Black bean experiment successful ~ Ham Pie Sandwiches

16 November 2007

Black bean experiment successful

Since the lentil business was so clearly awesome, I wanted to experiment further in the bean burger direction.

This takes up a lot of dishes, but it's worth it. For one thing, you can make a huge batch of the burger mix and freeze things for later eatings. For another thing, these were so good I actually did not care at all about the cleanup. Everything was great. Yes.

Black bean and millet burgers

pot of black beans from ~1 cup dried
2/3 cup millet
olive oil
an onion
some garlic
marjoram, cayenne, salt and pepper, I think mustard powder
fresh parsley

Soak black beans! Boil! Drain!

Put millet in pot with 2x as much water! Boil! Cover! Simmer! You could also use quinoa for SUPER PROTEIN BUNDLE GOODNESS. You don't really need to do that, though.

Chop up onion! Dump into sauté pan with olive oil! Cook slowly! Caramelize! Add garlic! Add spices! Caramelize more!

Spice choice can go any way you choose. I was looking for a savory but not especially spicy mix, something neutral, since I was intending to keep some and eat them on various other occasions. This necessitates some versatility, which excludes any too overt spicing. So I just used some marjoram and cayenne, plus salt and pepper. I think I may have added a little mustard powder as well, but I can't remember. I know I used it later!

(Later: sauce!)

Anyway. When beans, millet, and onion are all done, combine them. You want approximately equal amounts of beans and grain. I had too much millet in the mix, but that was ok; it just made the end result slightly crumbly. Add some fresh chopped parsley if you want some more green in there. You could also go for chopped green onion. I thought I had the onion department pretty well covered, though.

Wet your hands and shape the mix into burger patties. This method worked a lot better than my previous attempts with floured hands. Burgers should be four or five inches across and at least 1/2 inch thick. Just make them the size of any burger and you'll be fine. I would go for extra thickness, though, so the middles retain some moisture. I got eight burgers out of this amount.

Bake burgers for about a half hour at 350F. Check and rotate the pan at about the 15-20 minute mark. They're done when very slightly browned (as if you can tell with black beans) and the outsides have acquired a nice crust.

Now you can eat them! Put them on buns with big whacks of lettuce and a lot of good grain mustard.

We of course had no buns, so we decided to eat them plain. No we didn't! We decided to make barbecue sauce and slather them in that! Then we decided to chop up a lot of greens for double salad/sauce mopping action!

I was not particularly into my last effort at barbecue sauce, so this time I decided to actually stick to one recipe. I looked through several of my cookbooks and found nothing. Then I got out The Joy of Cooking. Clearly, that should have been the first place I looked. Not only did the recipe look awesome, we had almost all of the ingredients. The only problem was worcestershire sauce. We had some, but not the vegetarian kind. Ok, so what does worcestershire sauce taste like? Kind of raisiny and smoky. Why look, what is this I have in the back of the spice cabinet? It is mesquite seasoning!

I used that. It was an excellent choice.

The only other thing I did was to use olive oil instead of veg oil, since veg oil is gross and generally makes everything taste rancid.

I feel a little awkward about cribbing out of the Joy of Cooking, and you probably all own it anyway, so here's the source:

Rombauer, Becker, and Becker: The Joy of Cooking. New York: Scribner, 1997. "Barbecue Sauce", p.90.


You guys, we ate these all week. If you cover burgers with sauce and put them in the oven, then baste every once in a while, the sauce takes on a fully jamified taste which I assume also develops over an actual grill.

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