Tuesday, 22 July 2014


Just like pizza, burgers are a tasty way to use up bits and pieces of cheese, vegetables and condiments. In  our house it's a build-your-own-burger event, with me grilling the meat, and everyone else pitching in to set out the fixings and create their own masterpiece...

First the actual burger patties:

 In a large bowl combine:

2 lbs ground beef
2 eggs
2 handfuls of fresh breadcrumbs
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup onion, finely diced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
few drops ofhot sauce
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

Mix well with your hands, divide into 8 (we like them on the larger side, and they do shrink a bit when grilling) and shape into patties, about 4" diameter. Wrap well and chill. they can also be frozen at this point, in a freezer bag, laid flat. Defrost in the refrigerator before grilling.

  • Try ground turkey for something lighter than beef
  • Add chopped fresh herbs, or chili powder
  • Before pressing them into shape, push a cube of cheese into the centre of the meat and shape it around that. A nice gooey surprise in each burger!

  To cook them, heat and oil the grill, making sure it is really hot before putting the burgers on. Flip them once, halfway through cooking.

BBQ sauce and blue cheese

   After a couple of minutes I like to brush them with BBQ sauce, then top with the cheese of choice and allow it to melt while the meat finishes cooking.
BBQ sauce and white cheddar

I had about 3/4 cup homemade BBQ sauce from a pulled braised beef recipe sitting in the freezer that I chose to use up last night. It is slightly sweet, with a bit of an Asian slant, having hoisin sauce and soy sauce in it, very yummy!

 We had white and orange cheddar, gouda and blue cheese to use up.

Try goat cheese, feta cheese, boconcini, smoked cheddar,swiss cheese....

Now for the toppings:

 Slice, chop, dice, wash, drain whatever looks like it'll work!

Romaine lettuce
Mixed baby greens
Roasted red pepper

Sliced tomato
Sliced avocado
Grilled bacon (see cooking burgers above)

Try these other favourites of ours, or create your own:

  • garlic dill pickles, pickled beets
  • sundried tomatoes, roasted cherry tomatoes
  • roasted garlic mayo, basil mayo, regular mayo
  • dijon mustard, grainy mustard
  • mix brown sugar with ground black pepper, press bacon slices into this to coat and bake on a rack at 400F until caramelized and crispy, turning halfway through. Line the cookie sheet with foil or parchment to help with cleanup, and remember not to touch them until they have cooled....sugar burns hurt!
  • fried egg
  • grilled mushrooms
  • arugula, fresh spinach
  • potato chips
  • onion rings, raw or grilled or caramelized sliced onion
  • instead of buying buns, make the Focaccia with Caramelized Onion and Rosemary, and shape into buns instead of pressing out onto the cookie sheet

       Happy grilling!!!

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