From Family Meals, 2014
Bored with beef? Take another burger path. These patties are huge and thin raw but contract to normal juicy size on the grill. They’re fiery on the BBQ, so have a spray bottle of water ready for flare-ups. Easy to prepare and delicious in every way!
Yield: Makes 4 thick juicy burgers or 6 smaller ones
For the patties:
2 pounds (900g) of Italian sausage
4 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon (15 mL) of fennel seeds
1 tablespoon (15 mL) of cumin seeds
1 tablespoon (15 mL) of coriander seeds
For the pickle relish:
2 large dill pickles, minced
1 tablespoon (15 mL) of mayonnaise
1 tablespoon (15 mL) of sweet green pickle relish
1 tablespoon (15 mL) of honey
1 tablespoon (15 mL) of yellow mustard
To build the burgers:
4 thick slices of red onion, drizzled with oil
4 ciabatta buns, sliced in half
a 4-ounce (115 g) block of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
4 handfuls of arugula
Prepare and preheat your grill to its highest heat. Cut 5 large squares of wax or parchment paper.
To make the patties, slice through the casing of each sausage, from one end to the other, and release the meat into a large bowl. Grate the garlic onto the meat, using a microplane grater, cheese grater or the smallest holes of a box grater. Sprinkle in the fennel, cumin and coriander seeds. Using your hands, quickly and evenly blend the works together. Divide into 4 even portions. Roll each into a ball and place on a square of wax paper. Cover with another square of wax paper, then flatten into a thin patty 4 to 5 inches (10 to 12 cm) wide. Repeat with the other 3 burgers, reusing the top square of wax paper along the way, forming a stack of 4 patties and 5 papers ready to transport to the grill (or the refrigerator if you’re wisely working in advance).
For the relish, in a small bowl, stir together the pickles, mayonnaise, relish, honey and mustard. Spread the zesty relish on the top half of the buns.
Using the wax paper squares, flip the patties onto the searing-hot grill. Fit in the red onion slices wherever you can; you may have to wait for the meat to shrink a bit. Grill the works until nicely seared on the bottom, 3 or 4 minutes. Carefully flip and finish cooking, 2 or 3 minutes more.
Move the burgers from the grill to the bun bottoms. Using a vegetable peeler, peel a few large shards of the cheese onto each burger. Top with the arugula, the grilled onions and the bun top. Serve and share!
© Chef Michael Smith, Family Meals, 2014
This is one of my favourite side dishes because bacon and lentils are perfect together. The rich meatiness of bacon easily complements the earthy hearty flavours of lentils. Try making this dish once and it will instantly become one of your favourites too!
This is one of the great beef stews of the world. It's a uniquely Hungarian dish that's half way between a soup and a stew. While in Hungary, I learned a couple of things. First, that every cook has a different version of this recipe and second, that everyone believes their version is the most authentic. So to me, that means all versions are authentic as long as they contain Hungarian flavours.
This recipe is dedicated to the memory of Ann Szemba, my Hungarian friend who traveled with me to Hungary and taught me this dish.