A GOURMET BURGER WITH ONION MARMALADE
Every month or so happiness arrives in a polystyrene box containing a relatively fresh take-away hamburger, runny with mayo, solid with salt, heaped with verlepte chips boiled in very old oil. It’s just one of the ways I keep in touch with my roots. But a couple of days ago I visited a very superior breakfast and lunch pozzy in Durban called, wouldja believe it, Eat Me Gourmet Café. Inside, I was served the burger of my dreams, and underwent a conversion experience more usual among the newly religious. The burger was designed by chef Clive Aaron, who kindly let me photograph it for the hamburger eaters of Farmer’s Weekly. This is how to make something almost as good …
To make gourmet burgers for four, you will need:
1kg best quality minced beef
• 6 big potatoes • 2 sprigs fresh
rosemary • a couple of sprigs fresh
parsley • 1kg red onions • 3 cloves
garlic • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil • 120g brown sugar • 7 tablespoons red wine vinegar • 1 tablespoon medium cream sherry • 1 bottle plum chutney
• 4 crostini to replace the traditional hamburger buns.
Peel the potatoes and boil them for eight minutes. Remove from the water, cut into wedges, arrange on a baking dish and lightly lubricate with a little extra-virgin olive oil. Add a few sprigs of fresh rosemary, and roast in a preheated oven at 180ºC until done to your liking.
They should look like the potato wedges in the picture. N ow for the onion marmalade. This magnificent condiment, sauce and side dressing is a great addition to the pantry shelf and is very easy to make. Peel and chop the red onions and garlic and sweat them in a little extra-virgin olive oil until reduced to a transparent hash. Add the sugar, vinegar and sherry and continue to cook over a medium heat, until the sauce is reduced to a sticky finish. And what do you get? Onion marmalade. It’s that simple.
Using your hands, break the beef into quarters. Take each quarter and knead it until it requires no further effort to stick together. Shape the quarters into patties of uniform shape and thickness. This will ensure even cooking. Grill in a little extra-virgin oil on the hob, or better, on a braai. If using real fire, sprinkle a little moist sawdust on the coals to enrich the smoky flavour. In either case, avoid pressing or squeezing the patties as they cook: all this does is reduce the final juiciness.
After cooking, garnish each burger patty with freshly chopped parsley plus a little salt and ground black pepper. A ssembly time. While both Chef Aaron and Dr Basckin prefer a crisp crostini, a straight burger roll serves just as well. Place the freshly grilled meat on a lettuce leaf, add a spoonful or two of onion marmalade, top that with the store-bought plum chutney of your choice and add five or six roasted potato wedges. Welcome to heaven. With food like this, you’re going to be very happy here. – David Basckin |fw