4 Musts for Carnivore Approved Veggie Burgers
4 Musts for Carnivore-Approved Veggie Burgers.
In our opinion, veggie burgers tend to be lack-luster because of their terrible texture and lack of umami; we believe this is typical for most meatless meat dishes. When you cook raw meat, the fibres in the meat cling together at different rates, depending on the meats level of doneness and give the eater a variety of textures and flavours from a single piece of meat. This transformation simply does not happen when cooking already cooked beans. The beans have already gone through their cooking transformation already and when left as is, does not make a good burger, regardless of fixings you add to it. This is why, generally speaking, we dislike any vegetarian version of a meat dish. They just don’t add up. But through trial, error and research we put together a recipe and 4 “musts” that changed our mind about veggie burgers and may even convert a meat eater or two.
1) Bake your beans first!
This step provides the single greatest change from a typical bean burger. After rinsing (or cooking if you’re not using canned beans) the beans, toss them in a little cooking oil (canola works well) and bake the beans in an oven at 400F until they split and the insides start to brown a little, approx 15-20 minutes. This step is critical! It removes much of the water content from the bean, condenses the flavour and also adds flavour through the browning/toasting of the beans. The result is a much less mushy burger texture and a much deeper flavour.
Notice the texture difference between the baked and non-baked beans after blending. The non-baked are clearly mush, whereas the baked ones are more of a chunky moist powder. Huge difference!
2) Sauté your veggies first.
I cannot think of a case where it’s better to put raw veggies into a loaf/patty than their sautéed counterparts. Like baking your beans, sautéing adds flavour and reduces moisture content. This gives the end product a much more desirable flavour and firmer texture.
So while your beans are baking sauté up whatever veggies you want to add to the burgers. The world is really your oyster here and it’s up to you. We like onions, green peppers and mushrooms.
3) Add flavour and texture “nuggets”.
As we said above, one major thing that separates meat burgers from the meatless is the different textures and flavours that arise when you cook meat. We like to try and replicate this in our veggie burgers. Nuts give a fantastic flavour and texture addition to veggie burgers. Our best results were with chopped almonds and cashews. Both soften just a little during the cooking process giving a very pleasing chew. Additionally, crumbled cheese adds a fantastic flavour variation while eating these burgers. Our recommendation is picking cheese that hold together under heat rather than melting. Feta, queso fresco/blanco and paneer are all good options as they typically will stay solid during the cooking process giving each bite of the burger a slightly different taste than the last.
4) Add the full-bodied-ness AKA BBQ-i-ness
Burger purists will tell you that the best burgers are the simplest. Good quality meat, salt and pepper. This in combination with a good cooking method results in burgers that are top notch. The meat browns and fats from the meat drip to the heat source producing a wonderful smokiness. So, what do veggie burgers lack compared to grilled meat? Fat and smokiness. So we need to add this to our meatless creation. You don’t need a lot of either, just enough to give one’s tongue a gentle coating. For the fat, we recommend olive oil. It’s good for you and provides the much needed missing richness/fat found in meat. The light smokiness can come from liquid smoke, smoked salt or a smoked pepper. Our choice is chipotle peppers packed in adobo sauce. These add the perfect amount of smoke and the right amount of kick.
The best thing about these burgers, is they can be eaten every day without a hint of guilt.
As a cooking note, we recommend cooking these burgers over a medium heat so they don’t dry-out on the outside.
Burger Recipe, makes 4-6 burgers
1 Can of black beans – drained and rinsed
2 tbs of Olive oil
1 tbs of cooking oil for sautéing and cooking burgers
1 yellow/cooking onion finely chopped
12 cremini mushrooms – finely chopped
1 green pepper – finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic – chopped
½ cup of quick oats
¼ cup of cheese (feta, queso fresco or paneer) – crumbled
¼ cup of nuts (almonds or cashews) – chopped
1 chipotle pepper and 1tsp of adobo sauce
Buns and toppings
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