Homemade Burgers with Chilli & Basil
Guys, summer has finally arrived in Ireland! It was a bit touch & go for a while, sunny one day & then lashing rain the next, but it seems like the sun is here to stay, at least for the next week or so. That being said, you can never be completely sure, so you have to take advantage of the amazing weather whenever you can. Yesterday evening, The Boyf & I dug out the barbecue, opened some beers & invited some friends around for homemade burgers. It is officially summer.
In my humble opinion, burgers, especially of the homemade variety, are one of those foods that define summer. They look like summer, they smell like summer, & most importantly, they taste like summer. Especially if you make them on a barbecue, or, even better, over a campfire. We made these burgers for the first time last summer when we were out camping in the wilderness, they were awesome. We prepped the beef mix ahead of time & made them into burgers that night, it was unbelievably handy & easy. The burgers were a huge hit with everyone who tried them, including myself & The Boyf, securing their place on the summer menu this year round.
The burgers are stuffed full of everything you could ever want stuffed in your burger – peppers, garlic, chillies, spices etc etc. They’re so delicious & flavoursome that you could probably get away with not adding extra options into your burger bun. You could, but why would you want to? Filling your burger bun with lots of add-ins is part of the fun of having burgers for dinner! We were experimenting with our burger filling. I regret nothing. Burger #1 is topped with Applewood Smoked Cheddar dusted with Paprika, slices of red onions, & a few blobs of ketchup. Burger #2 shows toppings of Chilli Cheddar Cheese (blow-your-head-off-delicious), rocket leaves, slices of onion, & some ketchup. Finally, Burger #3 was topped with some sliced up mozzarella, rocket leaves, red onion slices, a healthy spreading of red pesto, & barbecued slices of chorizo. Yes, yes they were. Are you hungry yet?
I certainly am. These burgers are perfect for summer barbecues, inviting your friends over & having a good time. There won’t be anyone who’ll have a bad word to say about these homemade burgers, I guarantee you. So, what are you waiting for?
Makes 11 (Adapted from The Camping Cookbook)
- 1kilo minced beef
- 1 red pepper, deseeded & finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 red chilli, deseeded & finely chopped
- 1 green chilli, deseeded & finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh basil
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin, plus a little extra if you love cumin as much as I do
- salt & pepper, to taste
- burger buns, to serve
- optional add-ins – smoked cheese, onions etc.
- Using your hands, in a large bowl combine the beef, red pepper, garlic cloves, chillies, chopped basil & cumin until well combined. Season to taste with salt & pepper.
- Again using your hands, form the mixture into burger shapes. You should end up with 11 burgers.
- Over a heated barbecue, cook the burgers for 5-9 minutes on each side, or until cooked thoroughly through the centre.
- Once cooked, add slices of cheese to the burger & place a bit of tin foil on top & cook for 2-3 minutes for melty cheese. Remove from the barbecue, place in your toasted burger bun with all of your desired toppings. Aw yeah.