What Really Makes a Burger a Burger?! (contributions welcome!)

I can’t be alone here in saying that I LOVE the weekends! From the moment my alarm goes off on a Monday morning I am counting down the days until 5pm on Friday!

One thing I always make a point of celebrating at the weekend is food! Friday night through to Sunday evening I give little thought to the consequences of my eating actions, it just has to taste delicious and make me happy! Friday will start with a celebratory proscecco or wine, there will always be sausages or bacon (often both) involved at breakfast, a take away of some sorts and cheese and wine while watching a movie on a Sunday evening – what’s not love about that!

This weekend was no exception, so much so, that by the time Sunday afternoon came around I was actually feeling a little guilty. That didn’t however stop me craving a burger, especially as we had a new patio to test out and the sun was shining, so a barbecue was a must.

During a long drive back from Manchester, which meant I was sat down for most of the day, I tried to think of ways to make this burger slightly better for you without sacrificing on taste or satisfaction, and I’m pretty confident I found it!… In this recipe, I replace the standard bread bun with two large flat mushrooms– genious!! – Not only does it add flavour to the burger but it contributes to your 5 a day. I also topped it with some chorizo Mediterranean vegetables (gotta get the veg in where you can!) and served with salad, grilled corn and coleslaw instead of chips! All together a winner winner burger dinner!

The more I thought about this as a blog post the more I got concerned that if I shared a burger recipe with you that didn’t have a “bread bun” then I would then get backlash for it not actually being a ‘Burger’; so in order to defend myself I have provided you with a number of different definitions for the term ‘Burger’, some of which I think are more debatable then my lack of bread!

  • Oxford Dictionary – “A flat round cake of minced beef that is fried or grilled and typically (AKA not necessarily) served in a bread roll.”
  • Cambridge Dictionary –  “Meat or other food pressed into a round, flat shape and fried” (hmmm… not sure I agree with the fried element, as burgers were born to go on a barbecue!!!)
  • Dictionary.com – “a food patty, or patty on a bun, containing ingredients other than beef” – Hmmmm….. (Again, this is a controversial definition – McDonalds claim they sell 100% beef burgers – although one may wonder which parts of the cow they are including in this – eye ball anyone!!??)
  • Merrian Webster – a sandwich similar to a hamburger (what came first, the burger or the hamburger!!?)
  • Urban Dictionary – Not to be confused with the food substance, a burger is a slang work that is said for the purpose of being insultive, many of its meanings include… idiot, slow to respond, moron, ugly!!! (not sure if these urban folk are quite right in the head!)

So there we have it, what actually is a burger!? – after reading the above I can safely say that there is in fact no clear definition, and therefore if you think you’ve made or eaten a burger I won’t judge! – In fact, I’m all for hearing about any of your weird and wonderful burger concoctions so please please share and I will happily try them out!…..

Spanish Paprika Beef Burger in a Mushroom Sandwich, Topped with Chorizo and Mediterranean Vegetables, Emmental Cheese and Paprika Garlic Mayo

Serves 4-6

For the Burger

  • 500g Lean beef steak mince
  • Stalks of 4 of the mushrooms – finely grated
  • 1 slice of bread – lightly toasted and then whizzed into breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 egg

For the Mediterranean Vegetables

  • 1 red pepper – deseeded and finely chopped
  • ½ courgette – finely chopped
  • 50g chorizo – finely chopped
  • 5 x sundried tomatoes – finely chopped
  • 1 pinch oregano
  • ½ red onion – peeled and finely chopped
  • Splash olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

For the Mayo

  • 1 tbsp light mayonnaise
  • Juice ½ lime
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp mustard powder

To serve

  • 8-12 x large, flat or portabello mushrooms (two per burger)
  • Little gem lettuce
  • 4-6 sliced emmental cheese

To make your burgers simple tip all the ingredients into bowl and get your hands in to squish the mixture together until well combined. Divide the mixture into 4-6 (depending on how big your appetite is) and then shape into flat balls.

Place on a plate, cover with cling film and chill for at least half an hour to firm up.

In the meantime, lay out two sheets of foil into a cross and place all ingredients in the middle. Mix it up and then wrap up the foil so the mixture is completely covered and well-sealed.

Mix all your ingredients together for your mayonnaise and set aside until ready to serve

Heat your bbq and once the right temperature place your foiled veg on and cook for half an hour, turning every so often to give them an even cook.

Cook your burgers to your liking (mine took about 10 minutes, flipping about 4 times), and your mushrooms should take 2-3 minutes on each side.

Once it’s all cooked, sandwich each burger between two mushrooms, topped with the cheese, lettuce, mayo and chorizo mix.

Serve with heaps of salad, corn on the cob and coleslaw and enjoy! (hit the links if you want a really tasty recipe to make to make your own.)


Rating: 5.0. From 1 vote.
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  1. Paul said on May 15, 2017 Reply

    Awesome twist on the traditional bbq fare

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    1. homemadewithmess said on May 16, 2017 Reply

      Thank you – I love a good twist!

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  2. Doc V said on May 15, 2017 Reply

    Waw. Reading your recipe I just prepared a new post for my blog. You know what? A veggie burger in three levels.
    What a coincidence!

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    1. homemadewithmess said on May 16, 2017 Reply

      You can’t go wrong with a good burger, of any sort!!

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  3. Barbara Loefgren said on May 16, 2017 Reply

    I feel hungry just reading it! I love a bit of pickle of some sort with my burger.

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    1. homemadewithmess said on May 16, 2017 Reply

      Thanks Barbara! And I agree, a pickle is a great addition to a burger!

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  4. Kristin Peturson-Laprise said on May 16, 2017 Reply

    That looks fantastic! I have to agree, burgers are only limited by our imagination. Here in Canada using the outside grill is usually not an option all twelve months of the year, but that doesn’t stop us. My husband has made some wonderful patties in a pan on the stove. One of my favourites is his Moroccan lamb burger using his aromatic spice blend in the meat, and topping it with red onion, arugula, and a yogurt raita. With that one I like my pickle on the side 🙂

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    1. homemadewithmess said on May 17, 2017 Reply

      That sounds like a delicious combo!

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  5. Danielle said on May 17, 2017 Reply

    I think a really good burger bun makes all the difference.!

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    1. homemadewithmess said on May 18, 2017 Reply

      Agreed, I am a huge sucker for good bread!!

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  6. maria said on May 18, 2017 Reply

    I think this is a fine idea for eating healthier! I think a burger is anything you want to make it.. pimp it up with what you want! I like to do a Mexican inspired burger.. melted cheese, chili sauce, chili beef, drizzle of sour cream and some tortilla chips to add a bit of crunch and texture! Mmm.

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    1. homemadewithmess said on May 22, 2017 Reply

      That sounds insanely Delicious Maria!!! Will definitely be giving that a go soon!!!

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  7. Darlene Dee said on June 2, 2017 Reply

    for me, a real burger needs to be cooked on a grill!
    Yay! Summer aka burger season is here!!

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    1. homemadewithmess said on June 2, 2017 Reply

      I’m with you there!!!

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  8. kerbey said on June 22, 2017 Reply

    Looks delicious!

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