We just love our meat in Africa, and despite what many would want to believe, Africa is one meat-eating continent. In Nigeria, no meal is complete without large pieces of meat, designed to gladden a carnivore’s heart. And you only have to look no further than the national favourite called Suya which is a popular street food of spicy grilled meat.
The same thing holds true for Kenya. The popularity of nyama choma (which is Swahili or grilled mat) says it all, enjoyed with great gusto by both rural and city folk. And so, on this fine summers’ day in Zurich, in keeping with my forefathers’ love for grilled meats, the stage has been set for a classic grilled beef burger.
Now, if you are really serious about crafting an awesome burger, forget store-packed burger , and read on. Otherwise, grab a pack of store-packed burger patties and skip to the recipe!
There’s a couple of tips I always employ to deliver my classic homemade burger, and as with all things, it starts with the quality of your beef. Good food starts with using the best ingredients you can afford, and that means grass-fed beef.
Choose your cut carefully. An awesome burger needs a cut of beef that combines lean meat with fat. This is important because the fat delivers moistness and flavour so that you end up with seriously flavoursome and a moist burger. It’s not an exact science but the lean-to-fat ratio that works perfectly, in my opinion is about 15% – 20% fat versus 80% – 85% lean meat. I particularly favour the shoulder cut. It is inexpensive, and has that marbled fat that speaks volumes about the flavours to come.
Mince the meat yourself. I haven’t got a fancy meat mincing equipment, so I use my food processor. The trick to mincing using a food processor is to chop the meat into bite-sized cubed chunks, and then freezing it, until you are ready to mince. Use short bursts on the food processor until you achieve a coarse consistency.
Do not overwork the meat. Awesome burgers require minimal intervention otherwise, you risk ending up with tough, fibrous burgers. Season and gently form the seasoned mince into patties which should be similar in size.
To complement the flavours of the beef and spices, I have served this with my African hot pepper sauce, and some natural yoghurt, and if i say so myself, what a treat!
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