When you’re gluten-intolerant, there are certain foods you get used to living without – a burger is one of them! The burger bun for obvious reasons, but did you know that most store-bought burger patties or burgers served at restaurants contain gluten as they are often made using breadcrumbs or can be cross-contaminated with gluten-containing ingredients? Over the last couple of years, I’ve been experimenting in the kitchen and through much trial-and-error may just have found the perfect gluten free burger patty! It’s juicy, tasty, healthy and super easy to make from scratch with five simple main ingredients plus your choice of seasoning.
Ingredients (Serves 4)
- 600g regular ground/mince beef. Use grass-fed organic beef for the best flavour.
- 1 Egg (beaten). This helps to bind the ingredients.
- 1 – 2 garlic gloves
- 1 medium-sized onion (finely-chopped)
- 1 carrot (finely-grated)
- Herbs and Spices. Use your favourite spices for beef. I use salt, pepper, thyme, and mixed herbs.
1/ In a large bowl, combine the ingredients for the burger patties and mix well. You can use a cooking utensil, but I find your hands work best.
2/ Divide the mixture into equal-sized portions according to your desired patty thickness or diameter. Roll each portion into a ball before flattening it into your preferred shape and size.
Tip: Place a shallow thumb-size indent in the centre of the patties so they don’t bulge in the middle when cooking. Once your patties are on a plate/baking tray lined with parchment, place in fridge until you’re ready to use.
3/ Prepare the charcoal grill (braai) with medium to high heat coals. Ensure that you leave a cooler section so you can move the patties here if needed. The charcoal grill is my preferred method for maximum flavour. Alternatively, you can use a cast-iron skillet, griddle or stainless-steel frying pan over medium-high heat.
4/ Place the patties on the grill, being sure to leave adequate space between each.
5/ Grill patties on each side. The timing varies depending on the thickness of your patty as well as your desired level of done-ness. The burgers here were super-thick and took about 8 – 10 minutes/ side. But when they’re thinner, they can take around 5 minutes/ side.
6/ Serve with your preferred gluten-free buns and/or toppings. In Botswana, we no longer get store-bought gluten-free buns so instead, I use large portobello mushrooms (usually a lot bigger than what I found today!) with a variety of toppings – my favourites being, sliced beetroot, a dollop of mayo, some cheese (if I’m feeling naughty) and a delightful fresh tomato salsa.
My simple salsa recipe is made with finely diced fresh tomatoes (3 or 4), chili peppers, red onion (or even white onion if you can’t find red), fresh coriander/ cilantro, freshly squeezed lime juice, all seasoned with salt, pepper, a pinch of cumin and dried oregano.
We try as much as possible to source our ingredients locally – and for this recipe the lettuce and limes are from my parents-in-law’s garden, while the tomatoes, chili peppers, cilantro and oregano, are from our garden. If you’re wondering why our cilantro looks like this, it has bolted in the warmer weather but the great thing with cilantro is every part of the plant is edible!
We had these for lunch today and each of our burgers looked completely different! This is the beauty of homemade burgers which you build to your own taste. My son is a picky eater so his was a straightforward hamburger bun and patty lathered with BBQ sauce. He initially wasn’t too thrilled at the thought of carrot in his patty but he polished it off in no time – huge win! If you try this recipe, please let me know how you like it and what toppings you use!