Hamburgers with Mint

Hamburgers with Mint have a delicate and exotic flavour. They may be eaten hot, but are more usually served cold, as part of a picnic spread, with lots of wholewheat bread, fresh salads and yogurt.

1 tablespoon butter

1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 oz. fresh breadcrumbs soaked in

4 tablespoons milk

1 lb. lean minced beef

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh mint or f teaspoon dried mint -½ teaspoon dried thyme

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 oz. dry breadcrumbs

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

In a small saucepan, melt the butter over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the onion is soft and translucent but not brown.

Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the onion and garlic to a medium- sized mixing bowl. Add the breadcrumbs and milk mixture, the beef, salt, pepper, mint, thyme and the beaten egg. With your hands, mix the ingredients until they are thoroughly combined. Shape the mixture into 6 patties.

Sprinkle the dry breadcrumbs on to a plate or sheet of greaseproof or waxed paper. Roll the patties in the breadcrumbs so that they are well coated on all sides.

In a large frying-pan, heat the oil over moderate heat. When it is hot, add the patties. Fry them for 2 minutes on each side or until they are well browned. Reduce the heat to moderately low and cook the hamburgers for a further 3 minutes on each side, or until they are thoroughly cooked.

Remove the hamburgers from the pan and drain them on kitchen paper towels. Serve hot or cold.