As a vegetarian I sometimes feel a bit left out of the burger craze that just doesn't seem to want to stop! Don't get me wrong, I'm not craving any of the meat madness, I just want a bit of the burger action that doesn't involve a paltry (and let's face it, lazy) Portobello mushroom burger and a half-arsed attempt at healthy eating. I want dirty, messy, greasy burger goodness.
This is where the aptly coined 'Dirty Veggie Burger' comes in. Let me begin by saying this is no mean feat to eat. This burger may be meat free, but it doesn't lack in that hearty over indulgence you want when you go all out for a burger. If you're looking for a healthy veg option this probably isn't for you. If, however, you fancy a bit of a fast-food style treat (vegetarian style), look no further. And it tastes damn good...
You will need:
For the burger patty:
200g diced mixed mushrooms (chestnut, shiitake, portobello etc.)
1 white onion finely diced
150g finely grated parmesan cheese (or vegetarian alternative)
A pinch of seasoning and mixed herbs
1 tsp of Dijon mustard
4 frozen onion rings
2 burger buns
Salad (tomatoes, lettuce, onions etc)
4 slices of smoked cheddar cheese
Condiments of your choice (ketchup, barbecue sauce, mayonnaise)
1. Pre-heat your oven to 180°C. Put your onion rings on a baking tray and pop them in the oven. Set a timer for about 20 minutes (depending on how long they need to cook!)
2. Then it's time to start by prepping your patty. You will need to chop up all your onions and mushrooms so that they're roughly diced.
3. Next, heat some oil in a frying pan and begin sauteing those onions until they go slightly golden.
4. Chuck in the mushrooms and continue to cook until all liquid evaporates off. Season generously with salt, pepper and herbs of your choice (we used thyme as it compliments mushrooms beautifully!)
5. Then it's time to make the patty mixture. Put your mushroom/onion mix into a mixing bowl and leave it to cool for a few minutes. Then add the breadcrumbs, cheese and crack in your two eggs and combine together thoroughly.
6. Now onto moulding those patties! The easiest way I find to do this is to use some cling film. Separate your burger mix in two and put half of it on a square section of cling film. Using the edges of the cling film form the patty into a ball shape and twist and tie at the top, making sure the mix is packed in and secure. Repeat for the other half of the mixture. Then pop your patties in the fridge to firm up for at least 10 minutes. This means when it comes to cooking them they won't crumble apart!
7. Once they've had some time to set a bit, it's time to cook the patties. Smother the outside of your burgers in Dijon mustard to give them a gorgeous mustard-y crust. Then heat a bit of olive oil in a frying pan and pop your patties in, cooking them on both sides for a couple of minutes.
8. Then it's time to pop these patties in the oven for a further 5-10 minutes or so so they cook all the way through. Make sure you check on your onion rings while you're there!
9. Once the burgers have had a bit of extra cooking, it's time for all the fun final flourishes! Put two slices of smoked cheddar cheese on eat patty and pop back into the oven (turned down to about 50°C so the cheese can melt slowly).
10. At the same time prep your burger buns. We sliced them in half, buttered them and gave an egg wash to the top bun. Then pop these in the oven along with your patties.
11. While these are cooking, get your eggs frying in a pan with a touch of oil.
12. Prep some salad bits and slice some tomatoes (of course totally optional!)
13. And then, the glorious assembly...there's not much explanation required for this I'm sure you'll agree!
14. Top with condiments of your choice (Jack Daniel's BBQ sauce is a dream!) and a final flourish of some crispy onion rings. And then...delve in!
So there we have it, the dirtiest vegetarian burger I've ever tried. Beautiful. Note: these are messy to eat. Napkins are advised.
What's your favourite burger to eat?