker got soul!
the big pig burger
- 500g of pork mince
- 5-6 well sized fresh sage leaves, finely sliced
- 2 tspn minced fresh garlic
- large pinch fine sea salt
- 2-3 grinds of black pepper
- 2 Portobello mushrooms
- Handful of baby leaf spinach
- 2 thick slices of Claxton mild blue cheese
- 2 burger buns of your choice, halved
- Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp Olive oil
- In a large bowl, combine the pork mince, sage, garlic, salt and pepper and mix with clean hands until you can make one large ball with the mixture.
- Split the mixture into 2 evenly shaped balls and pat down into large discs.
- Cover with cling film and pop in the fridge for 20 minutes.
- Place a griddle pan on a medium heat, and apply a little oil to each side of each burger. Preheat your grill on medium/high.
- Place the burger on the griddle and cook for 6-7 minutes on each side. then remove from the heat to rest in a warm place, check the middle of the burger by pressing it with your thumb, it should be as firm as the outside if it is cooked all the way through.
- Place the mushrooms under the grill and cook for a few minutes on each side until it starts to flatten. remove from grill.
- place your bread rolls under the grill until browned, repeat for both sides.
- place a teaspoon of Dijon on the bottom of the bun, followed by some spinach, rest the burger on the spinach and place a slice of the blue cheese over the burger, followed by a mushroom and cap it with the remaining side of the toasted bun.
The maple bagel burger
For the burger
600g lean steak mince
3 tablespoons maple syrup
large pinch cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon mild chili flakes
pinch fine sea salt
4 fresh white bagels
8 slices pastrami
8 slices good Swiss cheese
chopped salad leaves of your choice, sliced tomato and a splash of olive oil.
For the dressing
1 tablespoon sour cream
1 tablespoon good quality mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Worcester sauce
1 teaspoon English mustard
pinch white pepper.
- Combine the mince, chili flakes, maple syrup, salt and pepper in a bowl. With clean hands mix well until all seasoning and the maple syrup is evenly distributed.
- split into 4 evenly sized balls and pat down into discs around an inch thick.
- Cover and leave in the fridge for 10-20 minutes to firm up.
- preheat a griddle pan on a medium heat and add a little oil to each side of the burgers.
- Add the burgers to the griddle 2 at a time and cook for 7 minutes on each side. Preheat your grill on high.
- Grill the bagels on both sides until they start to brown.
- cut up 2 pieces of pastrami per burger, top with a few pieces of cheese and slide under the grill for a few minutes. then remove and rest for a few moments.
- Mix all of the dressing ingredients together and add it right the way around the base of the bagels, followed by the salad, the burger with the pastrami and now soft Swiss cheese, capped off with the top half of the bagel and press down a little to push it all together.
- Then enjoy it! it really is a show stopper!
Maple steak burger
So that’s it, 2013 is over and 2014 has begun, I wish you all the very best and hope it is a truly great year for all of you.