Curried Monkfish with Samphire and Black Cardamom Cauliflower Risotto: Day 10 of Whole 30

Curried Monkfish with Samphire and Cauliflower Risotto
Sorry to all Italian cooks for completely bastardising the name of risotto. Of course this is cauliflower rice risotto, otherwise it wouldn’t be very Whole30. And God bless the cauliflower. It has really come into its own of late, cropping up in paleo friendly versions of carb heavy recipes everywhere. Pizza bases, mash and rice should do something to zazz up their marketing asap as cauliflower has totally seized their domains. Who knew a vegetable, so blandly served up in my youth could take on such a superhero identity. It is definitely a Whole30 favourite and boy did I need it to come to my rescue this week. The Week 2 Phase is not relenting, my mood is extra crabby, I’m super tired and I have to stab myself in the eye when I pass any sort of bakery. There was a wonderfully golden foot high madeira cake winking at me today from the window of a dusty wooden floored coffee shop, a few doors down from where I’m working this week; it made me stop and stare like a teenage boy at a playboy centrefold.

Monkfish  |  Stroud Green Larder

But I digress. I’ve written about cauliflower rice before and I cannot emphasise enough how much I needed some good carb alternatives this week. The theory is that we are not supposed to be tricking our bodies into thinking we are eating starchy carbs so that we break down our reliance on this food group, but I’m not sure how far to take this; we’re not complete masochists and a bit of gentle delusion never hurt anybody surely.

So I dug up my faithful cauliflower rice recipe and swapped out the green cardamom that I usually use for black cardamom instead. I diversified from green cardamom recently just to add a bit of glamour to my kitchen and black cardamom has been a fun addition, the pods are huge so 1 is more than enough. It also tastes a lot stronger, earthier and intense so I wouldn’t really recommend it in a sweet recipe. I did make a cardamom jelly using it a few weeks back and it had a very pungent taste. Not that it didn’t grow on me but I won’t make it again.

Curried Monkfish with Samphire and Cauliflower Risotto  |  Stroud Green Larder

I am very happy with the curry paste that I used for the monkfish, it was such a lovely balance of flavours paired with the fresh meaty monkfish. I would recommend melting the coconut oil to liquid form though before you add it in, otherwise it can be difficult to mix the paste up smoothly.

The only other note to make on this recipe is the seasoning of the dish, since it calls for samphire, do watch the amount of salt you add into the cauliflower risotto as it is such a salty little thing and you don’t want your mouth to become a seabed.

Curried Monkfish with Samphire and Cauliflower Risotto  |  Stroud Green Larder

Curried Monkfish with Samphire and Black Cardamon Cauliflower Risotto
serves 2

For the curry paste:
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
¼ tsp mustard seeds
¼ tsp cinnamon
2 cloves garlic
1 red chilli
1 tbsp tomato puree
thumbnail of fresh ginger
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp coconut oil

750g cauliflower
2 tbsp garlic oil
1 black cardamom pod, seeds removed
½ tsp cinnamon
100g samphire
2 pieces of monkfish at about 200g each

  1. First of all make your curry paste. Toast the coriander, cumin, fennel and mustard seeds by placing in a small saucepan and cooking over a low heat for a minute or so until the delicious scents are wafting through your kitchen.
  2. Mix together with all the other curry paste ingredients in a food processor until until smooth then set aside.
  3. Next de-floret the cauliflower. Once you have broken up the cauliflower into rough florets pop into your food processor. Whizz up until the cauliflower has turned into snow (not slush), you might have to do it in batches.
  4. Heat the garlic oil in a large wide bottomed pan. Once hot add your cauliflower snow, along with the cardamom seeds and the cinnamon.
  5. Heat on medium for about 30-40 minutes, giving the pan a shake up every now and then. It’s ready when the cauliflower is turning slightly gold.
  6. At the very end of the cooking time you should add the samphire, letting the heat of the cauliflower wilt it slightly for a 3-4 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile slather the monkfish with the curry paste then place on baking parchment on a baking tray and into an oven pre-heated to 180°C.
  8. Bake for 12-15 minutes until the paste is starting to catch on the heat and the monkfish is fully cooked.
  9. Serve the monkfish on top of the cauliflower risotto and a drizzle of melted ghee if you like.

New Orleans Barbecued Shrimp

New Orleans Barbecued Shrimp

I had some trouble deciding whether to title this recipe as a shrimp or prawn dish. In Britain we think of shrimp as tiny and brown and often potted. In the USA shrimp basically means any kind of prawn. So because this is an American heritage recipe I will title the dish as shrimp but refer throughout my waffle to prawns so that will be nice and confusing for all involved.

It is food like this that we wanted to discover when we travelled to New Orleans last year and this particular dish was definitely one of the best food experiences in our entire trip to the Southern states. During our time in NOLA we stayed at a lovely guesthouse called The New Orleans Jazz Quarters. They have an excellent chef and we were treated to the most amazing breakfasts every morning. When we sought their good opinion for the best food to try during our trip, number one on their list was the barbecued shrimp at Mr B’s. This barbecued shrimp was bigged up big style, although, unlike the name suggests, there isn’t actually any barbecuing involved. Instead jumbo prawns are tossed in creole seasoning and then sautéed in peppery Worcestershire sauce and oodles of butter. Although a few places serve this dish in New Orleans we were promised that Mr B’s was the one to beat so naturally we made a reservation straight away.

Creole Seasoning  |  Stroud Green LarderMr B’s is a lovely well-heeled restaurant in the French Quarter bursting with black tie waiters and a clientele dressed in their Saturday evening finery. So when plastic bibs were tucked quickly into our clothing as soon as our gleaming prawns were reverently placed before us it all seemed a bit incongruous, and we looked like the naughty children at a grown ups party. It soon made perfect sense though as in no time we made the kind of mess children make in high chairs as we were snapping off prawn heads, sploshing around in the spicy buttery sauce and dunking our bread in the excess. It was nice not to get it all over my pretty dress.

New Orleans Barbecued Shrimp  |  Stroud Green Larder

Since we came back from New Orleans, which was about nine months ago now, my husband has been needling me to recreate this prawn extravaganza in our own kitchen. I was obviously being a bit slack at getting round to it as at Christmas he encouraged me further by including a New Orleans cookbook in my stocking and we haven’t been able to go past a fishmongers since then without him wondering out loud if they might have any tiger prawns in. To be honest I don’t know what was holding me back, as it’s such a quick dish to cook. The only real time consuming job is preparing the prawns. Ah, now I remember what was holding me back. I am embarrassed to admit that I am a little squeamish when it comes to fish and seafood. I think it might hark back to the childhood horrors of having to watch my mother gut the neverending stream of trouts that my grandfather used to bring back from his fishing trips. It’s very odd as I have no problem with butchery but there are certain jobs which are just not my favourites and any sort of messing around with raw fish is one of them.

New Orleans Barbecued Shrimp  |  Stroud Green Larder

Nevertheless, if you don’t mind staring at their beady little eyes then the job is simple enough. The first thing to do is to remove the intestinal tract, the grotty thin sack which runs the length of it’s back. It’s very easy to do so, just take a pair of very sharp kitchen scissors, insert at the tail where the shell begins and snip all along the back of the shell until you reach the head. Dip your fingers into the opening carefully and you will find the long stringy tract, it’s easy to spot as it will be filled with black gubbins. Once you take hold of the end of it you will be able to pull the whole thing out without a problem. Then discard. I decided to serve the prawns with the head and tail intact but the shell of the body removed. This means that the sauce can coat the prawn flesh thoroughly and the head and tail help lend a bit more prawny flavour when you are making the sauce. But really it just looks a little more fancy and you don’t have to get down and dirty with your prawn when you eat it since all the finicky bit has been removed. Use your scissors again to snip away the shell or just pull it away, along with the legs, as long as you are careful not to damage the head or tail.

I fiddled a bit with the amount of butter I was due to use in this recipe as something in me couldn’t quite bring myself to add all the butter that was intended. Mr B’s do not use the double cream at the end of their sauce but instead put in about another kilo of butter. I find that by reducing the butter and adding cream instead the sauce comes together quicker and lessens cholesterol worries by a tiny fraction, because let’s face it the ingredients of this sauce are not for the faint of heart. This supper was very well received by my household and although I’ve staved off the pestering for a week or two I know it won’t be long before I’m ushered back into the fishmongers to see if they have any tiger prawns in.

New Orleans Barbecued Shrimp  |  Stroud Green Larder

New Orleans’ Barbecued Shrimp
Inspired by Mr B’s Barbequed Shrimp
Serves 2

20 tiger prawns
120ml Worcestershire sauce
3 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp ground white pepper
⅛ tsp cracked black pepper
2 tsp creole seasoning (see below)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Good pinch of salt (feel free to use bacon salt like me)
150g unsalted butter, cubed
3 tbsp double cream

Prepare the prawns as described above by snipping along the back of the shell and remove the intestinal tract. Remove the body of the shell and also snip off the long dangly tentacles as they are just messy. Set aside.
Whisk together the Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, peppers, creole seasoning, garlic and salt. Then pour into a large saucepan and heat over a medium heat.
When just about to boil, add the prawns and cook until just pink. Remove the prawns with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Turn the sauce down which should be reduced and syrupy and add the butter, once cube at a time whisking all the while.
Once the butter has been completely emulsified into the sauce add the cream and check for seasoning.
Once the cream has been incorporated, add the prawns back in for a minute or so until it’s all nice and hot.
Serve immediately with hunks of crusty bread and eat greedily with your hands.

Creole Seasoning
Adapted from Emeril Lagasse’s recipe on the Food Network

2½ tbsp. sweet paprika
1 tbsp salt
2 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp onion salt
1 tbsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp oregano

Add all the ingredients into a clean jar and shake around. That’s it.

Nettle Leaf and Cheddar Tart

Nettle Leaf and Cheddar Tart

If you are up for a bit of very easy foraging, now is the perfect time to hunt, gather and eat nettles.  That’s right, stinging nettles.  Granted the ‘stinging’ part of their name doesn’t make them sound the most appealing prospect but I urge you to give them a try.  Between March and early April nettles are plentiful and everywhere.  The freshly sprouted nettle leaf tops are what we are looking for, they are sweet and delicate and can be substituted in almost any recipe that calls for spinach.

stinging nettles

Nettles have the most protein of any green, including broccoli and spinach.  And now we’re all being ordered to eat 7-a-day, I think I need to bring something new to the table. I don’t think they even do 7 different types of fruit and veg at my Sainsbury’s Local, so gathering up a bit of free greenery crammed with nutrients seems like a good way to pack that veg into my diet.

Nettle Leaf and Cheddar Tart

I’m so lucky that I live moments away from the Parkland Walk, the old railway line that used to run from Finsbury Park to Muswell Hill.  Since 1984 it has been maintained as a nature reserve, looked after by the local community.  As well as a lovely spot to walk the puppy or go for a pleasant run, it is a treat to be so close to nature whilst North London bustles around outside the tree lined enclosure.  You can barely hear the traffic so it’s easy to forget you are in the city.  It is also perfect for a bit of foraging if you know what you are looking for.  I don’t really but even I can spot stinging nettles a mile away.

Nettle Leaf and Cheddar Tart

You should pick nettles before they are waist high.  When you go nettle picking wear heavy-duty kitchen gloves – not the flimsy food grade gloves as the stingers are tricksy and somehow manage to wheedle into the thin plastic gloves.  Take a good long pair of scissors and a large carrier bag.  In order to garner the 200g of nettle leaves I needed for this recipe I filled a whole carrier bag with nettle tops. Not the hoary old timers that are the size of your palm but the fresh shoots from the top of the nettles.  And no I did not look like a weirdo decked out in my marigolds and wellies, knee deep in the bushes and surrounded by stinging nettles.  This is London, so odd behavior is expected.

stinging nettles stinging nettles

To prepare the nettles I filled up my kitchen sink with water, put on my rubber gloves and dunked the nettles in, swishing around to wash out the grit and bugs.  I then plucked each nettle from the water, snipped off the leaves using scissors and popped them onto the scales.  Once I had 200g of nettle leaves, I plunged them into a large saucepan filled with boiling salted water and, after bringing the water back to the boil, simmered for 2 mins.  The sting is subdued within the first 30 seconds of cooking so after this you can discard your rubber gloves and use your hands.  The first time you do this you do tend to think the whole world is playing a bit of a joke and you are just about to get your innocent little hands completely ravished.  But trust me, the nettles are perfectly placid by this point so feel free to naked up those paws.

Nettle Leaf and Cheddar Tart

Nettle Leaf and Cheddar Tart

The resulting tart is lovely and mellow but with a gorgeously distinctive nettle flavour.  I used a very light cheddar which I don’t normally do but I didn’t want to overpower the nettles since I went to so much trouble in my foraging expedition. I’m all about the bacon salt this week so I seasoned the tart filling with a touch of the good stuff. If you haven’t yet succumbed to its delights then normal salt will do just fine.  Like any self-respecting British tart I served it warm with a handful of oven baked chips.  Utterly delicious.

Nettle Leaf and Cheddar Tart

Nettle Leaf and Cheddar Tart {gluten-free}

Pastry adapted from the Flaky Pie Dough recipe in Alanna Taylor-Tobin’s Alternative Baker
Serves 6

For the pastry:
80g rice flour
25g oat flour
45g buckwheat flour
30g cornflour
15g tapioca starch
15g ground chia seeds
½ teaspoon sea salt
115g cold unsalted butter, cut into very thin slices
1 egg, medium, lightly beaten
2-4 tablespoons iced water
A few tablespoons of a gluten-free flour blend for rolling

For the filling:
200g nettle leaves
2 eggs and 2 egg yolks
200ml crème fraiche
1 tbsp chives
100g mellow cheddar, grated

Equipment: 20cm round tart tin with high sides

  1. In a large mixing bowl combine the flours, chia seeds and salt.
  2. Rub the butter into the flour in between your fingertips so it resembles very rough breadcrumbs then stir in the beaten egg with a fork.
  3. Add the water 1 tablespoon at a time and start to bring the dough together with a pastry scraper. It should start to form quite quickly.
  4. Tip the dough onto the work surface and quickly bring the ball into a round ball with your hands. You don’t really need to work the pastry as there’s no gluten to activate. The pastry should still be a little sticky.
  5. Wrap the pastry ball in greaseproof paper and flatten it slightly.
  6. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill.
  7. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.
  8. Dust the work surface with a gluten-free flour blend then roll the pastry out into a circle large enough to line a 20cm tart tin.
  9. Once you have lined the pastry in the tin and neatened the edges with a knife, place greaseproof paper over the pastry, so it comes up over the sides, then fill the tin with baking beans.
  10. Place in the oven for 20 minutes. Take out of the oven then remove the baking beans and parchment and brush the surface of the pastry with the beaten egg.
  11. Place back in the oven for a final five minutes to seal the pastry. Remove from the oven and leave to cool to room temperature before adding the filling.
  12. Place your nettle leaves in a large saucepan of salted boiling water. Bring back to the boil then simmer for 2 mins.
  13. Drain the nettle leaves and douse in cold water to stop them cooking any further. When cool enough to handle, ball up the nettle leaves and squeeze out the excess water. Chop finely then set aside.
  14. In a large bowl whisk together the eggs and egg yolks with the crème fraiche.
  15. Add the chives, then the cheddar, then the nettle leaves. Season with plenty of salt and pepper or bacon salt if you have it.
  16. Pour the filling into the tart shell and place back in the oven for 25-30 mins.
  17. Remove from the oven and leave to cool to room temperature before trimming the edges off the pastry and taking it out of the tin. Serve warm.

NOTES: This recipe was updated in 2017 to be gluten-free, so the resulting pastry will not be as light in colour as those in the photos.

Nettle Leaf and Cheddar Tart

Banana and Walnut Paleo Pancakes

Shrove Tuesday has completely coincided this year with my obsession with this Banana and Walnut Paleo Pancake recipe.  It is versatile, very healthy and produces quick but absolutely scrumptious pancakes.

Banana and Walnut Paleo Pancakes

This year is the first year I will actually be eating pancakes on pancake day and I’m very excited about it.  It always seems to fall on a day when I’m dieting.  This year is no exception but thanks to this recipe I am not letting that stop me.  Don’t be scared that I’ve labeled these paleo or skip over as you don’t follow the paleo plan, I would happily serve this to anyone happening to drop by and would make absolutely no apologies.

Mashed Banana

The simplicity of the recipe is that it only really relies on 2 ingredients, 1 egg and 1 banana, whatever else you throw in is up to you.  As they do not contain flour they are much lighter which also means you can quickly whip up a batch mid week without being weighed down all morning by a heavy breakfast.

I have just included the recipe below for 1 person as it’s a cinch to size up depending on how many you are feeding.   Make sure the banana is a couple of days old so it’s mashable and also more bananary.  I do like to add some sort of ground nut to the recipe but it’s by no means a requirement, it just adds a bit more flavour and texture.  Feel free to substitute the walnuts with almonds or pecans if you prefer.  You can also mix it up by adding blueberries into the batter or a pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg, or a touch of lemon zest.  Go wild at the weekend and top with a heaping of crispy salty bacon drizzled with maple syrup.

Banana and Walnut Pancakes

With these little lovelies every day can be pancake day.

Banana and Walnut Paleo Pancakes

For 1 person

1 x banana
1 x egg
¼ tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp ground walnuts
1 tsp coconut oil
1 tsp salted butter (optional)

  1. Peel and mash the banana then whisk it up with 1 egg.
  2. Add the vanilla extract and ground walnuts.
  3. Melt 1 tsp coconut oil in a frying pan. Ladle in the pancake batter, you should be able to get 3 pancakes from this batter, each about 40-50ml.
  4. Heat the pancake through on a gentle heat for 3 mins on the first side, then flip over and heat for 1½ mins on the other side.
  5. Serve anyway you want but I like them with a good knob of butter.

Cauliflower Crust Pizza with Porchetta and Rocket

Cauliflower, this is your moment.

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

It really is the new wonder food. The versatility of this potentially bland vegetable is coming into its own these days in unexpected ways. Cooks everywhere are discovering new and interesting ways of incorporating it into our meals. In our house we gleefully use it as a substitution for just about any carb: for rice, for mashed potato and now today, for bread. More specifically, pizza dough.

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Whomever came up with the idea to whizz up cauliflower into breadcrumbs, add cheese and eggs, ball into a dough, roll into a circle, place on a baking sheet, bake in the oven and add a bunch of tasty toppings is really very clever and not getting the credit they deserve.

Cauliflower Crust Pizza5
Cauliflower Crust Pizza6

It is much quicker than kneading a traditional bread dough for your pizza, carb free, not as greasy or heavy and is a secret vegetable. Basically what this adds up to is that you can go completely haywire with your toppings.

Cauliflower Crust Pizza3

I had some bravas sauce lurking in the freezer from a couple of weeks ago when I made these sweet potato fries so used that as my tomato base which was exactly the right consistency so worked really well. A friend of mine who eats a lot of pizza makes up the tomato sauce in a huge batch then freezes it into individual portions for later use which makes absolute sense to me. I also threw on some leftover roast pork which I had chopped up and fried up with an onion but if you don’t have that then porchetta is the obvious substitute. All I needed then was a handful of peppery rocket and some parmesan to grate on top.

I went a little bit deep pan for the recipe below but if you want a thinner and crisper base, just halve the ingredients and cook for slightly less time.

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Cauliflower Crust Pizza
Recipe and styling inspiration adapted from Bakers Royale

1 large head of cauliflower (about 1 kilo)
25g parmesan, grated
2 eggs, lightly beaten

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 220°C.
  2. Break up the cauliflower florets and place in a food processor. Whizz until they form fine crumbs.
  3. Place the cauliflower crumbs, parmesan and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly with your hands.
  4. Flatten the dough and form a circle. I used a cake round set on a lined baking tray and pressed the cauliflower mixture into the cake round so that when I lifted it up the pizza circle was perfectly formed. You can always flatten it out a bit more if you want a crisper base. I made the edges slightly raised as well to make it easier to top afterwards.
  5. Bake for 20-30 mins until the top has turned a golden brown.
  6. Remove from the oven and top anyway you want.

Porchetta and Rocket Topping

2 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, sliced
125g porchetta or leftover roast pork, chopped
200ml bravas or homemade tomato sauce
A large handful of rocket
50g grated parmesan

  1. In a medium frying pan heat up the olive oil then add the onion, fry gently for around 5 mins until it starts to soften.
  2. Add leftover roast pork if using and fry with the onions for around 5 mins until they just start to catch on the heat. If you are using porchetta then just fry off the onions for a further 5 mins until they begin to catch
  3. Meanwhile heat up your tomato sauce in a small saucepan on medium heat for 5-10 mins until bubbling hot.
  4. Load up your cauliflower crust, first by spreading on the tomato base, then adding the rocket, then piling on the roast pork or porchetta with the onions. Finally finish with a generous amount of grated parmesan.

Juciest Burgers

Juiciest Burgers

There is one burger in particular which I can blame for pretty much everything.

At 21 I was most of the way through a three month trip volunteering in Ghana.  It wasn’t an easy place to be if you are a picky eater, which I was, although I didn’t realise it at the time.  Until Ghana I had spent the previous ten years shunning red meat.  For what discernable reason I have no idea.  I probably didn’t even understand at the time why I was boycotting steak, lamb and of course, burgers.  I don’t remember missing meat at all, I think you have more important things on your mind when you are struggling through adolescence, first boyfriends, second boyfriends, studying, exams, moving out of home and of course staying out late and drinking too much.

Juiciest Burgers

For the first couple of months in Ghana I had subsisted on jollof rice and chicken, one of the few local dishes I could eat that didn’t involve some exotic starch like cassava or fufu which quite frankly frightened the life out of me.  As I said, I was a pickly eater at the time.  I didn’t eat goat, another local protein and vegetables weren’t really accessible.  In the evenings when my peers and I would get together at the local drinking hole they would be scarfing down the burgers with ease.  There was always a chicken burger on the menu but whenever I asked for it they would shake their head sympathetically.  Chicken was off that day.  It was off everyday.

It was at Champs Sports Bar in Accra that my life and eating habits forever would change.  It was a tourist bar in the north of the city, the one my fellow volunteers and travellers would all gather at on a Sunday evening to watch a film, drink beer, sing karaoke and eat junk food.  One fateful night my roommate arrived late to the bar, sat down and ordered the burger and chips.  For a couple of months now I had been watching all my friends eat burgers laugh, joke and leave the bar with satiated bellies and I was fed up of it.  I was hungry and I have always been greedy.  After my roommate’s burger arrived she only took a couple of half hearted bites then placed it delicately back on the plate; she wasn’t hungry after all.  I gazed longingly at the discarded meal and feeling sorry for me she edged it in my direction.  Have it if you want, she gestured magnanimously.  I needed no further encouragement, I leapt upon that burger like a starved lion on a helpless gazelle.  After ten years of radio silence that burger answered all of my food prayers and after that one moment of weakness I never looked back.  From that moment on I was a fully paid up, card-carrying, pension-holding meat eater.  The world was my meaty oyster after that.  I discovered roast beef, slow cooked lamb shoulder, spaghetti bolognaise and boy oh boy…steak.

Juiciest

During my honeymoon in California five years ago I then discovered the American burger.  Wha??? These deliciously moist patties with the perfect amount of accouterments and soft but sweet burger buns which soaked up all the beefy juices was out of this world.  I ate a lot of them; at diners, at fast food restaurants and at one restaurant, high up in the cliffs of the Big Sur watching the waves crash underneath.  My love of burgers had flourished again but I couldn’t get them back home.  I was thrilled when Meat Liquor and its contemporaries opened up in London a couple of years ago.  Finally someone was listening to my pleas.  I hear that people think that the burger revolution is on the wane.  I hope not, I’m sure a new trend will be just around the corner but please don’t take away my burgers.  They changed my life.

So, on my quest to develop the perfect burger for my fix at home there had only been one stumbling block, juiciness.  Far too many of my home burgers have tasted great but have been a bit dry, too crumbly or dense.  I realised the burger patty needed something other than the meat to bring it all together.  Usually breadcrumbs would be used to trap the meaty juices within but here I have used soaked and blitzed cashews instead of breadcrumbs to reduce the gluten factor.  To make these burgers completely gluten free just make sure to use gluten free sausages or pork mince instead of the sausages.  The chicken livers I include are absolutely vital as they give the burgers an intense meatiness without being overpowering.  I am so proud of this recipe, it took a while to get here but these are definitely a new classic in our house and I plan on making them again and again.

Juciest Burgers

These are the kind of burgers you don’t need a bun with.  If you happen to have a demi-brioche bun lazing around your kitchen then by all means have at it but these burgers stand up on their own with salad, sweet potato fries or just about anything.  I can’t believe I ever went without.

Juciest Burgers
Makes 4 big burgers

1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced very small
1 stick celery, diced very small
1 small red pepper, diced very small
1 clove garlic, crushed
250g beef mince
250g pork sausages, removed from their skins
50g chicken livers, chopped
50g cashews
½ tsp cumin
Pinch of nutmeg
1 tbsp finely chopped parsley

  1. Place the cashews in a small bowl and cover with water. Leave soaking for at least three hours. Drain, then place in the food processor for 30 seconds or so until they resemble breadcrumbs.
  2. In a medium saucepan heat the olive oil then fry the onion, celery, red pepper, garlic on a low heat for around 20 mins until completely softened. Leave to cool.
  3. Place the mince, sausagemeat, chicken livers, spices, parsley and cashew crumbs in a large mixing bowl. Mix together to form 4 patties.
  4. Place in the fridge for 30mins to rest.
  5. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.
  6. Griddle the burgers for 4 mins each side to sear then place on a baking tray and finish off in the oven for around 20 mins.