I love the general enthusiasm that Veganuary generates across my social media (an annual challenge to try vegan for January), and this year with 40,000 people signing up and support from Stella McCartney and other fabulous animal lovers, the buzz created has been gorgeously warm and supportive. I am busy finishing my book at the moment – and thank you all for your patience as my health has taken a serious tumble this year, I promise it will be worth it when it is in your hands – but can’t help but pad it out with extra recipes, like tonights beetburgers. Not to be confused with the Beetballs from last year, these pack a serious protein punch, and are simple to make. I always wear a rubber glove to handle beetroots, to prevent Lady Macbeth hands, but also as I run my hands through my hair in exasperation five hundred times a day, it stops me accidentally dyeing chunks of it pink in the process…
This recipe makes 8 decent sized burgers (we scoffed two before I took a pic), and as ever, prices are based on Sainsburys, Basics range where available. Other supermarkets offer similar products at comparable prices – and if you find a real bargain, let us all know in the comments below!
2 beetroots, 60p (£1.50/500g)
1 large onion of any colour (mine was 130g), 8p (90p/1.5kg)
2 tbsp oil, 3p (£3/3l)
2 x 400g tins of kidney beans, 60p (30p/400g)
1 tsp cumin, 2p (80p/100g from the World Foods aisle or similar – look for KTC or Natco brands)
1/2 tsp turmeric (not essential, if you don’t have it in don’t buy it especially – I just sling it in everything as it is supposed to be excellent for inflammation and my sodding arthritis needs all the help it can get – please note I am not recommending this as medical advice and my Doctorate is merely honorary!!), 1p (80p/100g, see above)
1/2 tsp paprika, 2p (80p/100g, same as above)
a pinch of salt, <1p (Basics table salt, 25p/750g)
a dash of vinegar, <1p (50p/568ml – annoyingly I can’t find the Basics vinegar any more so although I am still using my bottle of it, it seems unfair to list it here as I want to use ingredients everyone can get hold of, rather than ingredients from the past! Grr! So this is the own brand one… Humph.)
3 tbsp flour, <1p (55p/1.5kg) – to make gluten free, use your preferred gf flour
2 tbsp oil to cook them in, 3p (£3/3l)
First grate your beetroot and pop it in a big wide frying pan. Peel and finely chop the onion and toss that in too. Add 1 tbsp oil and cook on a gentle heat for around 10 minutes to soften, stirring constantly to disturb it all so it doesn’t stick and burn.
Add the spices, season with salt and a dash of vinegar (any vinegar will do, I use boring old malt but fancypants stuff will just make it even better if you keep it kicking about) and stir well to combine. Remove from the heat for a moment.
Drain and thoroughly rise the kidney beans, tip into the pan, and return to the heat. Mash well, keeping everything moving, until it comes together in a rough paste. Remove from the heat and stir in the flour until relatively stiff. If you pick up a dollop on your spoon and hold it upside down, it should hold fast.
Grab a baking tray and very lightly grease it. Pick up a heaped spoon of the mixture and pat it into a patty with floured hands. Place it on the baking tray, and repeat until all of the mixture is used up. Err on the side of thinner burgers, as they cook faster, and you can always layer them up for a bigger bite! Pop the tray in the freezer for 10 minutes or the fridge for half an hour, uncovered, to firm up. This step is important, as otherwise you could end up with a pan of hot moosh. I mean, it’ll be super tasty hot moosh, it just won’t be a burger, so it depends on where your priorities are!
I use these 10 minutes to clear down the surfaces and quickly wash up…hahahaha who am I kidding, I fanny around on Twitter and act surprised when the washing up doesn’t do itself!
Wipe your pan down at least, because you’ll need it again in a moment, but it has the same stuff going back into it so it doesn’t need to be spotless.
When the patties have lounged around a while and are nice and firm to (gently) touch, heat a little oil in the pan. Add a few, being careful not to overcrowd the pan as it makes them tricky to turn over, and cook for 5 minutes on a medium heat on each side. Remove from the pan and repeat as required.
They freeze well, cooked or uncooked, or can be kept in the fridge for up to three days. I had one tonight in a burger bun and have destined another to be broken into chunks with salad and (vegan) mayo in a flatbread tomorrow…
Enjoy! And remember to tag me in them if you make them – I love seeing all of your cooking! 😛
Jack Monroe xx
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