Makes around 10 burgers, depending on size
Special equipment: food processor and cast iron pan/grill plate
I know this is my second mushroom and walnut recipe in a row, but I couldn’t hold off posting these. These are the tits.
I originally made these for our New Years Day BBQ lunch. Unfortunately the BBQ itself was a spectacular failure, much to my disappointment. I got myself a shiny new coal Weber for Christmas, and I was so excited to use it having not had a BBQ for five years. But then the coal wouldn’t light, and when we finally did get it going the heat was gone in five minutes. So much for that. Luckily these burgers, which I cooked on the stove instead, more than made up for all of it. My house mate said these are better than any mock-beef patty he has ever tried, and that these while not trying to be a meat replica fill that role perfectly. Maybe even better than my beetroot burgers.
And so, I made them again today, some kind of record for me as I usually don’t like to eat the same thing more than once in a month. I just couldn’t stop thinking about them, and how good they would be with tomato relish and my Swiss melt. Sorry, that recipe isn’t ready to share yet, but the combination was perfect. Seriously, these are freakin’ delicious.
Oh, and did I mention they’re gluten free? You heard me.
Approx 500g Swiss Brown mushrooms, thickly sliced
1 heaped cup walnuts
1 1/2 cups packed cooked short grain brown rice
1 large brown onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp porcini powder (or you can use dried porcini mushrooms soaked, drained, squeezed, chopped, a small handful)
2-3tbsp tamari, or to taste
1 really heaped tbsp shiro miso
A couple pinches dried rosemary
1/2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
Generous amount of freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup chickpea flour
Salt and olive oil as needed
1. Place the walnuts on a tray and roast at 200C for 5 minutes or until just golden and toasted. Set aside.
2. Heat a tablespoon or so of oil in a pan over low heat (cast iron is best, as always). Add the onion and stir well. Cook slowly until sticky, soft and mostly brown. Add the garlic and a splash more oil and cook another minute or so. Crank the heat up high and add the mushrooms, a pinch of salt and the porcini. Cook, stirring constantly, until golden brown and delicious smelling but still fairly firm, around 5 minutes. You don’t want them to release their liquid.
3. Place half the walnuts into the bowl of your food processor. Process until you have a rough nut butter. This takes just over a minute in mine. Add the rest of the nuts and pulse until fine. Add the mushrooms and rice and pulse until chopped small. Do not puree.
4. Place the mix into a large bowl. Add the paprika, miso, tamari, rosemary and pepper and adjust to taste. Make it stronger than you think is perfect, because the flavour will be ‘watered down’ when you add the chickpea flour. Add salt if necessary and mix in the chickpea flour. Leave to stand 10 minutes (or longer). You are going to have a sticky mess, but don’t worry, they firm up A LOT as they cook.
5. Heat a little oil in a cast iron pan over med-low heat. It really needs to be cast iron because the char on these is half the flavour. Seriously do not skip this. Scoop 1/3 cups mixture into your hands and form into patties. It’s worth doing them all at once and putting them on a baking paper lined tray, because your hands are going to be messy. Fry a few at a time on a fairly low flame, not turning until the underside is a nice dark, golden brown with a bit of char in it, as shown in the photos. You’ll need at least 5 minutes on each side. Don’t be tempted to turn the flame up, you need to cook them slowly or they’ll taste like raw chickpea flour (yuk!) and be all sloppy. Nobody wants that.
6. Stick them in a toasted bun with your favourite condiments. I used tomato relish, vegan Swiss melt made from cashews and secrets, lettuce and tomato. They’re bangin’ with mayo and mustard too. Or ketchup. Whatever floats your boat.