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Any day where I know I’ll be having my Mum’s turkey burgers for lunch is a good day. They’ve been a family staple for as long as I can remember, served on sesame burger buns (none of this brioche business) with lettuce, slices of tomato, sometimes cucumber, and always Bick’s hamburger relish before they stopped selling it in supermarkets and we switched to my Mum’s homemade ripe tomato chutney (in my book a bacon sandwich essential) instead.
Flavoured with Paxo stuffing mix and bound with egg white they’re also super lean and healthy, perfect if, like me, you over-indulged a bit during one of the many lockdowns we seem to have racked up over the past year or so.
I think they’re originally adapted from a 90’s diet book, but now the recipe, which has gone under an unknown level of changes lived, up until today, entirely in my mothers head. I thought I’d written it down, but apparently not, always having made them under her supervision. The phone call went something like this:
“Hi, I’m making your turkey burgers for the blog today but I’ve just realised I don’t have the recipe.”
“Well, I don’t either. I just throw them together.”
What followed was my scribbling down a set of instructions as and guessing at measurements when she just did something by eye, and do you know what? They came out perfectly, they’re just that easy.
Now, there are a few things you need to know about this recipe. First, don’t use turkey breast mince. You need the fat and flavour in thigh or leg, or a mixture to get the burgers to both have the right texture and a good flavour, even though this is a healthy eating recipe.
Paxo stuffing is something you’ll find in every British supermarket and almost all corner shops: I’ve also seen it in the international aisle with the other British products in both Los Angeles and in France. However, if you can’t get hold of it you can sub in any dried stuffing ball mix that you need to hydrate with water.
I mentioned Bick’s hamburger relish as the ideal for these burgers. I know the chances are you won’t be able to get it – a quick Google search tells me it is a wholesale product only now in massive tubs, which, funnily enough is what we have in my parents cellar – it is simply too much to buy if you’ve never had it before and you don’t already have a serious love for the stuff. So, as we did before we found it at Booker’s Wholesalers one day, just use your favourite tomato burger relish.
And of course, if you’re looking to go the full hog and skip the bread, these of course also would be delicious served as part of a salad bowl.
These easy turkey burgers are super tasty – made to our family recipe – but are also low fat and super healthy too! We like them served with classic seeded burger buns, lettuce, tomato and a good dollop of tomato chutney.
3 tbsp Paxo sage and onion stuffing mix
1 small brown onion
1 tsp dried sage
freshly ground sea salt and black pepper
1 large egg white
1 x 400-500g (14 oz) pack turkey thigh mince (see note)
4 x sesame burger buns
4 pieces lettuce
1 large tomato
In a large mixing bowl combine the stuffing mix with 3 tbsp of boiling water. While the mixture is hydrating, finely chop the onion and stir it into the stuffing mix along with the dried sage and a very generous amount of salt and pepper.
Add the egg white and the turkey mince and mix together with your hands until well combined – don’t worry about overworking the mixture as you would making beef burgers. Shape into 4 (for dinner) to 6 (for lunch) patties and transfer to the cutting board you used for the onions to chill for at least 30 minutes. They shrink a little while they’re cooking so if I’m making a batch of 4 I make them slightly larger than my burger buns.
Meanwhile halve the burger buns and lightly toast the cut sides under the grill. Prepare the lettuce and slice the tomato.
Under a medium high grill cook the turkey burgers on a foil lined baking tray (they may stick a little so I tend to spritz them with a little olive oil first) for about 5 minutes on each side until both sides of the burgers are browned and they’re cooked all the way through.
Serve with the sesame buns, lettuce, tomato and a generous dollop of tomato chutney.
You really do need to use turkey thigh or leg mince, not breast mince for this which will produce a dry burger that is liable to fall apart.
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