Beet and Bean Burger
Whenever we change the menu, we think that it is important to have just as good an offering for vegetarians and vegans as we have for the meat eaters. Where we have the 8 hour beef stew, we have a hearty bean stew. Where we have the harissa spiced lamb stew, we have a harissa roasted vegetables stew and so on. When we started talking about a homemade burger on our menu it seemed obvious make our own veggie-burger too. We tried a bunch of bean burger recipes which were pretty good, but we settled on this beet and bean recipe. It is quite a complicated thing to make, with a lot of processes and components to get ready before finally making the burgers, but they freeze beautifully and we think that the effort is worth it.
I love everything about them; they look great, they have an earthiness of the beetroots with the sweetness from the sautéed onions and with a mild mustard tang that balances everything beautifully. All chefs stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before, I found the original recipe online, from the Northstar Cafe in Columbus, Ohio. Ours is a version of this recipe which I have modified a little, making ours gluten free as well as vegan and I cook my own beans with a bit of chilli, which I think is better, but if you searched out the original recipe and made that, it is really good too.
I have left the recipe to the quantities that I actually use rather than scaling things down to a domestic scale. This recipe serves 40. I would suggest making a quarter quantity and freezing a few. My only note, after making them many times, is to take care that you squeeze as much juice out of the grated beetroots as you can, it may look like you have killed someone and are trying to dispose of the evidence, but it really helps the texture of the finished burgers.
To serve, you can heat them up in the microwave, from frozen, top them with good mature cheddar and finish them in the oven until the cheese is melty and delicious. We serve them in a wholemeal bun from our local bakery, with a couple of slices of tomato a couple of crispy little gem lettuce leaves and a nice dollop of mayonnaise for good measure.
Here in the hostel, we serve it with skin on chips, a chipotle dipping mayonnaise and fresh coleslaw, it is really, really good. If you do have a go at making them, let me see how you got on by posting a pic online and tagging us @thekettlewell I would love to see it!
Beet and Bean Burgers
- 6 Kg Raw beetroot
- 550g brown rice (un-cooked weight)
- 6 medium yellow onions, diced small
- 6 tablespoons chopped garlic in oil
- 4 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 270g old-fashioned rolled oats (gluten-free)
- 1kg dried black beans cooked and drained (add a couple of finely sliced chillis when cooking)
- 145g prunes, chopped into small pieces
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 12 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 8 tablespoons decent quality brown french mustard
- 8 teaspoons cumin
- 4 teaspoons coriander
- 4 teaspoons dried thyme
Salt and pepper
Freeze Cooked Burgers: Date for 3 months. Microwave frozen burger till hot and then transfer on baking parchment to oven with cheese (if using) till it is nice and melty.
Freezing Burgers: Burgers can be frozen raw or cooked. Wrap each burger individually in plastic or between sheets of parchment paper, and freeze. Raw burgers are best if thawed in the fridge overnight before cooking. Cooked burgers can be reheated in the oven, or the microwave.
- First, cook the beets: Heat the oven to 200° Wrap the beets loosely in aluminium foil and roast until easily pierced with a fork, 60-90 minutes or longer if they are big. Set aside to cool.
- Cook the rice while the beets roast: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water generously and add the rice. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the rice until it’s a little beyond al dente. You want it a little over-cooked, but still firm (not completely mushy). This should take about 35 to 40 minutes. Drain the rice and set it aside to cool.
- Sauté the onions: Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and a pinch of salt. Stir the onions every minute or two, and cook until they are golden and getting charred around the edges, 10 to 12 minutes. A few wisps of smoke as you are cooking are OK, but if it seems like the onions are burning, lower the heat. A dark, sticky crust should develop on the bottom of the pan.
- Add the garlic: and cook until it is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour in the cider vinegar and scrape up the dark sticky crust. Continue to simmer until the cider has evaporated and the pan is nearly dry again. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
- Process the Gf oats in a food processor until they have reduced to a fine flour. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside. (if you are cooking for yourself and are not coeliac, just use any regular oats)
- Drain and rinse half of the beans and transfer to the food processor in batches. Scatter the prunes on top. Pulse in 1-second bursts just until the beans are roughly chopped — not so long that they become mush — 8 to 10 pulses. Transfer this mixture to a large mixing bowl. Drain and rinse the second batch of beans and add these whole beans to the mixing bowl as well.
- Grate the roasted beets: Use the edge of a spoon or a paper towel to scrape the skins off the cooled roasted beets; the skins should slip off easily. Grate the peeled beets on the largest holes of a box grater. Transfer the beet gratings to a strainer set over the sink. Press and squeeze the beet gratings to remove as much liquid as possible from the beets. (You can also do this over a bowl and save the beet juice for another purpose.)
- Combine the veggie burger mix: Transfer the squeezed beets, cooked rice, and sautéed onions to the bowl with the beans. Sprinkle the olive oil, brown mustard, 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika, cumin, coriander, and thyme over the top of the mixture. Mix all the ingredients until combined. Taste the mixture and add salt, pepper, or any additional spices or flavourings to taste. Finally, add the oatmeal flour and mix until you no longer see any dry oatmeal
- Refrigerate the burger mix 2 hours, or up to 3 days: Cover the bowl with cling film or transfer the mixture to a refrigerator container, and refrigerate the burger mixture for at least 2 hours or (ideally) overnight. The mix can also be kept refrigerated for up to three days before cooking.
- Shape the burgers: When ready to cook the burgers, first shape them in large (quarter-pounder) burger press. Scoop up 200g portions, and press hard in a burger press between waxed disks. You should end up with 40 large patties or so, often I get a few more…
- Cook the burgers: Heat a large non-stick frying pan over high heat. Add a few tablespoons of vegetable oil to completely coat the bottom of the pan. When you see the oil shimmer and a flick of water evaporates on contact, the pan is ready.
- Transfer the burgers to the pan. Cook as many as will fit without crowding; I normally cook 3 burgers at a time in my 28cm non stick pans.
- Cook for 2 minutes, then flip them to the other side. You should see a nice crust on the cooked side. If any pieces break off when you flip the burgers, just pat them back into place with the spatula. Cook for another 2 minutes, then cover the pan and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook for 4 more minutes until the patties are warmed through. If you’re eating them straight away, add the cheese, lay a slice over the burgers in the last minute of cooking.
- If you are cooking then to freeze them, we use plastic takeaway type containers, allow them to cool for 30 mins before putting the lid on and freeze.