Ah the burger! A beauteous thing of summer! And today was *almost* summer-like. I mean, it got almost up to 20 degrees here today (centigrade, just to be clear). It was sunny, blue skies, gorgeous. The perfect day for a barbecue … of burgers of course.
We made two kinds of burgers. Beef and lamb. We were going to bust out the frozen Costco burgers (prime rib and lean buffalo) – but there weren’t enough people to justify it and, besides, we had fresh stuff. But I should note here for anyone who has a hankerin’ and does not enjoy mixing meat by hand (which, let’s be honest people, is the only way to make a burger), or who just wants fast and easy – these are damn good burgers. But we went with fresh tonight and we mixed in some good stuff.
P made his special burgers. It involves cooking mushrooms, garlic, and shallots (all minced very finely) with oregano and chili flakes, worcestershire sauce, teriyaki sauce, beer (in this case, Sea Dog Amber Ale from Vancouver Island Brewery here in Victoria). Then mash it all into the meat with your hands. Add an egg, s&p, and keep mashing until everything is blended.
We made these without any egg so Dea could partake. Just locally (well Salt Spring Island local) raised lamb mixed with a wee bit of olive oil, basil, oregano, s&p & some beer (because, as we keep saying, everything’s better if you make it with booze).
Form the meat mixtures into balls, patting them firmly until they hold together well. Squash the balls into patties using your palms and then grill on a hot barbecue until cooked through (remember folks, although a slightly rare burger tastes better, ground meat is also a ridiculously hospitable environment for bad things like e. coli and salmonella, so you should cook the s**t out of it just to be safe). When just about finished, top with your selection of cheese (tonight we used asiago and pecorino) and serve on a nice bun with your favorite fixin’s.
We went simple on the fixin’s today. A platter of veggies and dip, some tortilla chips and then condiments for the burgers, including sauerkraut, beer sauteed mushrooms and caramelized onions, fresh heirloom tomatoes and greens from SunWing, pickles, bbq sauce, mustard, ketchup, relish, etc. etc. etc.
Well, not TOO simple! We also had a side of GORGEOUS chevre with prosciutto. And Asiago and pecorino which went on the burgers. We sat on the porch and gobbled down our delicious creations while enjoying the fresh spring air and good companionship. Finished it all off with a slab of apple pie baked by Dea. A wonderful night indeed!
(P: “I should have put a Sun Wing tomato on my lamb burger … that would have been perfect!”)
(Dea: “I forgot to put relish on mine.”)
(B: “There’s always a next time.”)