A Better Burger

burgerYikes! I was hoping to have this post ready for you first thing in the morning, but I am actually about to close up shop, round off my workday and get dinner on the table (quick spaghetti and veggie meatballs on the menu today).
And what a workday it was! To be perfectly honest, I really wasn’t ready for Monday to roll around.

The weekend was quite full, and I didn’t get a chance to properly recharge.
One of the nicer things I did, however, was take my teen daughter shopping after shooting a food film for a client in Belgium. I followed her around stores, was amazed at how much the 90s are back in fashion (my word, I should’ve saved all my flannels and Doc Martens!) and treated her (and myself) to a strawberry milkshake and, wait for it… a TWINKIE! I can’t even remember the last time I had a Twinkie! As an expat, finding American foodstuffs from my youth just makes me giddy with happiness — especially when I can share them with my daughter. And yes, don’t remind me of all the crap that’s in a Twinkie. Well aware, don’t really care!
Exhausted after hours of following her around (me finding it hard to keep up and feeling like an old woman), I decided on an easy dinner. Hamburgers.
After my last burger experience at Hudson Bar & Kitchen in Almere (a restaurant that I really liked before!), I was intent on making a GOOD burger. Sorry, staff at Hudson, but that ‘Truffle Burger’ was a sorry disappointment! Dry meat, crappy bun and not even a faint whiff of truffle in the mayo. Why the heck call it a ‘Truffle Burger’ if there isn’t even truffle in the mayo?! Thank the lord the Malbec is still great, otherwise I would’ve cried.
But, back to yesterday’s burger. Seasoned with smoked Spanish paprika and topped with Gruyère, truffle tapenade mayo and both marinated onions and onion jam, it made up for the sour experience, and was greatly appreciated by all of us. Here’s the recipe:

A Better Burger
Serves 3

  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 tbsps red wine vinegar
  • 500g good quality, organic ground beef
  • 2 tbsps freshly-chopped chives
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp smoked Spanish paprika
  • 3 cloves of garlic, pressed
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • 3 tbsps breadcrumbs
  • fleur de sel and freshly-cracked pepper
  • olive oil
  • 3 nice burger buns
  • 3 tbsps mayo
  • 1 tbsp truffle tapenade
  • sliced Gruyère
  • arugula
  • 3 tbsps onion jam

Combine the sliced red onion with the vinegar and leave to marinate at room temperature. This will take the sharp edge off the onions and give them a lot of flavor! In a large bowl, knead the ground beef, chives, onion powder, Spanish paprika, garlic, eggs, breadcrumbs and salt and pepper. Form three large burgers and let them rest in the fridge for at least an hour. Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the burgers on both sides to your liking. Slice open the buns. Mix the mayo with the truffle tapenade and spread this over the bottom halves. Top with the burger and follow with the cheese, marinated onions, arugula and onion jam. Serve with fries.

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