How to cook the ultimate homemade burger and chips

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Burger and fries

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What is it about fast food chains that seems to draw kids to them so much?! Before you cave and head for the happy meals, try out this healthy homemade burger and oven-baked fries.

It’s not as hard or time-consuming to create your own burger as you might expect, and by making them from scratch, you can be sure that there’s no nasty additives or preservatives being slipped in – and there’s a chance to sneak in a few veggies on the side!

The Burger: Lamb and Mint in a Brioche Bun

For the ultimate homemade burger, pass on the usual beef: lamb and mint is a tasty combination that will shake up this classic.

There are two secrets to making the perfect homemade burger: one is breadcrumbs and the other? Patience!

To make these burgers, you’ll need 500g of minced lamb, half a red onion (but save the other half), a crushed garlic clove, around two tablespoons of chopped fresh mint and a teaspoon of paprika. Half a beaten egg and that magical handful of breadcrumbs will also help everything bind together.

If you’ve got some spare time, gently fry the onions with the crushed garlic before mixing everything together: it will make sure the onions are nice and soft and blend well with the rest of the burger mix.

Put all the ingredients into a bowl and give it a good mix; season lightly with a little salt and pepper.

Scoop out golf-ball-sized lumps and shape them into patties – try and keep them all roughly equal in size so they cook at the same rate.

Next, the patience part. Put your patties on a plate, cover loosely with clingfilm, and let them rest in the refrigerator for around one to two hours. This is essential if you’re planning to barbecue them as it really helps the burgers bind.

Once they’re chilled, you’re ready to get cooking. Fry in a pan with a small amount of oil or cooking spray. They’ll need about four minutes on each side.

Don’t worry if they look a bit paler than your usual burgers – lamb should be lighter than beef. If you’re not sure, cut open one of the burgers to double-check.

While the burgers are cooking, it’s time to prepare a ketchup replacement that will help sneak in a few more veggies.

Finely chop some vine-grown tomatoes and the rest of the red onion. Peel and finely grate a carrot. In a small pan, fry the onion until clear, then add a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar. If you have some red wine open, add a splash, too.

Add the chopped tomatoes and carrot to the onion and stir. Add a teaspoon of paprika, a tablespoon of passata, and turn the heat right down so it simmers away.

After five or so minutes, the tomatoes should have heated down into a chunky salsa-like sauce. Taste to test the flavour and add salt and pepper if needed.

For an extra blast of veggies, stir a handful of spinach into the tomato sauce. Serve in a brioche bun with a generous dollop of your homemade tomato sauce.

The Chips: Skin-On Fries With Rosemary and Sea Salt

Hand-cut fries are delicious, but there’s nothing worse than undercooked chips. To avoid that, try to cut the potatoes into equal-sized pieces – about the width of your finger works well.

Baking potatoes work brilliantly, but you could also use different kinds such as Russet or sweet potatoes.

Whichever you use, don’t peel them: as well as containing lots of nutrients, the skins really add flavour.

After you’ve chopped the potatoes into pieces, put them in a bowl and drizzle with plenty of olive oil.

This is where you can get a bit creative with flavourings. Really good sea salt and a sprinkle of rosemary works brilliantly, or you could also go spicy and add paprika and some freshly chopped coriander.

To avoid chips that are burnt on the outside and not cooked on the inside, put them on a slightly lower heat (200°C) for around 45 minutes. Remember to flip them halfway to ensure they’re evenly cooked.

If you’re short on time, pick up a bag of McCain Skin On Fries. Pop them in the oven for 15-18 minutes while you focus on that epic lamb burger.

 

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