I love the weekend for many reasons. I don’t have to get up early, I don’t have to work, I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do. I love lie ins, large cafetieres of coffee, indulgent and creative breakfasts and the weekend papers. Within the weekend papers, my first stop is always the magazine, and within this, the food section. I particularly love Yotam Ottolenghi on Saturday in The Guardian and Nigel Slater on Sunday in The Observer.
Recently, Nigel Slater wrote about burgers, gorgeous pork and chicken burgers packed full of spices and fragrance and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about them since. I wanted to make some. And I wanted also to try my hand at making my own. I was determined yesterday, so I meandered home via the deli and the butcher and bought some boisterous cooking chorizo, good quality minced pork and fresh flat leaf parsley. I already had a stockpile of fresh garlic from the Isle of Wight Garlic Farm, and I chose one particularly small and juicy one, with a nice long stalk. I adore fresh garlic, the season has started, and runs for about a month, so I bought lots and I plan to make the most of it.
Fresh garlic. Isn’t that the same as green garlic, or wet garlic? Yes, they’re all the same. Fresh and still wet, you can use it as you would a spring onion, it’s bolder but doesn’t yet have the pungency that it will attain as it matures. I shred it finely, and use in the place of shallots. It’s perfect in meatballs and burgers like these. For this recipe, I used the whole stalk, which was about 8 inches, and half the bulb, removing the outer dry casing, and retaining and using the rest. You may chose to use less or to substitute spring onion. For me, it was a perfect amount, complimentary and not overwhelming, however, the bulbs vary in size, as does individual taste.
Use soft cooking chorizo here, not the dried hard one. Chop it as finely as you can, but it should still be in chunks, don’t puree it or mince it. The recipe could take a bit more, but I didn’t want the chorizo to dominate the lovely porky flavour.
I like this served simply, with some green salad and juicy small tomatoes in pita bread. Khobez or wraps would be lovely too. This amount made 6 burgers, 2 per person.
500g minced pork
Half a small bulb of fresh garlic, including the stalk
75g cooking chorizo
2 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
Chopped tomatoes (I used juicy small tomatoes)
Rocket or similar salad leaf
Small pita breads (or a wrap, ciabatta bun or similar)
Chop the fresh garlic as finely as you can. Include the stalk, it’s delicious.
Take the skin off the chorizo and chop as finely as you can.
Add the garlic, parsley and chorizo to the minced pork and mix thoroughly.
Season with salt and pepper. I had a particulary nice oak smoked sea salt which went really well.
Cook a small amount and check the seasoning, adjust if necessary.
Shape the mixture into 6 patties.
If you have a griddle, heat it until it’s extremely hot. Otherwise use a frying pan.
There’s lots of fat in the pork so you won’t need any oil. Fry on one side for 4/5 minutes and turn. Reduce the heat slightly and allow the burger to cook through. It should take up to 10 minutes. Check by cutting into one, if it’s pink, it’s not ready.
Serve in toasted pita breads (or your bread of choice), with some mayo, rocket and tomatoes.