It’s a bank holiday in England, as usual the weather is a bit iffy, and we are off to a barbecue. Not being a fan of greasy burgers and mystery sausages (the mystery being: what meat is this?) we always take a brace of beanburgers with us. Everybody laughs, as if pointing fingers at the weird kid in school: “Burgers? That Vegans can eat? Yeuch!”
Then they try one, and I discover that I didn’t bring enough…
RECIPE – makes 4 large or 6 smaller patties (they are filling)
1 tin of black beans, drained and roughly mashed
30g butter (or 2 tbsp olive oil if cooking for a vegan)
1 red onion, finely chopped
140g mushrooms, any kind, finely chopped
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 large garlic clove, peeled and crushed
a bunch of parsley, chopped (stalks and all)
1 sping onion, trimmed and finely chopped
1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes
4 tbsp gram flour
1 tsp Marmite
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Roughly mash the black beans, ensuring you keep enough texture to make the final burger interesting. Prepare the rest of the ingredients…
Melt the butter, with a little oil (or just oil if you will be making these for vegans) in a large frying pan and gently sautee the onion for three or four minutes until softened but not coloured. Add the mushrooms and soy sauce, continue cooking until most of the mushroom liquor has evaporated, this should only take another three minutes or so. Now stir in the garlic, spring onion, parsley, chilli and black beans. Mix well and cook for a couple of minutes then add the marmite and season to taste with black pepper.
Transfer to a large bowl and stir the gram flour through the bean mixture, the gram flour will act as a binding agent to hold the patty together. Allow the mixture to cool until you can handle it comfortably, then shape into either 4 larger or 6 smaller patties…
Cover them and chill thoroughly before cooking. They will firm up and can be patted into their final shape when chilled.
They can be pan fried for 1-2 minutes each side until golden brown, grilled for 3 or 4 minutes each side, or barbecued for a minute or so each side. Serve in a bap with your choice of salad and prepare to be quite full – if you can manage two of the larger ones you are a rare breed.