We are bubble and squeak people. By that, I mean we never throw away cooked leftover vegetables. If there are any such veg left over after a meal, we place them in a suitable bag and deposit them in the freezer for use later in a variant of the traditional British cabbage-and-mash leftover meal known as Bubble and Squeak. When Bubble-and-Squeak time arrives, I assemble the portions of leftover veg, chop them up and mix with mashed potato to bind the bits and pieces together, and then fry in a frying pan until golden brown on the bottom and heated through to the top. Then serve with whatever you fancy—a fried egg or some cold meat typically.
Yesterday evening, I cooked some sausages and beef burgers on the barbecue and thought about what I might do with our current accumulation of leftover veg. I could make a veggie burger for the barbecue, I thought, and turned to Google to see what others might have said about converting leftover veg into a veggie burger suitable for cooking on a barbecue rather than in a frying pan. I entered Bubble and squeak burger for the barbecue into the search engine. Lots of recipes came up but none specifically targeted at the barbecue. Hmm. Guess I’ll have to invent my own, I thought, and that’s what I did. Here is my recipe.
Any left-over veggies. I had carrots, peas, sweetcorn, broad beans, a parsnip or two, cauliflower, broccoli, and a few roast potatoes.
Mashed potato for binding. We don’t eat much mashed potato so I buy and use frozen mash as the binding agent.
Pepper and salt to suit.
Mixed herbs if you want a herby flavour, or garam masala if you want a spicy curry flavour, or chilli in some form—freshly chopped, flaked, or powdered— if you like your burgers hot spicy as well as hot hot.
In a mixing bowl, chop the veggies into reasonably small pieces and mix well with the mash until you can pick up a handful without everything dropping back into the bowl. Put some flour on a large plate (to stop the burgers sticking to the plate) and shape a handful (or serving spoon full) of the mix into a cylindrical burger shape. I used a small cylindrical strainer but any technique that works e.g., a cookie cutter, will do. Assemble your team of burgers on the plate and place in the fridge until ready to cook.
I cook the burgers on a non-stick barbecue grill mat. If you are not familiar with these sheets of plastic, enter BBQ cooking sheets into Amazon and take a look. The re-usable plastic sheets are heat resistant and extremely thin so they transfer the heat from the barbecue flames instantly and without loss to whatever you place on the sheet. You can fry an egg on these sheets if you want and they are great for cooking crispy bacon. For the bubbly-and-squeaky burgers, first drizzle regular olive oil or chilli oil (my preferred oil) onto the sheet and then place each burger and that’s about it. Five minutes in or when the underneath of the burger has formed a nice brown skin, flip the burger over (gently!) and cook the other side. Just before you are ready to serve, place each now fairly-firm burger on the open grill to burn in a few darker-brown lines, and then serve.
Your burgers should look something like this:
Serve with whatever meat (or fish) you’ve grilled plus your favourite condiments (e.g., HP sauce, English mustard, pepper and salt), grated parmesan cheese if you like this cheese, and a glass of a robust red wine.
Enjoy your bountiful bubbly-and-squeaky barbecue burger!