Hellenic referendum moose burgers


The weather forecast for Wednesday was scorchio, so I absolutely wanted to do a barbecue. There are few things I love more that sitting in our little garden eating something tasty from the barbecue and then sip some wine in the darkening evening with bellies full.

Barbecue has been in regular use, but we haven't eaten in the garden once this year which is a shame as Bogomil from Fantastic Gardeners did such a lovely job on the decking and I have tended to my Geraniums and Petunias and other flowers (no idea what they are) and the tiny garden is very pretty just now before it all goes downhill and overgrown. It just hasn't been warm enough. I hate when food gets cold. And I hate when I gets cold.

Ground moose BBQ burgers with olives and Greek spices

I was not going to let this opportunity slip, so I gently (or maybe quite straight-forwardly which is my default genetic style and has caused many an amusing or less so encounter with husband), stressed to husband that this was not the night to linger unnecessarily in the gym or anywhere else, but to come home promptly to his one true love to enjoy lovely food in tropical conditions. He is an accomplished lingerer, he can sometimes whatsapp in his car in front of the house for 45 minutes before coming in, because as a man he can't walk and whatsapp at the same time. So I couldn't believe it when he actually came home as I was just lighting up the barbecue.

Ground moose BBQ burgers with mushroom salad

The original plan was lamb burgers Greek style - I don't know if Greeks do them like that at all, but it's just my excuse to add lots of Greek herbs, olives and feta to pimp up some ground lamb. There was no organic lamb mince at the supermarket this time, so I decided to use the ground moose that I
have in my freezer. I decided to stick with my Greek theme though, that's all we hear about now anyway, so why not. What is so beautiful about Europe is the multitude of countries and cultures and languages, so why not Greek moose. I'm sure it's on the menu somewhere. Or maybe it's just our back garden in Ealing.

I wasn't actually going to blog about this because everyone can make a hamburger, but they turned out so awesome that I can't help myself. Husband was doing cartwheels. No, really he wasn't, and it wouldn't be a pretty sight. But they were insanely tasty - crispy on the outside and moist and soft on the inside. Not sharing the recipe would be selfish and wrong. You can use the same recipe with ground lamb or even turkey. Versatile!

I have never been a fan of burgers made of just meat. To me there is not enough taste and they are just too... er... meaty. So I always add different spices and herbs, and onions are a must. Moose is very lean, so making perfect hamburgers out of moose calls for some additional ingredients with a little bit of fat and moisture. Some people mix in ground beef, but I like the intense taste and texture of moose, but with the addition of chopped feta or olives or sundried (oil preserved) tomatoes the moose burgers are perfect.
Mixed salad with mushroom

I was really tempted by feta, but decided to leave it out this time, because I'm thinking maybe I use it too much. I'm not sure if that is actually possible because feta is good in anything. But I put it in almost everything pretty much all the time.

I made a simple mixed salad with mushroom - basic mushroom are actually nice just as they are in a salad. And I barbecued a few tomatoes, courgette and mushrooms.

I didn't bother with buns - I had some shop bought pitta bread that we warmed up on the barbecue. Original plan was home made pitta and preparing the dough in the morning so it would be ready for rolling and baking when I get home in the evening. Waking up at 5.45 in the morning unexpectedly I wasn't on a kneading mood. Hard to believe, but there you go.

Like I said the burgers were fantastic, slightly singed at the edges, actually much darker than the pictures, went a bit crazy with the light editing there. And we sat in the garden until long after dark with cherries and red wine for dessert.

Ground moose BBQ burgers with olives and Greek spices

BBQ Moose burger recipe (this makes 5-6 medium sized burgers)

350g ground moose or venison
1 yellow onion
1 garlic glove
50 g panko bread crumbs
1 egg
One very large handful of pitted olives (use good quality olives, pit yourself, I had some kalamata and green olives with pimiento)
1 heaped tablespoon of greek spice mix (or use fresh herbs)
1 tsp paprika

Heat oil in a frying pan. Fry onion and garlic on the pan until soft. Blitz roughly or chop the olives. Add olives and onion mix to ground beef, add the bread crumbs, egg, spices and seasoning. Taste for seasoning - if you don't want to taste raw meat, fry a tiny test blob. Moose is ok to taste raw as is beef and lamb.

Let the mix rest in the fridge for some time, maybe half an hour. Mold into burgers and barbecue. I brushed them with oil so they wouldn't stick and used a grid iron.

Fresh summer cherries

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