If you thought the burger (not Salisbury) steak was cool, here’s something just as cool. Maybe, even more cool. Burgers made by mixing together ground pork and chopped vegetables are grilled to perfection then served with mashed potatoes and cheese sauce.
But why mix meat with veggies? Well, why not? If an enterprising mushroom lover could turn the idea of a meat and mushroom burger into an icon, why can’t the combination of meat and vegetables work too? Two things to remember though. The first is not to add too much vegetables which can make the burgers soggy. The second is to use vegetables with subtle flavors so that they don’t overpower the meaty flavor of the burger.
It also goes without saying that to make the burger and veggies “acceptable” to children who cry foul at the very sight of vegetables, the burgers are best served with familiar and comforting items. Like mashed potatoes or fries. And cheese. Lots of gooey cheese.
Sam loves eggplants but Alex does not. However, Alex does eat eggplants if they are cut into small pieces. It was something I discovered after cooking chicken and eggplant fried rice. What do you know? Alex has been asking for an encore of the chicken and eggplant fried rice.
So, I thought… if small eggplant pieces in fried rice works with her, perhaps, eggplants in burgers would too.
Meat and veggie burgers with cheese sauce
- 500 grams ground pork (beef, chicken, turkey and lamb will work too)
- 1 large white onion peeled
- 1 large carrot peeled
- 1 to 2 eggplants tops cut off
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary leaves only (or whatever herb you prefer)
- 2 tablespoons fine bread crumbs
- Place the onion, carrot, eggplants and rosemary leaves in the food processor and chop finely. Mix with the ground meat and bread crumbs. Season with salt and pepper. Form into patties and grill or broil.
- Make the cheese sauce. Over a double boiler, soften your cheese or combination of cheeses. I used a combination of 1/2 c. cream cheese, 1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese and 1/2 c. sharp cheddar. Cut the cheeses into small pieces first so that they soften faster. When the cheeses are soft, mix until smooth. Stir in about 1/4 c. of milk. Season with pepper (and salt, if necessary). If the cheese sauce appears too thin, don’t panic. It’ll thicken considerably as it cools.
- To serve, place a burger or two on a plate. Top with mashed potatoes or French fries. Pour in the cheese sauce. Sprinkle some fresh parsley for added color and flavor.