Recipe: The Black Farmer’s burgers with roast red vegetables

Today I’ve been asked to sample some beef burgers from The Black Farmer. The company was set up by Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones and produces gluten-free products that are also RSPCA assured which means the company has a vision for all farm animals to have a good life and be treated with compassion and respect. Well, I’m all for that.

The beef burgers look beautifully plump and juicy and I decided to think laterally and come up with a different way to cook them. Sometimes my somewhat weird cooking ideas don’t work out quite as I’ve visualised them in my head, but today this dish was even better than I’d expected.

I started off by roasting some vegetables. Colour in food is so important to me and when I was trawling around the supermarket choosing my veg, lots of vibrant reds attracted me. So red roast vegetables it is.

For two servings I used:

1 red pepper, cored and sliced

1 red onion, peeled and quartered

12 cherry tomatoes, whole on the vine (I think cooking them on the vine enhances the flavour of the whole dish)

3 tbsps olive oil

Place the pepper and onion in a roasting tray and pour over the olive oil. Make sure they are well coated in the oil.

Place in the oven at 180C for about 20 minutes until they start to soften. Then add the tomatoes.

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A tray of redness to roast

I love the large portobello mushrooms around at the moment and came up with the idea of using them as a base for the burgers instead of a bun.

Add the mushrooms to the roasting tray when you add the tomatoes and drizzle over a little more olive oil. Cook for another 10 mins.

Then place the burgers on top of the mushrooms, return the tray to the oven and cook for 10-15 mins until the burgers are mostly cooked through. I like them very slightly rare in the middle.

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Vegetables sizzle and the burgers cook atop the juicy large mushrooms

Check that your burgers are cooked and serve with mustard mayo. I make the mustard mayo by mixing three large tsps of mayonnaise with one large tsp of Dijon mustard. It’s really delicious and goes equally well with the veggies and the burgers.

The combination of sweet vegetables, earthy mushroom, meat burgers and spicy mayo is fabulous. Give it a try. Do you have any inventive ways of serving burgers? I’d love to hear your recipes, do get in touch.

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The Black Farmer produces a range of sausages, burgers, free range chickens, bacon, eggs and meatballs. Much of the range is available online at Ocado and you’ll also find the beef burgers at Asda and the chickens at selected Budgens.

Find out more at theblackfarmer.com

Recipe: Pork and apple burgers with plum relish and cucumber dill salad

I love making burgers, there’s something so satisfying about mixing all those ingredients together into a bundle of flavours – especially when you get to use your hands. This recipe is inspired by one I saw in the paper and adapted and expanded.

The burgers are wonderfully moist with a light fruity flavour. The plum relish is oh-so-simple to make and is wonderfully zesty. And you’ll be left with a decent jar of it in your fridge to spice up cheese and cold meat.

For some reason while I was pondering dinner (something I do every day), the flavours of cucumber and dill popped into my head. Served on a bed of leaves with a simple French dressing this is a fabulous salad that goes perfectly with the rest of the plate. You’ve simply got to give it a try.

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Beautiful colours and flavours for a lovely plate of dinner

Makes four burgers

For the burgers

450g minced pork

1 large apple, peeled and grated

A handful of dried breadcrumbs

1 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp Dijon mustard powder

Salt and pepper

For the relish

1 tbsp sunflower oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 tbsps fresh ginger, peeled and grated

4 plums, destoned and diced

4 tsps brown sugar

50ml cold water

1 tsp white wine vinegar

Zest of one orange

For the salad

1 bag of salad leaves

Half a cucumber

2 tbps chopped, fresh dill

French dressing to serve

Place the pork, apples, breadcrumbs, thyme, mustard and salt and pepper in a bowl and mix thoroughly with your hands.

Shape into four burgers and put in fridge to firm up.

Then make the relish. Heat the sunflower oil in a pan. Add the onion and ginger and cook gently for about 10 mins.

Add the plums, sugar and water and cook until the plums have completely softened – around 15 mins.

Add the vinegar and orange zest and cook on low for another five minutes.

Fry the burgers for approximately 6 mins on each side.

Slice the cucumber and lie the slices on top of the leaves. Scatter the chopped dill and pour over French dressing.

Zingy, gingery relish for your pantry

Zingy, gingery relish for your pantry

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A green and tasty salad

Recipe book review: Burgers by Paul Gayler

If you like burgers you’re gonna love this book. Burgers by Paul Gayler offers a selection of inspiring recipes for meat, fish and vegetarian burgers plus a lovely selection of creative sides dishes that are perfect accompaniments.

Before I recommend a recipe book, of course I have to test a couple of the dishes. I had high hopes for this one as I already have several of Paul’s books, including one called hot hot hot! cooking with fire and spice which is one of my favourites that I go back to again and again. And I wasn’t disappointed, it’s a really great addition to my shelves. This book takes burgers to another level.

First up, the open-faced Roquefort burger. A clever creation that has a butter made with Roquefort and chives at its centre. Making the butter was fun, mushing everything together and then freezing it in a little parcel. It added an amazingly rich flavour to the burger as well as ensuring it was super moist and juicy.

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Bring on the Roquefort burger…tasty cheese adds a new dimension

And here’s the butter.

My little twist of Roquefort butter

My little twist of Roquefort butter

I also made the Bloody Mary burger. A clever idea with ingredients that make it smell just like a Bloody Mary as it cooks.

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A Bloody Mary you can eat…yum

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A burger-shaped book has got to make you hungry

I also love the fact that the book’s shaped just like a burger. The pages are thick and nicely laminated so you can avoid making a mess of it while you’re cooking, it’s easy to wipe clean. A great idea, as obviously you  need to get your hands dirty when there are burgers to be made.

Next on my list is the jumbo prawn and fish burger with North African spices…now how good does that sound?

Burgers by Paul Gayler costs £9.99. Click here to get it on Amazon.