Sunday, March 8, 2009

Beef Patties with a Fresh Vegetable Relish

An old trick to extend ground (minced) meat is to begin with a small amount of a light pancake batter and mix the raw meat into this base. It forms a light but meaty patty which won't crumble as you turn it in the pan and it cuts neatly on the plate. A modern touch is given with a topping of diced raw vegetable relish, similar in its nature to the Mexican-style salsas. Recipe serves 4.


1/4 cup all-purpose (plain) flour
1 egg
2 tablespoons cream or milk
1 small onion
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or 1/3 teaspoon dried
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
12 ounces (375 g) finely ground (minced) lean beef
1 tablespoon tomato or mango chutney
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 large tomato, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 small zucchini finely diced
Dash of chili sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon oil
Extra oil, to cook the patties


1. Put the flour, egg and milk into a bowl. Grate the onion coarsely over the top and add the thyme, salt, pepper, beef and chutney.
2. Mix well with your hands or a wooden spoon. Divide into 8 rounds and using damp hands flatten out to about 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) thick.
3. Refrigerate patties for 20 minutes or they can be kept in the fridge for up to 12 hours if covered with some plastic wrap.
4. To make the relish, mix onion, tomato, garlic, zucchini, chili sauce, lemon juice, sugar and oil together and leave aside for the flavors to mellow. Brush the base of a frying pan with extra oil.
5. Add the beef patties and cook on both sides until brown. Turn the heat down and cook gently until lightly cooked through to the center.
6. Remove and top each one with some fresh relish and serve with a salad for added goodness.

Tip: The relish can be kept for up to 12 hours and if too much liquid forms around it drain in a sieve then add a couple of tablespoons of the liquid and stir to moisten it again.

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