25 February 2013

Burgers and Mash with Peas & Carrots

A Polish classic :) By far the most often requested dinner meal from my repertoire. And no wonder - it's absolutely, utterly delicious. Warm, couthy comfort food. I could eat a tonne of it each time.



  • 500g beef and pork mince
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 1 egg
  • half of 1 stale roll or a small piece of stale baguette or 2 slices of stale bread
  • 3 tbsp of finely chopped fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper, to taste (yes, I *taste* the meat before I cook it. Just take a bit in your mouth and spit it out. If you're too squeamish for that then... good luck)
  • 1/2 glass of milk
  • 2 glasses of very fine breadcrumbs
  • oil (for frying)

1. Soak the bread in the milk until it's completely soft. Then take it out of the milk, squeeze it in your hand to squeeze as much of the milk out as you can, and mix it together with mince, egg, parsley, salt and pepper.

2. Fry the onions until they're thoroughly glossy (or just before they start turning golden brown), wait for them to cool and add to the meat.

3. Form burgers, about 1cm thick (they will thicken as you fry them), and coat them in breadcrumbs.

4. Fry them first at high heat to lightly brown them on each side (to seal the juices inside), then reduce the heat and fry them until they are cooked on the inside - it doesn't take long at all. I just cut one open to check after about 5-10 minutes.

If you want to make them a bit more interesting, you can stuff the burgers with cheese as well. Just cut up a good quality melting cheese, like Mozzarella, Edam or Gouda into chunks and wrap the meat around them when you're shaping the burgers. That way the cheese will melt nicely inside when you fry them.

Carrots and Peas:


  • 1 glass of frozen peas
  • 1 glass of diced fresh carrots
  • (or, as I do it - half a saucepan of carrots and half a saucepan of peas)
  • 1 stock cube (chicken or vegetable would be best, but I used pork and beef before and it worked just as well)
  • ground pepper, to taste
  • 3 tbsp of butter (salted or unsalted)
  • 2 tbsp of plain flour

1. Put the peas and carrots in a saucepan and add water - just enough to cover the vegetables.

2. Add the stock cube.

3. Boil at low heat for about 40 minutes, or until both peas and carrots are very soft and the water starts turning orange from the carrots.

4. Using a potato masher or a fork, mash some of the peas and carrots - not all of them, just a little bit. You don't want a peas and carrots mash, but you want some of the peas and carrots to break up to mix with the water and help thicken the sauce.

5. Melt the butter in a separate pan and stir in the flour. Fry together on low heat, stirring often, for 2-3 minutes and add to the peas and carrots. This will thicken the sauce.

6. Season with pepper to taste (and salt if you want, but the stock cube should have been enough) and cook for a while longer if it's still too thin to thicken the sauce up a bit more. When it's the texture of a thick... something (the carrots and peas stick together), you can start serving it.

Mashed Potatoes:


  • White potatoes
  • 4-5 tbsp of salted butter
  • 2 tbsp glass of milk

1. Boil the potatoes in salty water, drain them thoroughly (I usually drain them, put them back in the pot and put them back on the bob on low heat, stirring and shaking constantly not to burn them, but to help any remaining water evaporate), and add in the butter and milk. Mash thoroughly.

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