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Sep 8, 2016

Beef burger

This 100% home made beef burger (inspired by Jamie Oliver's Insanity Burger) is a healthy alternative to a fast food meal or it could impress the kids at a cool birthday party. 
The burger can be adapted to match any tastes and preferences. I made the buns myself, but your local bakery might provide nice alternatives. The baby potatoes on the side can be replaced with oven baked "French fries" or with some vegetables. The layers of the burger can vary, according to your taste, as virtually any combination of fresh veggies and salad would go perfectly.

So, for the buns I used:
- 600 g mix of white, integral and rye flour (app. equal amounts);
- 40 g fresh yeast;
- 350 ml warm milk;
- salt by taste (I didn't use any, because of the kids);
- one egg, lightly beaten (to brush them at the end).

Dissolve the yeast in milk, then pour the mix on top of the flour. Knead the dough for 5-10 minutes and let it rise in a warm place for about one and a half hours. Form the buns, place them on a tray lined with baking paper and let them rise for another 20-30 minutes. Bake in the preheated oven at 180 C for about 20 minutes. Take the buns out, brush them with egg and place them back in the oven until the crust becomes golden brown (about 10 more minutes, depending on the oven).

For the burgers:
- 600 g lean beef, minced;
- a drizzle of olive oil;
- 1 tsp mustard;
- 4 slices of yellow cheese of your choice;
- one red onion;
- a drizzle of balsamic vinegar;
- a few pickled cucumbers (if they are salty, keep them for the adults' portion);
- one handful rucola:
- one handful baby spinach;
- 2  Tbsp sour cream or full fat yogurt (or any combination of the two)
- 1 Tbsp tomato puree;
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce.

Divide the minced beef in 4 pieces and form them into flat patties. Place them on a plate slightly greased with olive oil  and let them rest in the fridge for 20 minutes.
In the meantime, prepare the other "layers" of the burger:
     -- slice the onion and dress with balsamic vinegar;
     -- slice the pickled cucumbers;
     -- "salad": mix the rucola and baby spinach with the sour cream, yogurt, tomato puree and Worchestershire sauce.

Place the burgers in a non sticking pan, without oil, over medium to high heat. After a few minutes, flip them and brush the cooked sides with mustard. After a few more minutes, flip them again and brush the other side with mustard as well. Add a splash of water to the pan (about 50 ml), cover with a lid and let the burgers fry over medium heat. After 5 minutes flip them over and let them cook some more under the lid. The cooking time depends on the heat and on the thickness of the burger, but it's important to make sure the meat is properly cooked (especially for the kids). You can add a little bit more water if necessary.
When the patties are completely cooked, remove from the fire and place a slice of yellow cheese on top of each burger, Put the lid back and let them covered for 30 seconds, until the cheese slightly melts.

In the end, build the burgers: 1/2 bun + "salad" + burger + pickled cucumbers + onion + 1/2 bun.

As a side dish, I made some baby potatoes boiled in water with a bit of duck fat (but you can use a drizzle of olive oil instead). I added some garlic and dill, for some extra tastiness and some chives as a salad.