Minted Lamb and Feta Burgers With a Crunchy Salad

Normally when I want a burger I want cheddar cheese, blue cheese, bacon, black pudding, burger sauce, mayo, ketchup, mustard, cooked onion, raw onion, onion rings,  lettuce, rocket and any other accompaniment you could think of, not all at once obviously although I wouldn’t say no to trying that. So when I looked at this recipe I wasn’t expecting much. A burger with no sauce! How wrong I could be.

Firstly, the peripherals. The wedges, you can’t go wrong with home made wedges, a little oil and salt and pepper and you are golden. Keep the skins on for that extra crispiness. The salad was light and refreshing. Lettuce, radish, spring onion and mint with a little olive oil. I used my good olive oil here that I got from our trip to France. The better the oil the better the flavour so therefor the better the salad.

So, onto the burger. The two most important parts of a good burger. The burger patty itself and the bun. Here we have a brioche bun which for me is the best bun you can get. I am partial to a nice soft white roll at a BBQ but where ever possible its brioche all the way. The burger here is lamb mince which apart from tasting different to your usual beef burger is also filled with a lot more fat which really, really helps. I am all for healthy eating and lean meat but I cannot sit here and lie and say that a lean piece of meat tastes as good as a fatty piece of meat. Obviously moderation is the key. Or in the wise words of Oscar Wilde “Everything in moderation, including moderation”

Along with that lovely sweet lamb that has mint, spring onion and feta all mixed in to the patty itself. You have an onion relish, this is literally onion that is stewed in a pan with some salt and a little sugar. These sweet caramelised onions really combine well with the lamb. These amazing flavour combinations make this a great burger. I didn’t miss any of my usual “must have fillings.. this time. I don’t think anything will beat my usual combination but this has opened up my eyes to other possibilities.

What

2x Large Potatoes

1 Onion

2x Baby Gem Lettuce

1x Pack Radish

3x Spring Onion

1 Bunch Mint

375g Minced Lamb

1 Block Feta Cheese

3x Brioche Buns

How

Pre heat your oven to 200 degrees. while its warming up Chop the potatoes into wedges, you don’t have to peel them the skins will go nice and crispy. Toss the wedges in a splash of olive oil, season with some salt and pepper and pop them in the oven to roast for about 25 minutes.

Onion, slice it into thin half moons

Baby Gem, roughly chop it.

Radish, finely slice it

Spring onion, finely chop it.

Mint, roughly chop it.

Heat up a dash of olive oil in a small pan, add your onion with a pinch of salt and sugar. Put a lid on the pan and leave it on a low heat for around 15 minutes.

Next, mix your lamb with half the chopped mint and three quarters of your spring onion. crumble in half the feta cheese and then add a little flour, salt and pepper. mix it all together with your hands. Divide the mixture into one burger each.

Heat some oil in a pan and add the burgers. cook for around 4 – 5 minutes on each side. If you find they are cooking to quickly on the outside before the center is cooked you can turn down the heat or transfer them to the oven until cooked through.

Mix the remaining spring onion with the radish and lettuce and the rest of the mint. drizzle over some olive oil and salt and pepper and mix together.

Lastly split your buns in half and pop under the grill for around a minute each side. Keep an eye on them they burn fast.

Pop a burger in the bun with a spoonful of your onion relish. put it on the plate with some crispy wedges and a handful of salad.

 

Apricot and Pecan Stuffed Pork with Honey Glazed Carrots and Green Mash

I know there are no photography awards on its way to me for this one. I also know it isn’t much to look at on the plate, there are however some things worth mentioning, aside from the watery mash and the burnt carrots. This blog is my food journey after all and that means my failures as well as my successes.

I’ll keep this quick, there were two great parts to this meal. The first was the honey glazed carrots. I have never had chantenay carrots before and they were super sweet and super tasty. They honey caramelised and made them sticky and even sweeter. Unfortuanatley i cooked them a bit too long and they came out a little shrivelled and burnt around the edges. They kept their flavour though and if I had the choice I would always eat my carrots like this. The second part was the stuffing for the pork fillet. It was only sausage meat, apricots and pecan nuts but they complemented each other so well. The mash was just broccoli and potato mashed together with a little butter and seasoning. It was OK but when I started mashing it together the broccoli released water like a squeezed sponge. I was left with what i would call a potato puddle.

All in all this was ok, it had great potential and I’m sure on a better day it would be a really nice meal.

Mexican Broth with Spicy Beef and Beans

I wasn’t expecting much here. The thought of a bowl of broth doesn’t really set my taste buds tingling. It is hard to think you can be satisfied by what really amounts to a lumpy drink. Once again me and my thoughts have been proven wrong. 

Not only did this meal satisfy, it had more flavour in it than the previous weeks meals put together. There are a number of ingredients that made this dish. The smoked paprika not only imparted that deep red colour but also as it’s name states a rich smokiness that adds a whole new dimension. The Mexican spice adds a lot of heat that builds progressively, thankfully the soured cream does enough to cool it before it gets too much. 

Cook your onion and garlic in a pan before adding the beef mince, mexican spice and smoked paprika. Once the beef has browned add the pepper and potato. After five minutes pop in the mixed beans and the passata. Once its all mixed together thoroughlyadd the stock and water. Bring everything to a simmer and let it cook for ten to fifteen minutes.

While its cooking rub your tortillas in olive oil, cut them into thin strips, season with some salt and pepper and put them into a pre-heated oven at 200 degrees for around five minutes. They will come out lovely and crisp. Stir through the coriander before serving the broth. Top it off with a nice dollop of soured cream and some of the tortillas.

Rosemary Glazed Chicken with Purple Mash and Buttered Leeks

Succulant crispy chicken on a bed of buttered leeks, and covered in a Rosemary glaze. Served with purple potato mash.

There isn’t much to report on this this meal but there were a couple of things worth mentioning. Firstly though the chicken was pan fried skin side down a while to get that lovely crispy skin. Finished off in the oven it was juicy and tender. The leeks were lovely, cooked in butter their mild flavour almost became one with the chicken. 

Now onto the purple potato. In taste and consistency it is almost identical to a regular potato. Purple potatoes are rich in the antioxidant, anthocyanin. This flavonoid is most often found in blue, red and purple produce such as berries and pomegranates and has been shown to be great at boosting the immune system. Here we mashed ours with some spring onion and a little butter. 

For me though, the Rosemary glaze was the star of the show. It was made by melting Rosemary jelly with some remaining stock in a pan. It had such a nice flavour. I have never heard of Rosemary jelly before. When I first saw it I assumed it was just Rosemary encased in jelly and used as a way of storing and portioning the Rosemary. When cooked, the jelly melts away and you are just left with the Rosemary in your pan. This is the case, however there were other flavours captured in the jelly as well. I imagine garlic and onion powders and as it had a beautiful sweetness there must have been some sugar. I will definitley use it again I’m thinking with lamb where that sweetness will match the flavour of the meat perfectly.

Balsamic Steak with Red Cabbage and Potato Wedges

Perfectly cooked steak (in my case slightly underdone, it was a funny shaped steak) crispy potatoes wedges with Rosemary and a naturally sweet cabbage with onion and mustard seeds.

The steak we had was flank steak which comes from the under belly of the cow by the hind quarters. It is usually long and thin and does well to be cooked quickly on high heat to stay tender or cooked longer on low heat to help tenderise it. If you are not keen on rare to medium steak then you should look at a different cut when eating it as a steak. The flank however is often used it stir fries where thin strips are flash fried. The steak should be cut against the grain when serving as this will make the meat more tender. Personally I like my steak medium rare, maybe nearer the rarer side. This however was what I would call blue rare. The meat was still in a raw state in the middle and if cut any thicker would have been tough to chew. The plus side to this though is that it kept all its flavour.

It is a misconception that the resting juices from steak or red meat in general is blood. It is actually a substance called myoglobin that it is present in the meat, in fact it is what makes the meat red in the first place. The more myoglobin, the redder the meat. As there is a lot of water in the meat it gets pigmented by the myoglobin and when the meat is rested the pigmented water is released from the relaxed tissue and looks like it is still bleeding.

The cabbage is just onion, mustard seeds, white wine vinegar and red cabbage. You could add a little sugar if you wanted but I decided not to. It was a lovely accompaniment to both the steak and the wedges. The wedges were simply tossed in olive oil and chopped rosemary then roasted in the oven till crispy.  Simply by adding the rosemary it enhances the potato to something more than just your common wedge.

This meal is from our HelloFresh box www.hellofresh.com