Spicy Mini-Burger Patties

So, one thing that I like to do is make up big quantities and freeze portions, and this process is ideal for mini-burgers.  Once you have it prepared the mixture you can use it to make normal size burger patties, make meat balls..dip in batter and then breadcrumbs before frying/baking to make it a little different…let your creativity run free! I have deliberately written this in a free flowing format rather than using a typical recipe style as this is how I make it, and if I haven’t made it in a long time I need to experiment a little, as I ask you to do.

I take 1 lb of ground meat, a large finely chopped onion, a finely chopped hot pepper, chili powder, cumin seed powder, black pepper, chili powder, turmeric powder, cinnamon powder, 4 crushed garlic cloves, half a tsp of ginger, a couple pinches of salt, two eggs, bread crumbs, a tablespoon of lime juice, chopped cilantro and mix well.  Spices are to taste.  Add a little first and then if you fry and it needs more add some more.  Quarter teaspoon of each spice powder with half teaspoon of cumin, 1/8 tsp of turmeric should be a safe bet to start out with. I add enough bread crumbs so that the meat does not fall apart and liquid does not come out when frying.  Trial and error.

The cilantro really adds a nice piquancy to the mixture.  Now that it is prepared you can make portions of the final mixture and freeze to take out and make fresh when you want to use it.  This helps speed up making meals.  Alternatively you can make the entire lot and freeze.  That works pretty well, too, but it isn’t as good as freshly made.

Note that some people put the entire mixture through a food processor so that you don’t see/feel pieces of onion etc…That is an extra step that you can add.  To make the patties you can fry or bake.  I’ve done both and they come out fine.

In terms of ground meat I have used chicken, fish, turkey…the outline that I have given is for ground beef.  For fish, for example, I would definitely use ginger and garlic more sparingly.

The egg is used as a binding agent.  The yolk makes it richer, but if you worried about cholesterol etc you can skip the yolks and add more whites.         

Ox Tail

Yup, you read it, ox tail, or otherwise knows as cow’s tail.  Skin this, and pressure cook it and you get some of the richest tasting meat that melts in your mouth.  This weekend I made some.  After pressure cooking with garlic,ginger,black pepper and a little salt I take off the liquid and let it cool down, removing the fat that collects at the top.  Then I make a base of fried chopped onions, chopped tomatoes, cumin, black pepper, chili powder, and a hot pepper.  To the base I add the oxtail, the cooled liquid and let it simmer for half an hour.  Le voila!  It is ready!

The oxtail is also great as a soup base.  I have fond childhood memories of oxtail soup.  Yum.

Another great childhood treat is the other extremity of the cow – the tongue.  But that is for another day.