Well we had a lovely meal tonight – burgers, which are another favourite of ours. Mr Chilli is partial to a good home made beef burger (horse free!) with chips, while I much prefer vegetarian burgers with salad. I’ll give the recipe for both below.
Pinto beans are my favourite bean to make beanburgers with and you can buy them dried, which is cheaper, or tinned, which is much more convenient. I used tinned ones today, but if you use dried, you’ll need to soak them for several hours and then boil them until tender. If you want, you can boil up a big batch and freeze in single portions.
Mr Chilli’s burger was big and could be made smaller with less mince; my burger was delicious but not over-large, which was fine tonight but I would have needed chips if hungrier. I froze the extra burger before cooking for next time. You could also make one big burger with the recipe instead of two small ones.
Beefburger (makes one large burger; can be easily doubled or quadrupled)
- 150g beef mince (but you can successfully use as little as 100g mince for a smaller burger) 75p
- 1 small onion 3p
- 1 egg 25p
- a few gratings of parmesan (optional) 10p
- a handful breadcrumbs (I keep a bag in the freezer and whizz up any ends of bread going stale into it, so I’ll count these as free)
- a pinch of dried crushed chillies 2p
Mix the ingredients together in a bowl, season with salt and pepper and squish into a ball with your hands. Squeeze tightly, otherwise the burger will tend to fall apart in the pan. Pop in a food bag or wrap in clingfilm and leave in the fridge for 20 minutes or so to firm up.
This is when I make the beanburger, chop the potatoes if making home made wedges and make up a salad. I preheat the oven to 200C for the chips or wedges and put them in the oven about 5 minutes before putting the burger on.
Heat a griddle pan to medium and brush with a tiny amount of vegetable oil. Flatten the burger into a round about an inch thick and slap onto the hot griddle pan. Cook for five minutes on the first side, and turn using a fishslice. At this point, you can add a slice of cheese if desired. Cook for five minutes on the other side, then pop onto a baking tray and put in the oven for a few minutes to finish off and for the cheese to melt. If you aren’t making chips, you might want to cook for a couple of minutes longer on each side rather than putting the oven on for just a few minutes.
Total cost £1.24 including a big bun but excluding chips, salad and any extras like pickles, cheese or onion slices.
Pinto bean and mushroom burgers (makes two small burgers or one large one)
- 1 tin pinto beans, drained and rinsed 39p
- 1 large mushroom or two medium/small ones 15p
- 1 small onion 3p
- 1 clove garlic 3p
- large pinch dried thyme (use fresh if you have any in – can substitute other herbs like sage or rosemary) 2p
- handful breadcrumbs (again, will count this as free)
- teaspoon or so of vegetable oil 2p
Preheat the oven to 200C. Heat the oil in a frying pan and gently cook the onions for a few minutes, adding the mushrooms and cooking until both are soft. In the last 30 seconds, add the garlic and herbs and stir through. Mix in the beans and breadcrumbs, season and mash thoroughly with a potato masher.
Shape into a ball and squeeze together, then separate into two and flatten to make two burgers.
Bake for roughly 20-25 minutes, turning halfway and adding a slice of cheese if desired for the last 10 minutes of cooking.
Total cost per burger is 31p including a bun but excluding chips, salads and extras like cheese. Cost is 56p if you make one big burger.
Grocery Challenge Mini Round Up
As I’m going to track my spending payday to payday rather than calendar months, I’ve finished off March with £185.17 out of a budget of £185. My budget for April is £185 again, and I haven’t spent anything yet. I’m going to be much more careful about not losing receipts this time! Keeping a spreadsheet of what I paid for each item will also help me price meals more accurately.