Tuesday, October 19

Barbecues are back! Ten Perfect Burgers to Try, From Vegan Beans to Bhaji Bites | Burgers

meEven if the sun only rises once in a while, the lifting of restrictions means that many of us will think it’s barbecue time. And while it can be easy to get overexcited and just toss a bunch of grocery store burgers on the grill, a special occasion like this takes a bit of effort. Here are 10 recipes for homemade burgers. My suggestion is that you try them all.

Felicity Cloake's perfect burger.
Felicity Cloake’s perfect burger. Photography: Felicity Cloake

The perfect burger

A quick warning before we begin: this list features the “double layer.” If you are new to preparing any type of food, the place to start is always the “perfect” series by Felicity Cloake. Their hamburger recipe is all the proof you need. She has done the work here, so even the slightly weirder additions (ie Guinness) make perfect sense.

Vegan bean burger

The second part of Cloake is your vegan bean burger recipe. Like all vegan burgers, this requires a lot more ingredients than a meat-based burger: potato, lima beans, black beans, onion, garlic, coriander seeds, coriander leaves, but the effort is worth it. Also pay attention to the burger sauce here, which is thickened with exactly 12 cooked chickpeas.

A vegan burger ... the effort is worth it.
A vegan burger … the effort is worth it. Photograph: Svetlana-Cherruty / Getty Images / iStockphoto

Pork burger with quince

And now to kick things up a notch in class, here’s Nigel Slater with a Quince Pork Burger. It is, unsurprisingly, a sweet quince flavored pork burger. Slater calls this “a blindingly good little burger.” He also advocates frying the onion a bit before adding it to the meat, and I agree. If you want your friends to think that you’ve gotten really fancy with the closure, this is the burger to serve.

Smash burger

Persons declare dead the tall burger all the time and yet he clings to life. So for the last time: stop making tall burgers. Thin hamburgers taste better and have a much more pleasant texture. More importantly, you can eat them without looking like a snake eating an egg. Look at Bon Appétit’s smashed burger recipe. It’s just seasoned beef that is flattened on the griddle with a spatula while it cooks. And it’s ready in three minutes.

Vegan burger ‘In & Out’

As a vegan alternative, here is Avant Garde Vegan’s plant-based In & Out burger‘. Again this requires a ton of ingredients, this time black beans, miso paste, Marmite, wheat gluten, soy sauce, and they need to be steamed for an hour and then chilled before they can be roasted. But it is worth it because they are quite close to reality.

Vietnamese style burgers.
Vietnamese style burgers. Photograph: Alleko / Getty Images / iStockphoto

Vietnamese bun cha

Now, let’s explore the confines of the world of hamburgers together. A 2013 Guardian reader recipe sharing article turned up a beautiful Vietnamese savory / sweet muffin recipe. The pork burgers contain powdered chicken broth, fish sauce, and real caramel, but all the gooey this suggests is offset by the sharp stab of pickled carrots and papaya. “You can smell pork sizzling on makeshift barbecues all over Hanoi,” says Jess Waller, who sent the recipe, and I’ve never missed more trips abroad.

Carrot burger

It should also draw your attention to Anna Jones’ carrot burger. A bunch of carrots, roasted with paprika and cumin, bombarded with tofu and formed into buns. Just to add to the clean California-style food feel, you can stack Jones’ Avocado and Cherry Tomato Sauce Burgers.

Bhaji burger

Anna Jones carrot burger.
Anna Jones carrot burger. Photograph: Matt Russell / The Guardian. Food Style and Props: Emily Ezekiel.

The Bosh! The kids have a recipe for bhaji burgers that, while it seems designed to give purists a heart attack, is quite delicious. As they say, these fried beauties are “great with raita mint, or you can make smaller bites of bhaji and serve them with curry.”

Veggie burger with cheese

Today’s final meatless recipe is vegetarian rather than vegan, and for good reason. It’s Kitchen Sanctuary’s veggie cheeseburgersand as such it contains quite a bit of egg, cream, and cheese. They are all cooked on the burger along with carrots, potatoes, and green beans. If you haven’t made the leap to veganism yet, this is a good gift.

Whole Truck Burger

Now finally, do you remember when I canceled the tall burger? Well, I’m going to cancel it, but just for a moment. The way I see it, if you are going to make a tall hamburger, you must make it so high that it is impossible to eat. And that’s where the Calgary Alley Burger’s food truck whole truck burger enters. There is a giant piece of meat, covered in cottage cheese and topped with a fried egg, four slices of bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, jalapeños, onion, and aioli. Genuinely obscene.


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