The headlines here in the UK are dominated by stories of horse meat ‘contaminating’ British meat products. I have no real problem with eating horse, in fact, now I know it is cheaper and apparently indistinguishable from beef, if anything, I want to eat MORE of it.
I think the real problem here is how little we know about what is in our processed foods. I may not have a problem eating horse, but do I want to eat a horse that was killed six months ago in a country far, far away? No I do not.
It is for that reason that, in general, I eat little or no processed foods. My family eats home cooked dinners most nights (and as my wife and I are both out working, this is mainly thanks to a bumper cooking session on a Sunday) and yet I spend less than almost any one I know for food. How? I think mainly because I try and eat what is in season where I can, buy (and cook) in bulk, eat cheaper ingredients where I can and where I can’t, make the most of the food I do buy. I never, ever, cut corners on meat and buy all of it from my local butchers.
When I make burgers (which I do often, as the kids love them) I make extra and freeze what’s left. Then it is just as quick for me to cook as it would be if I’d bought frozen burgers. But I know every single ingredient that has gone into it. Have you ever stopped to see how many ingredients are in some processed foods (which is worrying enough, but when you can’t pronounce them, you know you’re really in trouble)?
Any way, I am aware that I am now running the risk of preaching. I’m not. But if I can cook home cooked food, any one can. And home cooked food tastes better, is better for you and your kids and in my experience is also cheaper.
Here’s a tried and tested burger recipe if you don’t have one already:
Burger Recipe – makes about 10
- Minced beef (2lbs)
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1tsp Worcester sauce
- a chopped onion if you like it (but chop it finely as it does make your burger fall apart when you’re cooking it)
- any herbs you particularly like (start with teaspoons of dried herbs if you’re not sure how they will effect the end result, and a tablespoon of chopped fresh)
- a tablespoon of mustard (if you like it)
- beaten egg or some ripe avocado (as the purpose is to bind it together)
- salt and pepper
- mix all the non meat ingredients together
- Add to the meat and mix it all together. The best way to do this is with your hands, and kids love this bit as it’s so squishy. Do make sure hands are clean before and after.
- Make into the size burgers that you would like (avoid making them too thick as it can make them difficult to cook through)
- Cling film the plate with the burgers on, put it in the fridge for at least half an hour
- If freezing, I just wrap them individually with cling film. If not,
- Cook (I prefer grilling or baking)