Bean Burgers, Mud Kitchen style
In an effort to show you that we're as creative in the real kitchen as we are in the virtual one, here's our co-founder Steve Tromans with the first of our "recipes from the Mud Kitchen kitchen"...
Now, we’ve tried tons of veggie burgers from all over this planet and they range from just plain insulting to almost but not quite good enough. So we made our own – made up by me and tweaked by Spencer (who’s never yet met a recipe that didn’t need tweaking). A shout out here to our friend Simon who also owns these beauties and cooks them with me while Spencer tastes and comments (just try stopping him).
- Risotto rice - about 150g probably (we never weigh it)
- Veggie stock
- One big onion
- Can of borlotti beans
- Can of cannelini beans
- Lots of sun-dried tomatoes (nearly a whole jar/pack)
- Parmesan (a handful, whatever that is)
- Dried oregano
- Breadcrumbs (make your own if you want, or buy them - but not the golden ones)
- Flour for dusting
What to do:
Boil the risotto rice in stock until its well squidgy. No, you don’t need to treat it like it’s a risotto and lavish it with care and attention until everyone’s got fed up and gone to bed. Just stick it in a pan with the stock and leave it be till you remember it.
Finely chop the onion. Or get a friend with contact lenses to do it for you, like we do. You can let them stick around after if they chopped fine enough. Fry them till they’re soft – the onions, obvs.
Finely chop the garlic. Now, we can’t stress this enough: USE LOTS OF GARLIC. Fry it in with the onions, but only for a bit.
Smash up the beans in a big bowl. They will resist – they’re quite tough and very slippery so no matter what tool you use they’ll shoot out from under it. Just keep hammering away till the neighbours complain about the noise. Doesn’t matter if some of them still look un-smashed; some will get the better of you. There’s no shame in that. Just move on.
Chop the sun-dried tomatoes into smallish pieces. Get a big and properly sharp knife for this or you’ll still be at it when your boss calls to find out why you aren’t in work.
Mix all the above together. It will be too sloppy to make burgers out of, so add breadcrumbs till it’s about right. I can’t describe how much or what it will feel like, so you’ll have to judge it. But the burgers should be pretty firm when you shape them later.
Then sort out the flavour by adding the following:
Parmesan. I said a handful, but I don’t know how big your hands are and I’ve no idea how much parmesan we put in, so keep going till it tastes good and tangy.
Oregano. Same again. Don’t be tempted to add fresh oregano. Massive waste of time, money and burger.
Seasoning – you know what that is, but did you know it includes lemon juice. (Spencer and I disagree on the identity of third condiment. He thinks it should be some kind of chilli and I know it should be lemon juice. Anyway, in this case, I always add a squirt of LJ.)
When you’re all done, you should have a nice firm, tangy, earthy burger mix. If you don’t, don’t panic. Go back and fix it. There’s nothing that can’t be fixed with more of the flavourings, tomatoes or breadcrumbs.
Shape it into burgers – not too big. Dust with flour on each side (flour on plate, burger on flour) then fry in olive oil. They’ll take about 10 minutes (5 each side). Make sure the oil is quite hot before you start.
After a minute of frying, give the pan a good no-nonsense jiggle to unstick the burgers. Then jiggle them every minute till they’re done. Simon claims complete ownership of this jiggle. As if no-one ever jiggled a pan before. He’s insisted I tell you to say, “Thanks Simon,” as you jiggle. I told him everyone jiggles, but if you never have, then I suppose you need to thank him. He says it’s got to be out loud.
What you serve them with is up to you. But Spencer says that if you don’t put a runny fried egg on top, you’re making a life-changing mistake.
* VEGAN ALERT *
I’ve recently decided to go vegan. And these burgers are going to be good and veganised next time we do them. I’ve got the toppings down – roasted aubergine (which goes with almost anything if you do it right - more on that another time) and avocado. But if you’ve got any suggestions for what to replace the parmesan with to make them nice and tangy. let me know. Cheers.