Monday, 8 June 2015

The League of Extraordinary Burgers

Hamburger di Agnello & Formaggio Blu con "Chutney" di Ravanelli, Cipolla Rossa, Menta, Sumac & Miele
Blue Cheese & Lamb Burger, with Radish, Red Onion, Honey, Mint & Sumac Chutney


I know, you're shocked... I made burgers for supper! Ah, but of course, not just any old burgers- no chance of that from me! You know I always love to try something different and new!

So, rather than making hamburgers, I made lamb burgers! Simple and delicious and soooo cool because they were "seasoned" by having blue cheese mixed in... They were flavorful, different and quite simply... Divine!


Being born in England and having lived there through my childhood years, into my teens, I grew to love the combination of mint and lamb... And until this day, I adore a roast of lamb with a tangy mint sauce!

So I decided to make something minty and tangy to go with my burger- after all, a regular burger relish also has sweet pickles in it... Only I decided on a chutney of sorts, made with radishes and red onion, with a touch of mint, the sweetness of honey and the rich, tangy sourness of sumac... And pretty terrific it was too!


These were the ingredients I used- but of course, with burgers, it really always is and always should be a bit of an improvised affair... After all, we all have individual tastes!

So, you may want to use different greens (I used the left over portulac from last night... Waste not-want not!) and tomato and cucumber go without saying... But otherwise, for the 2 burgers and the chutney, I needed 250g of ground lamb, 1 red onion, about a 3" chunk of blue cheese, some fresh mint, a little honey, salt, pepper and about 1 tablespoon of sumac.

And no... I did not use those soft, squidgy, burger buns... Sorry! I have always loathed them and the way they disintegrate the minute you pick them up! I used rye bread rolls for mine... But hey! Absolutely feel free to use whichever rolls you prefer!

Yes, I know it's mouthwatering... But I didn't mean to be cruel... I meant to be kind!


You are going to do some chopping of course to make these... And that means the red onion and the radishes need to be finely diced... The cheese... Not so much as it will most likely soon become very soft- as did mine! A tip for you would be to pop it into the freezer for an hour or so before you make yours... I wish I had thought of that earlier!!!

Begin by frying the diced onion in just a drop of olive oil, until it becomes translucent. Set half of the onion to one side to cool, so that you can add it to the burger and keep the rest for the chutney.


Add the diced radishes, some finely chopped mint, salt, pepper, sumac and honey and keep stirring on a moderate heat for 5 minutes or so.

Make sure you keep stirring as this will ensure that the radishes give off their juices, which will be enough to cook everything through nicely and to prevent the honey from burning and becoming bitter... Which it will do if you DON'T keep stirring!

The sumac adds the tango ness that vinegar would normally add to a chutney, as well as its own distinctive flavor... I found this to be a rather good idea... And yes! The mint DID make this very reminiscent of English mint sauce too... Excellent!


After 5 minutes, my chutney looked like this and was less moist but more crunchy than most- which dded a great contrast to the burger later on.


For the burgers, I simply added the other half of the fried onion, the blue cheese and plenty of pepper to the ground lamb and yes, kneaded it together by hand... It really is the only way to do it and get a nice thorough mix.

And remember... No salt! That is what the cheese is there for!

Shape your burgers, heat up your grill or griddle... And let them sizzle away!


Lay out your greens and veggies of choice on your rolls, sprinkle them lightly with salt... And go grab those burgers!

Yes, yes, yes, yes, YES! This is what we all want!


Top the burgers with a generous spoonful of the radish chutney... A leaf of fresh mint to emphasize the flavor... Pop the lid onto your roll, squeeze it down, take a bite, close your eyes and swoon!

And remember... Ordinary burgers are for ordinary people! Word!

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