I don’t know about you but by the time it is Christmas, most years, I am sick of Christmas dinner! I’m not the biggest of turkey fans if I am to be honest (I’m more than happy for gammon>turkey), unless it comes in the Christmas sandwich format, then I am all for the full Christmas line up. While looking at different sandwiches and what certain supermarkets are offering up this year I had the idea to create my own Christmas burger, a Christmas dinner for those who are bored of the roast feast that we get dished up at our work do, family dinner and friends outing in the run up to Christmas. So here is my input to the alternative Christmas meal…
There are 3 different beers used in this recipe, the beer gravy which is always good with something darker, think best bitters, winter warmers, even porters and stouts. Cranberry sauce made with beer, originally, I wanted a cherry Lambic but I didn’t have any so I went with a Raspberry Berliner Wiesse but you could also use a Belgian Wit. Beer is also used in the stuffing balls, I went with an American Brown Ale but you could use many different beers here, think along the same lines as the gravy.
I raided what I had in the cellar (under the stairs) to see what I could use. Põhjala are an Estonian brewery based in Tallinn who have been attracting lots of fans all over the world ever since they brewed their first beer Öö Imperial Baltic Porter in 2013. After gaining experience at Brewdog Chris Pilkington joined a group of Estonian beer geeks and home brewers and started Põhjala, brewing beers that would compliment local cuisine and using interesting ingredients. Põhjala Prenzlauer Berg is a Raspberry Berliner Weisse, which pours a glowing rose pink and has a creamy as well as sour flavour with a beautiful tart finish. I openly admit that fruit sours don’t feature too high on my favourites list but this Berliner Weisse from Põhjala was stunning.
The beer I used for the gravy was from Allendale Brewery, who have been brewing real ale in Northumberland since 2006. Their Black Grouse Porter has had oak chips included in the brew to give a warm boozy barrel aged like flavour. It poured a deep dark black with a ruby glow and a perfectly white head. There was a smoky dark malt aroma and lovely blackberry-liquorice flavour.
For the deep fried stuffing balls I used a beer from a brewery I had never heard of before, Õllenaut a craft brewery from Saue, Harjumaa in Estonia. Pahklipureja is a nut brown ale, its a lively number when you open it, pouring an almost pitch black with a big beige head, on the nose you get roasted malts, hint of roasted walnuts and dark sugar while you get flavours of toasted brown bread, chocolate with a moderate bitterness finish.
Although I will give or take a roast turkey I do love a bit of turkey mince, so the burger itself was always going to be turkey mice patty, then through a combined effort of influence I saw on the super market shelves and some creative ideas floating around in my head I thought up and made the following recipe…
Three Beer Christmas Turkey Burger Recipe (Makes 4 burgers)
Brussel Sprout Slaw Recipe
- 4 Large Brussel sprouts
- Half red onion
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- Tablespoon veg oil
- 50ml Cider vinegar
- Orange juice
- 3 Tablespoons mayo
Thinly slice the onion and Brussel sprouts. Mix all the ingredients together and let it rest in the fridge for a couple of hours.
Beer Cranberry Sauce Recipe
- 1/2 tsp Coriander seeds
- Zest of an orange
- Half an orange sliced
- 1/3 330ml Bottle of beer (Wit Biers/Wheat Beer/Cheery Lambic/Raspberry Berliner Wiesse)
- 150ml Honey
- 50g Sugar
- 180g Cranberries
In a large saucepan over a medium heat toast the coriander seeds, when they open up and you can smell the fragrant aroma (a minute or so) add the slices of orange, some of the zest (saving half for later), beer and sugar. Bring to boil over the medium heat and keep heating till the sugar has dissolved. Add the honey, rest of the zest and the cranberries. Simmer for 15 minutes till the sauce has thickened. Either add to your burger straight away or cool to add later (you can reheat if you wish), in a sterilised sealed jar this can last about 5 days in the fridge.
Deep Fried Stuffing Balls
- 1Beaten egg
- Half a bowl of flour
- Half a bowl of breadcrumbs
- Half-filled large saucepan of veg oil
- Black Pepper
- Pack of stuffing mixture
- Beer (Light ale/lager/brown ale/sweet stout)
Get the beer boiling hot in a saucepan, then instead of using boiling water to make the stuffing balls, mix the stuffing mix with the beer and roll the stuffing mix into small balls. Have 3 small bowls ready, in one put the beaten egg, the next the flour and put the breadcrumbs and pepper in the last. Get your stuffing balls and dip into the flour, making sure you cover the ball, then dip in the egg and lastly roll in the breadcrumbs covering the entire ball. Heat the veg oil till you get to 350 degrees, carefully slide the breaded stuffing balls into the oil and fry till it is golden all sides (about 4 minutes), spoon out the ball carefully with a slotted spoon and place onto kitchen paper to dry off the oil.
Potato and Parsnip Fries with Beer Gravy
- Large potato
- Large parsnip
- Veg oil
- 150ml Beer (Best bitter /Winter Warmer/Amber Ale/Brown ale)
- 150ml Beef stock
- Tablespoon Cornflour mixed in a splash of water
- Knob of butter
Cut the potatoes and parsnip into French fry size chips, boil water and dunk the fries into the water for 4 minutes. Rinse well with cold water, in a deep-frying pan add veg oil so it covers the whole pan by about half a cm, bring to high temperature and put the potato and parsnip fries in the frying pan. Fry till these are golden and cooked throughout (about 8-10 minutes keep an eye on them so you don’t over do them like I did a bit!). When these are done place them on kitchen paper and salt straight away. In a saucepan mix the beer, beef tock, cornflower mix, butter and pepper together and bring to the boil, boil till you are happy with the thickness of the gravy (add more cornflower mix or beer depending how you like it).
- 4 Brioche buns
- 500g Turkey mince
- Handful of chopped sage
- Salt & Pepper
- 9 Rashers of streaky bacon (1 for Bacon Dust the rest for the burger)
- Silver food spray (optional)
In a mixing bowl combine the turkey mince, egg, breadcrumbs and chopped sage. Once it is all mixed together divide into 4 even parts. Cut 4 small slices of brie, place the brie on the mince and wrap the mince around the brie to make a turkey mince patty, place in the fridge for a couple hours so it sets before cooking. Either cook on the grill or in a frying pan till cooked through, turning over half way in, make sure it is all cooked as we don’t want no pink middle burgers here please! Put one rasher of streaky bacon in the frying pan, cook till crispy but not burnt, then either put the rasher in a food processor to grind up the bacon into little bits or place in a food bag and bash it up. If you are feeling festive then spray the bacon bits when they have cooled down with silver food spray for a festive sprinkling. Fry the other bacon rashers when cooking the burger. Toast the inside of your brioche buns on the grill, place the Brussel Sprout Slaw on the bun, then the turkey patty, two rashers of streaky bacon, then the cranberry sauce then the top of the bun and sprinkle your festive silver bacon bits on top of the bun (if I was to redo this recipe I would probably put the bacon dust in the cranberry sauce instead of on the burger).
Disclaimer – I paid for all the ingredients in the recipe including all the beer via Beer52 apart from the bottle of Allendale Brewery Black Grouse which was sent to me in a box from Best of British Beer, a online delivery service which you can order lots of great British bottled ales, to review months ago that I lost track of time to do with my new job etc … Massive sorry for that!