Last weekend my sister came for a visit. We went out for lunch but in the evening we decided to stay in, cook dinner and watch a film. I’d recently seen a repeat of Jamie Oliver’s 15 Minute Meals where he made Happy Cow Burgers. They looked really tasty and quick to make, just what we needed after a tiring day out and about. Why Happy Cow Burgers? Well I can only assume it’s because these are veggie burgers, meaning the cows are happy!
Rather than relying on mushrooms or nuts these are very simple bean and broad bean (nice touch) burgers that are made in minutes by blitzing them in a food processor. They are also nicely spiced with a mix of cumin, coriander and cayenne for a bit of a kick. Jamie served his with coleslaw and in a bun, but my sister doesn’t like coleslaw and I’m not a fan of soft burgers in buns so instead we went with sweet potato wedges, peas and a bit of sliced tomato, you can’t have a burger without tomato.
The rather giant sweet potato wedges were delicious, their soft sweetness working well with the earthy beans and spices. The burgers were nicely flavoured, but we were both a little disappointed with the texture of them. As the mix is just beans and spices, the inside texture was very soft and a little mushy. The thin outside crust was nice but the burgers were quite thick and we felt they could do with another texture. We definitely wouldn’t have wanted them in soft burger buns too, that would have made for a really soft and pappy mouthful.
My sister and I agreed they would be better with some grated raw carrot added for a bit of crunch and texture, or maybe some spring onion or even – dare I say it, sweetcorn kernels added at the end. Just something to add an extra dimension. We also thought they would be better made smaller, falafel size, so each person had 3 mini burgers. This way you would get more of the outside crunch and they would be great for also using in wraps etc. I will try them again as the flavour was good.
Using a tin of black beans has given them rather a dark colour, but if you used cannellini or butterbeans then they wouldn’t be so dark. We both loved the addition of broad beans, they were a nice touch. While we ate we enjoyed the suitably foodie film Julie & Julia. I love Meryl Streep – bon appetit!
Happy Cow Burgers
(Recipe adapted from Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals)
1 bunch fresh coriander
1 x 400g tin of mixed beans (I used black beans)
200g frozen broad beans (I used canned)
½ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp paprika
Zest of 1 lemon
1 heaped tbsp gluten free flour, plus extra for dusting (I used buckwheat)
Sunflower oil for frying
Sweet Potato Wedges
3 large sweet potatoes
3 tsp sunflower oil
1½ tsp mixed herbs
Salt and pepper
Salad, ketchup, coleslaw (and in our case peas!)
Preheat the oven to 200C.
Start with the sweet potatoes wedges. Wash the potatoes and cut off any bad bits. Leave the skin on and slice them lengthways into long wedges.
Place onto a baking tray lined with foil, drizzle over the oil and scatter with the herbs and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Bake in the oven for 25 minutes, then turn over and roast for a further 10-15 minutes until soft and lightly golden.
Meanwhile, make the burgers. Put the coriander stalks into the processor, keeping the leaves back. Drain the beans and add to the mixer along with the broad beans, a pinch of salt and pepper, the cayenne, cumin, ground coriander, paprika and lemon zest. Whiz together until a rough paste is formed, you don’t want it smooth, its nice to still have texture. Add the flour and mix again briefly.
Tip the mixture on to a floured work surface and divide into 4 pieces. Have some extra flour on a plate. Form each quarter into a patty about 2.5cm thick and dust well with flour on each side.
10 minutes before the wedges are ready, heat some oil in a large frying pan, add the burgers and allow to fry over a fairly low heat for 4 minutes on each side, flipping them over once golden brown.
Transfer to a plate that has been lined with a sheet of kitchen roll. Turn off the oven and place the burgers and four serving plates into the cooling oven to keep warm.
Prepare your accompaniments, be is salad, coleslaw, cheese, sliced tomatoes, veg, pickles etc.
Divide the wedges between the four plates, adding a burger to each. Serve with the accompaniments of your choice.
Note: while these were tasty, my sister and I agreed they would be better with some grated raw carrot added for a bit of crunch and texture. We also thought they would be batter made smaller, falafel size, so each person had 3 mini burgers. This way you would get more of the outside crunch and would be great used in wraps etc. As they were, we found them to be a bit too soft and smooth inside and defiantly wouldn’t have wanted them in a bread roll.