Am I getting repetitive? It was burgers, then ice cream and all the frozen yogurts and now I'm back to burgers again. But you know, I have this tendency to go through phases, don't you too? I'll be all mad about a certain food/ingredient and go crazy over it, and a while ago, it was burgers.
Relish over last year's Christmas dinner with my colleagues. Although my colleagues felt their orders were just okay, I totally loved my "Blue Cheese Beef Burger with Rucola, Poached Pear & Walnut Butter". The only thing I would change was to have my patty done medium instead of medium well since it was a little on the dry side. I actually couldn't stop thinking about it for months on end and have just ended up calling it "The Relish Burger" to simplify things. I've been wanting to go back since, but kind of gave up since it was totally out of the way at Cluny Court (but not anymore with the fully operational Circle Line!). Then, I was surfing the food blogosphere when I saw that someone had tried replicating this particular burger at home! Now, of course I had to try it for myself!
Basically, the name of the burger (not the one I gave it) speaks for itself: blue cheese, beef patty, rucola (also rocket or arugula), poached pear and walnut butter. Not the most creative but definitely informative! Although there are many different components, they all work really well together, especially the classic grouping of pear, blue cheese and walnut. For my burger at home, I wanted to be real particular and went through the process of making my own poached pears and walnut butter. You can also use canned pears (or just ripe pear slices, me thinks) which saves you the trouble and maybe skip the walnut butter or if you can find it, use store-bought. So, unless you want to bake your own burger buns (or your own blue cheese or plant your own rocket leaves), you really only have to make the beef patty! Which is actually what the recipe that follows is about. For my patties, I added potato starch as a binding agent since I didn't use any bread crumbs or egg.
All in all, I think my burgers turned out quite well! The only thing was the poached pear was a little too sweet (it was a dessert recipe anyway) and that the walnut butter didn't really shine through. So maybe it wasn't that worth the trouble making walnut butter anyway. I know blue cheese is really a love it or hate it thing, but I think the blue cheese-poached pear pairing really makes all the difference, to me at least. My parents had their burgers without blue cheese so I added some mayonnaise and the pears missed the salt the blue cheese had to offer, since the pears were already a little on the sweeter side to begin with. I also served my burgers with potato wedges, baked to a crisp, though you could also have them with fries or salad, which is the choice you get to have at Relish itself.
Although I'd probably declare my home kitchen experiment relatively successful and the flavour grouping a definite keeper, I don't think I will make this as often as my rustic salmon burgers. The leftover poached pear and rocket leaves have me wondering what I should do with them, and in that frame of time, they sort of die in my fridge, the rocket leaves at least. If I ever wanted a quick fix, once in a while, I think I should be better off hopping onto a Circle Line train and head to the Cluny Court branch (there's another at Serangoon Gardens) of Relish, with some good company no less. I've been wanting to try their black sesame dessert anyway.
The Relish Burger (also Blue Cheese and Poached Pear Burgers)
(Makes 6 burgers)
Beef Burger Patties
600g minced beef
2 small onions, finely minced
3 Tbsp barbeque sauce
Salt and Black Pepper
2 - 3 Tbsp potato starch
6 burger buns Rocket (arugula) leaves
1 poached pear, thinly sliced
Walnut butter, if using
- Put all the ingredients for the beef patties in a large bowl and mix well. If the beef mixture seems to be dry and falling apart, add a bit more potato starch. You can also add a beaten egg to help with the binding.
- Divide the beef into 6 and shape into patties.
- Heat some oil in a frying pan and fry the patties till desired doneness. (I had mine well done since my family likes it that way and the beef I used was frozen beef, I'm thinking about 5 - 7mins on each side.)
- To assemble the burgers, toast the burger buns slightly, spread some walnut butter on each half and pile on the rocket leaves, poached pear slices, beef patty and blue cheese. Enjoy with your side dishes of choice!