Please look away now if you arrived at this blog via one of my healthier eating/vegan/veggie recipes.
Warning: Contains many shots of juicy yummy beef burgers.
A Cheese ‘n Burger
Yes, you read that right, ‘Cheese ‘n Burger’ not cheeseburger…
12 years ago last week my better half and I and 4 other friends packed our bags and headed off to Edinburgh to spend the summer there. The plan was to find some summer jobs and head back home for graduation and to find a ‘real job’ that September. Fate intervened though and I ended up in what’s still one of my favourite jobs so far at the University of Edinburgh and we stayed for 4.5 years.
Mmmmmmmmmmm, Cheese ‘n Burger
Edinburgh still feels like a home from home though we don’t visit it half enough. We had some great times there and it is where I was introduced to the epicness that is a ‘Cheese ‘n Burger’.
Very late one night after a few sociables we headed to the chipper (chippie if you’re Scottish!) for some sustenance on the way home. I thought I had come to terms with the fact that in Scottish chippies:
(a) Everything is deep-fried and battered (even pizza – bleugh).
(b) They don’t have vinegar! Rather than serve your chips with salt and vinegar they serve it with salt and sauce. I’m still not quite sure what that sauce is, it tastes and looks like a really watery brown sauce.
To make a rather boring and long story short, I asked for a cheese burger that night. Imagine my shock when I opened my brown paper bag to see what I thought was a battered burger instead of the cheese burger I was expecting. Not one to be daunted by fried foods I tucked in only to find that the burger had cheese in the middle. A Cheese ‘n Burger. This caused much confusion in my inebriated state – like how do they get the fig in the fig roll – I mean the cheese in the burger?!
Those Cheese ‘n Burgers were not exactly gourmet (or tasty to be honest) so I finally made my very own Cheese ‘n Burger and this one really is epic.
Ingredients for Cheese ‘n Burgers
Makes 4 good size burgers
500g Minced Beef (buy the best you can, organic Irish beef is really worth it)
2 Red Chillies
1 Handful of Whole Rolled Oats
1 Large Egg
1 Heaped Teaspoon Dried Oregano
4 Heaped Tablespoon of Grated Cheese (Use whatever cheese takes your fancy, I used strong Irish Cheddar)
Salt and Pepper to season
1. In a bowl, or in a food processor, combine all the ingredients but the cheese.
2. When you have your burger mix, divide into 4 amounts.
3. Wet your hands to make it easier to shape the burgers. Roll each piece into a ball, flatten out in the palm of your hand until about an inch thick or so.
4. Place the tablespoon of grated cheese in the middle of this meat patty and roll the edges towards the middle and push it into place, enveloping the cheese in the beef mix.
5. Pour a little oil on the burgers, coating them thinly with it. Place them in the fridge for 30 minutes or so to firm up.
6. Feel free to cook these whatever way you prefer. They would be awesome on a BBQ, here I just pan fried them. Get a nice hot pan with no oil, place the burgers onto the pan. You don’t want to move them around too much. About 4-5 minutes on each side should have them nice and juicy and melt in the middle.
7. Serve them with whatever takes your fancy. Lettuce, tomato, coleslaw, more cheese if that’s how you roll.
8. Dig in!
Note: You may think it weird to add oats to your burger. It may be weird but it’s not for any strange health food/super food/must add oats to everything obsession. It makes for a damn juicy burger. The oats soak up all of the meat juices that would otherwise drip out into your pan and be lost forever. This is a tip I got years ago from a Jamie Oliver book (I owe him a lot when it comes to cooking!). Jamie uses crushed cream crackers but given the belly ache I get when I eat wheat I use oats instead and they are perfect. Must be whole oats, not that microwavable crap.