And the summery Flavor Journey around the world on the hot and spicy side of things continues~ Today’s matchup: the forests and mountains of central Europe in one hand, the gem-studded chili shrubs of Mexico in the other… CLAP~!
It’s a serious burger. It’s seriously delicious – and I don’t know about you, but I’m ravenous already, so let’s jump right into it~!
The Jalapeño, Leek and Pear Chutney
Once quick side-note in advance: the leeks and pears do a wonderful job adding sweetness and body to the chutney and mellow down the chilis a notch, so don’t be afraid of the jalapeños in case you have picky or spice-sensitive eaters at the table. Of course, the sky is the limit in case you want to add more fuel to your fire instead~ These amounts will net you a well-balanced batch of the chutney, about 2 jars of it, to be precise. Oh, leftovers of this – or specifically made batches for the occasion – go insanely well with a cheese platter, cold cut meats, chicken wraps… or simply on a slice or dark, juicy bread.
500g Leeks, white parts only, finely sliced
250g Williams or Comice Pears, peeled, cored and finely diced
1 Small Red Onion, finely sliced
1 Clove of Garlic, very finely chopped
3 Fresh Jalapeños, halved, deseeded and finely sliced
1 Tsp Thyme Leaves
3 Tbsp Maple Syrup
3 Tbsp White Balsamic Vinegar
½ Orange, Zest and 2 Tbsp of Juice
A very generous pinch each of Salt and freshly cracked Black Pepper
Before you go to town with your knife, another note: if you want a serious chutney as in “savory jam”, chop up everything finely. If you’re more the chunky, relish’y kind of burger-topping person, julienne the ingredients – the “Chutney” test with the juices on the bottom of the pan works either way.
1) Pop the butter cube into a heavy-based pan and set it onto medium-low heat.
2) Add the leeks and gently stir them until they’re glossed over with the melted butter.
3) Apply a light dusting of salt and pepper, then cover the pan with a lid and allow the leeks to heat through and tenderize for 5-7 mins.
4) Fold in the garlic and red onions, then pop the lid back on and give the lot another 4-5 mins.
5) Add the last batch of solids, the jalapeños and pears, along with the maple syrup, orange zest and thyme. Give the pan a hearty flip to incorporate the most recent additions, the set it back onto the heat for 5 more mins.
6) Stir in the vinegar and juice and bring the lot up to a gentle simmer while stirring regularly to keep anything from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
7) Once there, allow the mixture to simmer away and reduce down to a thick, glossy, syrupy consistency. If you’re not entirely sure about the chutney in front of you, dip the back of a wooden spoon into it to coat it with the syrup. Drag a finger through the blanket – if the mark left behind is visible for 10 seconds, you’re golden. If the syrup to the sides flows back in and covers your tracks too quickly, give it some more time. If you burned your finger in the process, go cool it under running water before doing anything else.
8) Allow the chutney to cool down a bit, then have a quick taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and black pepper.
9) Transfer the still-hot chutney into sterilized jars – or a bowl if you intend to use it all for the burgers right away.
10) If kept in a cool and dark place, tightly sealed, the chutney will keep for 3-4 months.
The Wild Boar Burger Patties
800g Boar Mince – if you don’t have a well-sorted butcher’s shop or farmer’s market-based butcher/hunter, try to get a lamb/beef combo or duck mince – beef mince alone will fall back too far behind the chutney to be worth it.
2 Cloves of Garlic, very finely chopped
2 Tsp Coarse Sea Salt
2 Tsp Black Peppercorns
2 Tsp Mustard Seeds
2 Tsp Fennel Seeds
2 Juniper Berries
1 Star Anise
1 Allspice Berry
1 Tsp Sweet Paprika Powder
1 Tsp Hot Chilli Flakes
1 Tsp Dried Thyme
½ Orange, Zest
1) Place a small pan on medium heat and add all of the seeds and whole spices. Toast the lot until small popping noises announce the awakening of the flavors.
2) Transfer everything into a peste & portar set or spice grinder and, with the help of the coarse salt grains, work them into a coarse-sand-like spice blend.
3) Tip them out into a mixing bowl and add the dried herbs, paprika powder, chili flakes, zest and garlic.
4) Snap on a pair of CSI gloves and gently knead the spice mix into the mince.
5) Divvy up the spiced mince into 4 equal portions and roll them up into tight balls.
6) Place each ball on a sheet of clingfilm. Check the diameter of your burger buns and, for now guesstimating, genly press, push, smooth and form the burger patties, aiming for that same diameter.
7) Tightly fold each pattie into the clingfilm, then, unsing an example-bun as a press-template-combo, fit bun and pattie to exactly the same diameter, smoothing down the edges of the pattie contained within the foil.
8) Once that’s done, remove the bun, and gently press a small hollow into the center of each pattie to keep them from puffing or crimping up in the heat later on.
9) Pop the patties into the fridge for anything between 1 hour and how-long-it-takes-until-burger-o-clock. You could even freeze them if Burger Time is more than a day away.
10) Once their time has come, fire up your BBQ, griddle or pan – in that order of preference.
11) Sear the patties for 2-3 mins per side, depending their thickness.
12) Build up your assembly line in the meantime~
Assembling the Burgers
4 Buns of your choice – as you might have noticed, I never use the usual brioche-style burger buns because… just no. Grainy Sourdough-Rye buns are my choice for this particular one, walnut buns work deliciously well to, though. And just for the record for the ones very carefully looking at my pics: yes, the buns – and therefore the patties as well – are triangular. Artisan bakers and their signatures…
4 Small Handfuls of Lettuce Leaves
4-8 Slices of Gryuère or a similar Hearty Cave or Mountain Cheese – make sure it has some oomph to it to actually contribute to the package, save yourself the calories otherwise…
The 4 freshly grilled Boar Patties
The Leeky Pear & Jalapeño Chutney
Well, basically flip open your buns and go down the list or ingredients above or the simple equation below~
Bun Bottom + Mustard + Greens + Cheese + Burger Pattie + Chutney + Bun Top = YUM.