Shake, party and roll

2010-04-23 14:54

Though winter is almost here, Summer Lovin’ is in the air as Grease makes the move from Cape Town to Johannesburg. This got me thinking about what constitutes a good burger. Hamburger and chips is perhaps the best known convenience food in the world thanks to a plethora of fast-food chains.

But the old grease-flavoured burgers you get at the local fast-food joint give this ­versatile and potentially healthy treat a bad reputation.

The invention of this particular type of sandwich is a matter for debate, but the ­consensus is that it has been on the global menu for just more than a century and originated in the US.

The name, which ­describes nothing about its ingredients, inexplicably has something to do with Germans and the city of Hamburg, according to Wikipedia. Burger is now used as an ­umbrella term for all sorts of round sandwiches – chicken burger, veggie burger, etc.

Creating a delicious hamburger at home is remarkably easy, but it does require some effort when it comes to the ingredients. For a start, avoid the rolls labelled as hamburger rolls in the supermarket as they are made out of white flour and chemicals. Instead use ciabatta rolls or freshly baked wholewheat rolls from a bakery.

Fresh crisp lettuce is a must as it adds texture and crunch, tomatoes too should be sun-ripened plum ones.

But the real secret to a great burger is the patty.

Here’s Jamie Oliver’s recipe with some variations for personal taste. Oh, and a milkshake to go with it to complete the 1950s Grease diner experience at home.


Herby Patties


1 dried red chilli

½ a red onion, finely chopped

1 sprig fresh tarragon, thyme or coriander,


1 sprig fresh parsley, minced

1 large organic egg

1 handful fresh bread crumbs

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan

1 big pinch grated nutmeg

1kg beef mince


Grind up the red chilli using a pestle and mortar,

and mix it in a bowl with the onion, tarragon, thyme or coriander, parsley, egg,

breadcrumbs, mustard, Parmesan, nutmeg and beef. Shape into four patties and

refrigerate for half an hour or so to give them a chance to firm up slightly.

When you’re ready to cook the burgers, get a frying

or griddle pan nice and hot. Brush the pan with a little oil, season the burgers

generously with salt and pepper, and cook them for 10 minutes, turning them

carefully every minute or so, until they’re nice, pink and juicy, or longer if

you like them well done. Make sure they don’t break them up as you turn



Swap the beef for lamb mince, replace the tarragon

or thyme with mint, the Dijon Mustard with tomato paste, and the Parmesan with

­chopped black olives. Push a good wedge of feta cheese into the middle of the

patty before cooking to make a tasty lamb and feta burger.

Strawberry Milkshake


1 cup fresh strawberries (or use the frozen berries

you can buy if you can’t find nice strawberries)

4 cups full-fat milk

4 scoops good vanilla ice cream


Place strawberries and 1 cup of milk in a blender

and blend for 30 seconds until smooth. Add the rest of the milk and the ice

cream. Mix for another 30 seconds.

Serve chilled in tall glasses with a straw and a

whole strawberry on the side.


Use banana or mango to make banana or mango


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