Thursday, July 9, 2009

Ms Independant

If there is one thing I have learned living in Ireland the last three years it is of the constant likelihood of rain. Still, it was with a heavy heart that I woke on the 4th July to find low hanging heavy clouds pelting Dublin with rain.

Hoping that ignoring the weather would lead to clear skies and sunshine for the afternoon's first 4th July American Beer and Wine Festival, I set about icing my 'Red Velvet' cupcakes with glossy meringuey marshmallow-esque icing. Three hours later, and a Christening Cake also iced for a friend (Chocolate and Raspberry Ganache in case you were wondering) the rain continued unabated. Ultimately the day was of mixed success, with the rain putting many off but once the soft ball and BBQ got going, the enthusiasm made up for the dampness and missing hordes. The great beer available of course helped with the Belfast Blonde pouring and the Gordon Beirsch and Speakeasy ranges in bottles.

No 4th July BBQ is complete without smokey beef burgers, and although I spent most of the day itself partaking in liquid refreshments, I made up for it the next day with some cobweb clearing 'burgers with the lot'.

250 grams beef mince (I recently bought a mincer, which I now wonder how I ever lived without, so we mince our own beef and pork)
250 grams pork mince
One Tablespoon Worchester Sauce
One Tablespoon Soy Sauce
Two grated garlic cloves
Half finely minced onion or four minced scallions
Few dashes Tabasco Sauce
Teaspoon Lime Juice
One egg, beaten
Pinch mustard powder or teaspoon of whole grain mustard
Optional: three Tablespoons grated parmesan

To serve
Iceburg lettuce leaves or buns
Grilled proscuttio/bacon
Blue cheese
Avocado/Guacamole (I make mine with little more than a sqeeze of lemon, squeeze of lime, sea salt and cracked black pepper)
Rocket or other mixed leaves
Ballymaloe relish
Seirra Nevada mustard

black pudding
caramalised red onion

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix to combine.
Divide into five burgers the size of a soft ball, and smooth and flatten to burger-like shapes.
Oil a griddle or a flat bottomed frying pan and place over medium heat.
Cook burgers for seven minutes on each side or until juices run clear.
In the last two minutes of cooking on the second side smoosh the blue cheese on top of the pattie to melt. Top with bacon, avocado and rocket and serve relishes on the side.

Enjoy with a nice Prohibition Ale or a Gordon Beirsch Maarzen.

Happy Independance Day!

Finally, I really feel compelled on this most American and independent of occasions to post the short film created by Greg Koch of Stone Brewing Company, celebrating American craft beer and brewers. Heart swelling stuff!

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