This was invented by Will and Rishin in a game that we call “3 favourites”. I don’t think that they imagined at the time that I would actually steal their idea and make it, but here it is. Thanks, guys!
We loved the combination of the sweetness of the slightly baked apple, burger meatiness and mustard heat.
I got the idea for cooking burgers in the oven from Jamie Oliver, and its perfect for this recipe because it allows the apple slice to soak up the burger juices and cook just enough to retain a little bit of crunch.
You’ll need to make the burgers quite small so that they’ll stand on the apple slices, but that’s OK – you can always eat 2.
You will need, for 2 hungry people or 4 bird-like eaters:
500 g high quality minced beef
1 medium red onion very, very finely chopped
1 beaten egg
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
1 teaspoon of mustard powder
salt and pepper.
1 large, sweet apple.
A handful of dried breadcrumbs (might not be necessary)
What to do, roughly speaking:
Preheat the oven to 230ºC/450ºF/Gas 8.
Break up the beef in a large mixing bowl and sprinkle the salt, pepper, mustard and cumin seeds over it. Rub the cumin seeds between your fingers as you add them to the mix to break them up a bit.
Add the very finely chopped red onion and mix it in thoroughly with a fork.
Add the egg and mix thoroughly.
Now divide the mix into 4 portions and use your hands to form the beef into 4 burgers – as if you are making meatballs but somewhat flatter as they need to sit on the apple slices.
If the burger mix isn’t sticking (if your beef is fresh this shouldn’t be a problem) then add another egg or a small amount of water. If it seems too moist, add a handful of dried breadcrumbs.
Chop off the top and bottom of the apple then cut into 4 even round slices. You can either pick out the pips, or leave them in. Cooked apple pips have quite a nice almond like flavour so I left them in. Apparently they contain a cyanide-like compound but, hey, let’s live dangerously!
Lay out the 4 apple slices In a roasting dish (see pic below), and then put one burger on top of each slice. Press down a little so that it doesn’t fall off.
Place the burgers in a pre-heated oven for about 20 minutes.
I served it without a bun, but with a mixture of roast potatoes and sweet potatoes, sautéed broccoli and mushrooms, and some English mustard on the side.