Heavenly hamburgers

Heavenly hamburgers


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American hamburgers became hugely popular during World War II. Before that, we called mince patties rissoles or meat balls and served them with gravy and vegetables.

Lynn Cole

Serves: 6 

  • 1 thick slice white bread, crusts removed, soaked in 1/4 cup milk
  • 500 g minced beef
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 teaspoon each salt and black pepper
  • 1/4 cup plain flour seasoned with salt and black pepper
  • Dripping or vegetable oil, for frying
  • 6 hamburger buns, toasted
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced
  • 6 slices cooked or tinned beetroot
  • 6 lettuce leaves

Preparation:10min  ›  Cook:10min  ›  Ready in:20min 

  1. Squeeze the bread almost dry, put it in a large bowl and mash with a fork. Add the beef, onion, egg, salt and pepper and mix together lightly. Divide the mixture into six equal portions, shape into patties and dust with the seasoned flour.
  2. In a large frying pan, heat enough dripping or oil to come halfway up the patties and fry the patties for about 4 minutes on each side, or until cooked through. Drain on paper towels.
  3. Serve the patties on the toasted buns with the tomato and beetroot slices and lettuce leaves. You can spark up your hamburgers with other additions, such as fried onions, sliced Cheddar cheese, pickled cucumbers, a fried egg, fried bacon, mayonnaise and barbecue sauce. Don't be afraid to ring the changes on your burgers, just don't make them so high that they're difficult to eat.


Rissoles: To prepare rissoles, add 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh herbs, such as thyme, marjoram, parsley and oregano, to the hamburger mixture and fry the patties as for the hamburgers. When the patties are cooked, remove them from the frying pan and drain them on paper towels. * Pour off the fat from the pan, add 1 cup beef stock (see p. 304) and boil briskly, stirring and scraping any browned residue off the bottom of the pan, until the sauce has thickened slightly. Return the rissoles to the pan, reheat briefly and serve them with mashed potato and a green vegetable.

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