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Mar 15, 2012

Mutton Burger with Quince Salsa & Oven Baked Cheese Fries






Be surprised. Be very surprised … that you're actually looking at this thing that I call my dinner. It very nearly didn't happen. This whole production was riddled with one interruption after another. I'd almost given up after the fries decided to go and get itself seriously tanned. (Ignore the bits of black … look beyond that and see beautiful golden, melted, crispy cheese). Fortunately it came together quite nicely in the end or it would have been take-out food you're looking at. In fact, I'd make this again (and again) with extra vigilance on the timer (I'd actually set it but forgot to start it), ignore doorbells, phone calls, surprise visitors and an attention-demanding cat.

I had some mutton mince and decided I wanted to make a burger out of it.
I'd seen a beetroot relish at Zoe's that got me all excited knowing that it'll go perfectly with my burger. Then I realized I had no beetroot (funny, I usually do. I eat beetroot out of a can) … and not even a can anywhere in sight (I wonder why I have 5 cans of corn tho). While digging frantically hoping I'd find a stray one hiding in a dark corner on one of the many shelves, I came across a bottle of quince paste I'd forgotten about (among other things). Aha! Lightbulb! Bwiing!

Now then, there's the Improv Challenge (this month's theme is potatoes and cheese) and I still hadn't figured out what I was going to do until that time (it's been a crazy few weeks and this week isn't letting up any either). Lightbulb #2! Bwiing! Bwiing!

I'd decided to use Zoe's burger bun recipe (with some teeny modifications). I must say, this is THE burger bun! We get the commercially made ones here that look pretty good but crumbles too much, either that or too airy and full of holes, or the gourmet bakeries that charge you more for the buns than an actual burger. This one's perfect … not overly dense, soft but firm and not overly flavored to outshine the patty. Thanks, Zoe!


BURGER BUNS (adapted from Zoe's @ Bake for Happy Kids)






INGREDIENTS

1 cup (250 ml) water
30 g butter, melted
1 egg, slightly beaten
3 1/2 cups bread flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 tbs active dry yeast


OPTIONAL TOPPINGS

white sesame seeds
black sesame seeds
beaten egg


METHOD

* I used my bread machine to do the kneading for me as usual.
Plonk all ingredients into bread machine bin in the order they're listed.
Use "Dough" setting.
When it's done, punch down with floured fist (they should make a kung fu movie with that title) to deflate the dough, remove from bread machine, knock it around a bit and divide into 8 equal parts. (If you prefer smaller buns, divide into 12 parts).
Form into balls and leave to prove for 45 minutes or until doubled in size on a lined baking tray (I used a Silpat) with enough space in between.
Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds (or not).
Bake in a 180˚C oven for 15 - 18 mins or until tops are lightly browned.
Cool on racks.

(I'd used half the portion of the dough and kept the other half (minus the 2nd rising) in the freezer. Just defrost, shape and leave to rise when needed)



MUTTON BURGER PATTIES
INGREDIENTS

about 200 - 250 g minced mutton
80 - 100 g bacon, chopped
1 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp salt (depending on how salty your bacon is)
2 tbs mayonnaise
2 tbs mild mustard / dijon (your preference, I used good ol' American mustard)

(This was enough for only 2 - 3 large patties. You can always make your patties smaller provided your buns are just as small. I had big buns … and I'm talking bread here.)

*Note: I don't like binders and fillers in my burgers. Feel free to add an egg and breadcrumbs to the mince if you like.


METHOD

Place mince, bacon and fennel seeds into a food processor. Buzz until well combined and finely minced. Remove and place into a mixing bowl together with the rest of the ingredients. Mix well.
Form into tight patties and keep in the refrigerator until you're ready to grill or freeze them if you're not cooking them on the same day.
Grill until cooked through, about 4 - 5 minutes each side.
Leave to rest for a few minutes before assembling.



QUINCE SALSA
INGREDIENTS

1 - 2 tbs quince paste
2 small onions, diced
1 red chilly, seeded and finely chopped
2 - 3 tbs chopped coriander
1 small japanese cucumber, center core removed and diced
juice of 1 lime


METHOD

Toss everything together and leave in the fridge until ready to be used.



OVEN BAKED CHEESE FRIES
(don't let the looks fool you .. they actually taste very good!)





INGREDIENTS

2 large waxy potatoes, cut into french fries sized sticks
cheddar cheese
monterey jack cheese
butter
sweet paprika
cayenne pepper


METHOD

Place potato sticks on a lined baking pan in one layer. Do not overlap.
Grate cheese over potatoes. (It's up to you how much you want it to be).
Sprinkle paprika and cayenne pepper over that … again, it's all about how spicy you like your fries.
Dot butter all over and bake in a 200˚C oven for 10 -12 mins or until cheese has turned nice and golden. Serve immediately.



DISCLAIMER: This is by no means a healthy meal. Consider it an indulgence. Devour at your own risk.
















62 comments:

  1. I may have said I like all your posts, now I reconsider that statement. This brings back bad memories, its too traumatic:) Did it taste good?
    Glad to see mutton, I like it. I don't see blogs featuring mutton, and I have never seen it here. I wonder what happens to the mutton sheep. About 250 grams ended up in your home, I wonder where the rest went.
    Your buns are normal sized, I am sure:) But the burger buns look large in the photo:) Bad joke!

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    1. Haha! This was very good indeed. One of the better burgers I've had *ahem*. I wouldn't share it otherwise. Definitely costs less than the one you paid for and I'm betting this'll beat it hands down ... yeah, I'm that confident. :)
      The rest of the sheep probably ended up in a curry or a very popular local soup, also heavily spiced. It isn't too popular with the Chinese because of its strong taste. I'm ok with it tho, the stronger the better :)
      And yes, the buns (in the photo) were really big, that's why I only ended up with 2 really large patties for the amount of mince used... to fit the size of the buns. I guess if I'd used fillers I'd have more. But I don't like that.

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  2. oh wow you make your own burger buns! amazingly beautiful! your burger look so delish! can I come over for dinner next time? :)

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    1. Hi Shannon. Thank you! Yes, I make my own buns coz I dislike the commercial ones. Of course you can come for dinner. Will call you next time I make these again.

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  3. This is a great post! Know why? We don't just get one recipe, we get FOUR! Killing two birds with one stone is not easy, you killed four??? You are fantastic! I don't eat mutton but I am going to replace it with beef and as for the fries, I will rather stick with the double fried ones. For those mutton lovers, this burger is to die for.

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    1. Hmm ... killing 4 birds with 1 stone ... gotta be a big one :)
      Thanks, Lucy! Yeah, I figured mutton isn't too popular but I like strong tasting meat and this worked out very nicely. It works well with beef too.

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  4. This is such a wonderful recipe..Thanks for posting it..Bookmarked..

    Aarthi
    http://www.yummytummyaarthi.com/

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    1. Thanks, Aarthi. Hope you enjoy it.

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  5. Lovely meal! I have done salsa with mango and pineapple then why not quince next time.

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    1. Thank, Balvinder. Using quince paste doesn't make it too pretty due to its dark color but it has a natural sweetness that doesn't require the addition of sugar to flavor the salsa. Works well with the meat tho.

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  6. 4 wonderful recipes! and each one can hold its ground wonderfully! I think I am in love with your dinner!

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  7. Very pretty burger and I love you added mutton in it! Sounds so delicious :)

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    1. Thank you. Glad you like the mutton, Ann. It isn't a very popular meat for burgers. Don't think I've seen it anywhere either. Hmmm ..

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  8. Ping, all look wonderful! I'm keeping these recipes and will make them soon (after I recuperate from my St. Patrick's day hangover) :)

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    1. Thank you! Haha! I'm betting the smell of the burger on the grill will help the recuperation :)
      Feel better soon! And thanks for dropping by.

      Delete
  9. Ping, you are such a brave cook! Or rather baker ;-) I have never baked any rolls, bread etc, so I am deeply impressed by your professionally looking, neatly shaped buns!
    If given the choice I would always take a mutton burger and not the beef one, so your choice of meat sounds very appetising too. The very unusual quince salsa makes it a perfect, original burger. I love it.

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    1. Hi Sissi! Thank you so much! I guess I had to learn how to make bread since I couldn't find one that could satisfy me esp when it came to burger buns. I'm pretty fussy about my buns :)
      I'm glad you like mutton as well. I thought it gave the burger a nicer flavor over regular beef. Not a very popular meat tho. They're mostly used for curries, soups and stock. People don't know what they're missing :)

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    2. I had mutton only once (usually lambs are killed before they become muttons at least in this part of Europe so it's difficult to get mutton), but I remember it was stronger than lamb, but similar. I suppose I would put lots of spices in it.
      Actually I have already made lamb burgers and they were fantastic (I mixed some Indian curry, chili and other Indian spices into the meat).

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  10. That is an amazing-looking dinner! I don't know which to drool over more--the homemade buns or those delicious oven fries.

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    1. Haha! Drool away! That makes me happy ... really! I thought I'd blew it this time. Phew.

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  11. I don't know, for a meal that almost didn't happen, everything looks pretty darn perfect to me (including your gorgeous oven-baked cheese fries! ;-). I am very intrigued by your salsa, it sounds delicious and so different... I have made many mango salsas before but never quince... I will have to give it a try – I like all the ingredients you’ve incorporated into it; yum. How neat too that you made your own buns! So much effort in this singular post Ping ~ Thank you.

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    1. I know, right?! *ahem* ... phew. Thank goodness!
      This couldn't have been less of an effort without all the interruptions but I'm glad I pulled it through.
      The quince salsa doesn't look as refreshingly bright and sunshiney as mango salsa coz of the dark paste color but who cares ... it tastes great! :D

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  12. Very nice. I am digging the entire meal, but especially the fries. I adore fries with extras.

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    1. Thanks, Kristen! Yeah, me too, fries with extras ... yum! especially cheese!
      PS: Are you still standing or flat out on your back already? :D

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  13. Hi Ping - I think I can honestly say I've never had mutton. I'm really curious as to what it tastes like, compared to lamb. Is it similar? It's very rare here to be honest. It's considered rather an undesirable meat which reminds many people my parents' age of cheap meals in post-war years during the 50s :D

    I know what you mean about commercial burger buns. They're just terrible. I try to make my own but have get to find a really "star" recipe - I'll give these a try, thanks a lot! Your whole meal looks fantastic - I'm really jealous :D

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    1. Really? Mutton tastes a little stronger to lamb. Unless you're talking goat's meat mutton, that really is strong tasting.
      FYI: Meat from sheep in its 1st year is lamb. After that it's called hogget and meat from a full grown sheep is mutton. There's sheep mutton and goat mutton. What I used here is sheep mutton.
      It isn't too popular here either among our Chinese community. They claim the taste is too strong. But then most of them also dislike beef for the same reasons. The older generation also do not take butter and milk.
      Do give the buns a try. I thought they were really a good texture. Enjoy!

      Delete
  14. wow! love your disclaimer at the end too! and who can resist potatoes + cheese + butter + more cheese??? i can't, for sure!

    Amanda

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    1. Hehe ... thought I'd better put that there than to name my burger meal "Coronary Burger" :D

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    2. ha! that's hilarious!

      Amanda

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  15. Oh, I'd devour every single morsel, Ping! What a feast! And I now have a major craving for cheesy fries (I charred my potatoes yesterday, too!. You've outdone yourself, my friend...marvelous dinner!

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    1. We did just that! ... devour every morsel, even with the charred bits :D
      Sorry to hear about your potatoes :D (Sorry, can't help smiling).
      Thanks, Lizzy dear.

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  16. Ping, you genius, you! This sounds SO delicious!!! I love especially love burgers on homemade buns... and that salsa sounds fabulous! And those cheese fries - i have a serious craving now!!!! Look what you've gone and done!

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    1. Thanks, Marsha! The buns were really good ... just right, thanks to Zoe.
      LOL!! I guess I did good then, eh? Maybe I need more interruptions ... nah.

      Delete
  17. Hi Ping, oh... your burger looks delicious and mouth watering. Wish I can have one now and the cheese fries as well.LOL

    You're good, 2 thumbs up for you. I bring my stuffed green chillies to exchange with your burger. LOL

    Have a nice weekend.

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    1. Haha! Good exchange that, but I'll only settle for at least 10 of those chillies ... yum!

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  18. Ping-I don't think I've ever had mutton meat? Is it goat meat? or closer to lamb?...The island people eat a lot of mutton here in S. Florida, and it can only be found in their specialty market. I would switch the meat out for beef, or turkey.
    I think you did an amazing job with the homemade buns, what a feast, with the super yummy homemade cheese fries, made in the oven. Now I'm getting so hungry and it's midnight here, and you are getting ready for lunch at your place!

    BTW-I've used fresh salmon for this pasta, but smoked salmon works beautifully, which is the way I make my pasta with salmon sometimes.

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    1. Thanks, Elisabeth. Mutton can be lamb or goat ... I used lamb. If you could refer to my comment to Charles above, it should answer your query. But I think even goat's meat would work except it might be a little pungent.
      Thanks for the tip regarding using smoked salmon. That's a lunch I could go for very often ... pasta's one of my comfort foods ... one of too many, actually :P

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  19. I also don't like the commercial burger bun , this Zoe recipe sound simple and look so great. Another to try out recipe.

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    1. Hope you like the buns! They really are so much better than the commercial ones.

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  20. I would definitely come to visit you for dinner if I knew that you are having such burgers.. yummy!

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    1. Haha! Thank you! Have a great weekend!

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  21. haha loved your disclaimer! I guess once in a while indulgence like this shld be ok

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    1. :D Like I told Amanda above, it's better to have the disclaimer than to name it "Coronary Burger". Yeah, once awhile is fine.

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  22. I am a huge fan of homemade burger buns...soooooooo much fresher and softer and nicer. Life is too short to eat lousy supermarkets plastic bag buns.
    Love the black and white sesame seeds topping too.
    Angie

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    1. Agreed! Must treat the tummy nice :)

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  23. Ping this whole meal looks amazing. i already bookmarked it to make those buns, I never thought to make my own burger bun, but then we don't eat many burgers. Probably because of the bun, so maybe now we will :) I like to use my bread machine for the dough too. I just found some things in the back of my cupboard this week as i was cleaning out while I'm on Spring Break. I was looking for some black beans that I always have on hand, I found a lot of garbanzo beans...I think I need to make hummus. What are you going to do with the corn? ;D

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    1. Thanks, Lyndsey. We hardly have burgers at home too. But after the discovery of these buns ... perhaps more often ... which may not be that good :) But I guess we can always turn it to something healthier with fish or leaner meat.
      The corn? Hmmm ... dunno. Any suggestions?

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  24. I was wondering if you're extending an invitation for dinner. I would eat this is in a beat. Looks absolutely fantastic Ping! :)

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    1. Hmm, that's an idea ... I should do a virtual dinner party. :)
      Thanks!

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  25. Ping u got me with your mutton burger. Nothing can stop me if I see a burger and right now I am craving for it!!!

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    1. Glad I did! :D
      Go ahead, have one and make yourself happy!

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  26. Oh wow. I wish I had minced mutton in my kitchen right now... I could really go for a burger. I just found the same anomaly in my kitchen, tons of corn - nothing else (and I always keep 2 cans of artichokes on hand - none when I needed them). And that cat you were speaking of, oooh boy, do I get that too. >< Dinner looks like it came together wonderfully though. :)

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    1. Hi Keets! Hmm ... invasion of the corn. Sounds like one of your cartoon mags? :)
      I've seen some of your burgers and they're amazing! Mutton's a nice change tho.

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  27. Awesome recipe burger looks so yummy.

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  28. I'm happy that you like the burger buns too! After baking these home-baked burger buns, I won't buy the commercially made ones anymore!

    You are really good with all your cooking ideas and your mutton burgers with quince salsa are simply brilliant! *Bravo!*

    My family will love eating the oven baked cheese fries and will cook this if I'm cooking burgers or hot dogs :D

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    1. I really, really like it ... no, make that, I love it! Everything about the bun is perfect! Thank you!

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  29. Okay.. I LOVE my burgers and buns to me are like the most important thing to go with burgers. When it's too try or not puffy/fluffy enough.. I will just toss them aside. But in your case.. oh! my.. I would really love to have one of those. Wanna do a trade? How about a slice of cake for you and I get those juicy mutton burger with your cheesy fries? Kekekeke Okay.. make it 3 slices of cake for you and a whole lot more of love. LOL... xoxo

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    1. Yeah, I'm pretty fussy about my burger buns. It could really make or break a burger :)
      I'd trade gladly! A slice?! 3 slices?! How about the whole cake? :) plus plus .... :D

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  30. I love these so much :D
    The buns look much better than anyhing ever seen in a store :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru
    Latest: Colossal Caramel Peanut Monster Cookies

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    1. Thank you! Thanks for dropping by too! Going to check out your monster cookies ... who can resist that? :)

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