Monday, June 25, 2007

H is for Herby Beef Burgers


The blind-tasting contest had its benefits. We have a tiny patio garden in which Freddie reenacts Premiership football matches. Chalk lines mark out the pitch which covers an area of 2 metres square. And in this miniature stadium he kicks a tennis ball around, muttering a passionate commentary under his breath. At half-time he is the team manager, reviewing the performance of his imaginary players. Through the kitchen window, I caught sight of him picking from his herb plants and nibbling on the leaves like a rabbit. In fact, he was grazing on the herbs in the garden. His terror of all things green appeared momentarily to have vanished. After this half-time snack, the match resumed. I made Herby Beef Burgers for supper. For Freddie, under normal circumstances, the flavour of the fresh herbs would have ruined a perfectly good beef burger. But things had changed. With Alexandra, he savoured the taste of the herbs. Both of them showed off their new-found skills in herb-identification. And Herby Beef Burgers scored a first division score of ten out of ten.
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Herby Beef Burgers
500g lean minced beef
1 egg
1 tbsp finely chopped basil
1 tbsp finely chopped sage
1 tbsp finely chopped thyme
1 tbsp finely chopped marjoram
Salt and pepper
Bread rolls to serve

Wash your hands. Put the minced beef into a mixing bowl and mix the meat together with the finely chopped herbs by hand. You can experiment with different combination of herbs. They taste far better if they are fresh, but dried herbs are fine, just use less. Whisk the egg and then add to the meat and herb mixture. Mix thoroughly using a fork. Season with salt and pepper. Shape into small patties of meat and lay out on a baking sheet. Chill for at least 30 minutes in the fridge. This allows the herbs to flavour the meat. Using a lightly oiled pan, carefully cook the burgers on a medium heat on the hob for ten minutes. Turn over and cook the other side. Serve in a bun.


  1. 10 of 10, twice in a row? Surely someone's snatched your children and replaced them with robots who don't know any better?

  2. Great Big Veg Challenge1:24 PM

    I think you may be right.
    I must check behind their ears to see if there is a circuit board.

  3. Anonymous3:42 PM

    How do you grow your herbs, from seed?

  4. Great to see the experimenting is working. Don't know if I mentioned this Charlotte, but I will be putting the children to the test at The Children's Food Festival in Oxfordshire 14th/15th July. It would be great to meet you and the gang and maybe even get Freddie up in front of everybody as the star of the show to see what wonders can happen to even the most vegophobic of kids! Website is


  5. David - that event sounds fantastic. Let me look at my diary for that event.

    Anon - Fred buys the plants when they are tiny and then grows them. The basil we grew from seed. Most of his herbs are now three years old. They seem to survive the winter in the garden.


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