AFF’s very own star baker Carol Morris takes a break from her duties as part of our housing team to offer some tasty tips on serving up perfect patties…

Shop bought burgers can be great and cheap too, but if you really want to tailor to your tastebuds, ensure you know exactly what you’re eating and sneak in some hidden veggies for the kids, it’s a good idea to make you’re own. They’re dead easy to do and the list of ingredients to enhance the flavour is endless.

Where do I start?

Whatever your dietary preferences, the supermarkets cater for all nowadays. I like to take a standard packet of sausages because they’re so versatile when it comes to family cooking. As long as you pick a brand that has more than 72 per cent meat content you’re good to go.

What flavour adjustments would you suggest?

Use a coarse grater to hide things like carrots, peppers, broccoli or even apples. These are great for bulking out in a nutritional way. If you’re using courgette, once grated, squeeze as much liquid out as you can using a clean tea towel – save the liquid to add to the sauce or mixture if you think it’s a little dry.

Are there gluten- or meat-free alternatives?

Yes, but if you’re using these products check what the main ingredient is – if it’s chickpeas or rice for example, it can sometimes be a little dry. Try adding some grated veg into it or perhaps a tablespoon of your favourite sauce or chutney.

Any advice on toppings?

You can either keep it simple with just cheese and fried onions or you can really go to town. I like to try diced pickles mixed with some mayonnaise and tomato sauce. If you’re frying onions, add a splash of vinegar and a teaspoon of sugar to caramelise them. If you’ve got some bacon left over, grill it so it’s crispy, crunch it up and add to the bun. You really could use anything!

Sample @ArmyandYou on Instagram to see Carol’s culinary creation.

Hot competition

Serving soldier Joe Gregory, aka @The_moody_bbq, was the winner of our ‘best burger’ competition on social media over the summer. He won a bundle of succulent sauces from the Easy Chilli Co, which is run by a fellow squaddie known as El Saucio. Here’s Joe’s winning recipe for you to try out…

Chilli cheese burger stack (Makes six large burger patties)

You need: 500g lean beef mince; 250g pork mince; 2 tbsp hot paprika; 2 tbsp oregano; 2 tbsp garlic; 2 tsp salt; 2 tsp pepper; 6 slices peri peri cheese; 1 cup grated mozzarella; chilli jam; hot barbecue sauce and brioche buns.

What to do: Mix the beef and pork mince together in a bowl then add the spices and continue to mix.

  • Roll 6 small tennis ball size meatballs (approx 125g per ball).
  • Place meatballs on a barbecue griddle or pan and smash flat.
  • Whilst the burgers are cooking, lightly toast the brioche buns and spread chilli jam on one half and hot barbecue sauce on the other.
  • Flip the burgers, add cheese and cook for a little longer.
  • Plate up your burger stack and enjoy!

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