Simply light fry the onions in oil. Reduce the heat, add the garlic, and cook just long enough to remove the raw smell. Then mix the cooked onion and garlic in with the minced meat and other ingredients. Mould the mixture with your hands, ensuring an even spread of ingredients. Separate into individual balls, mould and flatten, creating a slight dip in the centre of each to make sure the burgers cook evenly. Leave them to firm-up in the fridge, covered in clingfilm, for at least 30 minutes before cooking. When you cook, don’t be tempted to press the burgers down against the pan, as it’ll dry out the meat!
Here are some suggestions for less-than-ordinary burger fillings and toppings. Alongside the serving ideas, try a crunchy, fresh green salad and a side of rice.
Greek Lamb Burgers with Black Olives, Feta and Tzatziki
Using halal lamb, mix into your burger mix fresh oregano and parsley, some cumin and black olives. You can either stuff the burger with feta cheese before cooking, or add it on top. (To stuff the burger, you need to make an extra patty and squeeze the delicious filling between the two before moulding and cooking.)
Serve with: feta; sundried tomatoes, a handful of rocket, tzatziki (which you can buy or make with yoghurt, cucumber, dill, garlic and a squeeze of lemon).
Thai Beef Burgers with Sesame, Peanuts and Peppers
This time, add to the mix a splash of soy sauce, some chopped ginger, red hot chili, and fresh coriander.
Serve with: sweet chili sauce, peanuts, thinly sliced red bell peppers
Beany Chili Con Carne Burger with Homemade Guacamole
Add some extra protein with red kidney beans cooked with halal minced beef, along with fresh chili, coriander seeds.
Serve with: homemade guacamole made from a whizzed up avocado, an onion, some cherry tomatoes and lime juice.
Middle-Eastern Inspired Lamb Burgers with Almonds and Saffron
Just a pinch of saffron, along with allspice, flaked almonds, fresh mint, dried mint and dried chilies will transform your humble minced beef.
Serve with: broad beans, more fresh mint and a layer of strained yoghurt.
Italian Meatball Burgers
Mix dried oregano and fresh basil into your beef burger mix, and some extra sautéed garlic.
Serve with: a béchamel sauce, an Italian pasata sauce, and if you are having bread, of course, have it in a ciabatta!