Eat well for less with our regular series of quick, delicious and wallet-friendly recipes by campaigner, columnist and award-winning food writer Jack Monroe.
This burger is where the media storm began, and dubbed ‘the 9p burger’ because of the low cost of the ingredients used to make it, it’s one of my most popular recipes. A can of value range red kidney beans is a cheap but excellent source of protein and I built a lot of my early cooking around it, and they became a firm staple in my household. I triple the recipe to make a batch of them, and freeze them in patties to whip out at a moment’s notice and fry on a low heat. I like mine best in a pitta bread and a dollop of mango chutney or mayo…
To make 4 delicious burgers
1 x 400g tin of kidney beans
1 smallish onion (150g approx), peeled and finely chopped
1 large carrot (150g approx), grated
1 teaspoon (1.5g) ground cumin
1 tbsp veg or sunflower oil, plus 2 tablespoons to fry the burgers
1 heaped teaspoon flour, plus another to shape the burgers (to make these gluten free, simply use your favourite gluten free flour to bind them)
Drain the kidney beans and rinse in cold water to wash away the ‘tinned’ taste. Put into a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 minutes to really soften.
Put the onion, carrot, and cumin into a medium frying pan. Add the splash of oil and cook on a low heat to soften. When the kidney beans have softened, drain well and add to the carrots and onion. Remove from the heat and mash together until you have a smoothish puree, like a mashed potato consistency. Stir in the flour to stiffen.
Heat the remaining oil in the frying pan on a medium heat. With floured hands, take a quarter of the burger mixture and roll it into a ball. Make three more balls with the remaining mixture. Place one in the oil and flatten gently with a fork to make the burger shape. Depending on the size of your pan, you may be able to cook all the burgers at once or need to do them in batches – unless you’re freezing some of the uncooked patties. Cook for a few minutes on one side, before turning. The burgers need to be handled with care as they can be quite fragile before they’re done! When cooked and slightly crisp on both sides, remove from the pan and serve.
Tip: Make the burger mixture in advance and pop into the fridge for a few hours – it firms up nicely and is less fragile when cooking. It will keep, covered, for 2 days so can be made well in advance.