The Beetroot Burger comes from Burgers the new book from Paul Gayler MBE, hailed by James Martin as “the book I have been waiting for”, which was sent to me for review. Paul Gayler was Executive Chef at The Lanesborough Hotel London, the five-star hotel on the edge of London’s Hyde Park. He has 20 years’ experience in some of the most respected kitchens and restaurants in Europe. As well as having made many appearances on British TV, he is the author of over 20 cookery books. He has also won the Guild of Food Writers’ Cookery Book of the Year and has been nominated for a prestigious André Simon Award.
It is a fun book, shaped like a burger layered with goodies. In Burgers, Paul Gayler presents his favourite 25 burger recipes. As well as the expected Ultimate burger with ‘the works’, there’s a wealth of delicious and imaginative offerings. For carnivores, there’s an eclectic mix and not just beef: choose, for instance, from a Caribbean pork burger, Smoked chicken cobb burger, Tandoori lamb burger or Turkey BLT burger stack. Vegetarians and fish eaters can enjoy a Feta club burger, Southwest red bean
burger, Lebanese kibbeh burger or Jumbo prawn burger, among others. There really is a burger for everyone. There is also a section for ‘Sides’ including Simple Tomato Ketchup, Oven Cheese Fries, Moroccan-style Caponata and Calypso Mojo. But back to the Beetroot Burger, which is made with minced (ground) beef, the beetroot adds a glorious sweet and sour flavour, but doesn’t overpower the beef at all and provides only a slight pinkish tinge, I made the smaller burgers as I felt that four burgers from this quantity of mince would make to large a portion for us. The smaller ones fit nicely on the muffin too!
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
500g minced beef (ground chuck) chilled
2 egg yolks
1 tbsp capers, rinsed and chopped
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp pickled beetroot, finely chopped (or 3 tbsp Beetroot Relish)
1 tbsp pickled beetroot juice (omit if using relish)
vegetable oil, for brushing and frying.
To serve: 4 English Muffins, salad of tossed green leaves or wilted spinach, small boiled new potatoes.
1. Heat the butter and oil in a frying pan (skillet). Cooke the onion slowly until pale and soft, then allow to cool
2. Combine the minced beef, egg yolks, capers, sea salt and pepper.
3. Add the onion and mix thoroughly together
4. Add the beetroot and juice (or relish), mix well.
5. With wet hands, shape the mixture into 4 large flat patties (the traditional shape, or 8 smaller taller patties.
6. Heat a char grill or pan grill, oil it and the patties lightly and cook them on a medium heat for about 5 minutes each side (alternately heat a little oil in a frying pan and cook them that way).
7. Split and toast the muffins, serve the burgers in the toasted muffins with a little salad of tossed green leave or with a little wilted spinach and boiled new potatoes. I added an extra spoonful of Beetroot Relish on top of the burger, just because.
BURGERS: FROM THE ULTIMATE BURGER TO THE SOUTHWEST RED BEAN BURGER
by Paul Gayler MBE
Published by Jacqui Small
The Beetroot Relish comes via Not Quite Nigella and is made to her recipe for Lazy, Luscious, Spiced Beetroot Relish. I bought some beetroot at the Farmers Market and was planning to make the Beetroot Chutney I made last year. That particular recipe has a chunky texture which isn’t very good for spreading on sandwiches, so I was looking for more of a relish with a softer texture and found this super simple recipe. I cooked my beetroot in the Slow Cooker which has to be the easiest and least messy way to bake beetroot.
Simply wash the beetroot, place a piece of foil in the base of the slow cooker and put the beets on top. Bake for 5-6 hours depending on the size of the beetroot. Then, wearing a pair of rubber gloves, slip the skins off before preparing for the relish.
I can’t emphasise enough how good this relish is, sweet, spicy and just enough acid tang to counteract the sweetness, but no burn and no earthy taste, it’s just delicious and I plan to make another batch very soon. Thanks to ‘Not Quite Nigella’ for allowing me to link to her recipe.