Oh the humble burger, staple of every gastropub lunch, summer barbecue and inebriated midnight snack. The versatility and range stretching from Burger King to Kobe Beef. You can mix burgers out of anything – beef, chicken, venison, beans, lentils, halloumi, horse… there is nothing one can do with a burger that hasn’t been done before but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy yourself. Here we have a burger from ox heart – a lean and meaty offal cut – minced with Merguez sausage, rosemary, thyme and served on homemade buns with local cheese (local to me, which is probably not local to you seeing as most of my readership lives in North America).
Ox heart can’t really be cooked on it’s own as a burger – it doesn’t have nearly enough fat and needs something else to give it that protection. Some people use a ratio of about 2:3 with normal beef mince or you can use a ratio of 4:1 with pork back fat. Here, in this recipe however, I used Merguez sausagemeat (gives a sunny kick and a confident fat percentage) with a ratio of 3:2 (300g ox heart, 200g sausagemeat). If you have any other variations do say.
Preparation and Chilling Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Makes 4-5 burgers
- 300g ox heart (minced or very finely sliced – not chunky in any way or it’s harder to cook evenly)
- 200g merguez sausagemeat (remove from skins)
- 1 egg yolk
- 3T course breadcrumbs
- 2T good tomato sauce (preferably homemade but ketchup can be used)
- 1/2t chopped rosemary
- 1/2t chopped thyme
- Semolina flour for dusting
- Mince the heart slices. Your butcher can do this for you or, if you’re lucky enough to have a mincer at home, you can do it yourself. Otherwise I’m afraid one has to stand around and cut it into very small and equal pieces (don’t attempt to ‘mince’ any meat in a food processor – it releases all the protein and becomes very sticky and strange)
- Mix the finely minced ox heart with the sausagemeat, egg yolk and tomato sauce and then add the rosemary, thyme, breadcrumbs and season with salt and pepper.
- Dust a tray with semolina and shape the mix into 4 or so patties, place them on the tray, dust more semolina over the top and put in the fridge for 20 minutes.
- When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 180C and heat up a frying pan with a knob of butter and a little oil. Fry to colour each side of the burgers for about 2-3 minutes on each side, then place on the tray and put in the oven for 20 minutes.
- These really do need to be cooked through to at least medium – pieces of uncooked heart and sausagemeat aren’t very nice. Do check. If you are really worried about them cooking properly, you can treat them like meatballs and place them in a crockpot at 160 heat with a little stock for an hour before service.