I make the mix in advance and freeze into small batches. Overall this should make around 30 burgers which I usually freeze into batches of around 6-8 or enough to last 4-5 days if kept refrigerated. If uncooked the mix goes a bit slimey after 5 days.
Dry beans: I use 350-400 grammes of dry "butter" beans but lima or other white beans work just as well. I guess you could also use chick peas. We tried it with lentils but the mixture temds to crumble and not taste as good.
These need a long soak and can be a bit of a faff ... but place the dry beans into cold water which covers then in the pan. Bring to boil and boil for 3-4 minutes taking care not to spill the water. Then take off the heat and set aside for 24 hours to soak. It is very important to aviod any salt or seasoning at this stage because this would make the skins harden and become bitter.
The next day cook in a low/medium oven for around 2 hours. Useful if you are cooking something else. Check ooccassionally that they do not dry out; add more water. They will probably go a darker brown colour and the liquid become more viscous and slightly syruppy.
You could always use tinned beans.
Mushrooms: You should cook sufficient mushrooms so that their fully cooked volume is around the same as the beans. This can be 6 large portabello ones or around 300 -400 grammes of field/chesnut mushrrom. This will generate the colour and can be adjusted to match tastes.
Nuts: Any combination is fine but I use 500 grammes which is usually 400 grammes of brazil nuts and 100 grammes of Cashew nuts. These need to be crsuhed or chopped. I use a food processor which generate a mix of chunks that range from half a little finger nail down to fine crumb. Again, variety of size is good.
Cracked wheat: I use bulgar wheat but cous cous or any other "soaking" wheat is good. Cook 150 grames of dry bulgar and simply cover with boiling water and cook off the heat for 5 mins. The wheat can be seasoned well.
Seasoning: Loads of salt/black pepper when you come to mix it all together. To develop the taste I also add Worcester Sauce and/or Balsamic Vinegar or similar. You need around 100ml of some form of vinegar. To make even better, I add a good glug of HP or Brown Sauce. This is very UK oriented but (shock horror gasp) it is no longer actually made in the UK although it is made under licence in Ontario. I guess you could experiment with other variants. Try adding fresh thyme or oregano or perhaps some chilli.
Mixing: Firstly, all the compenents need to be mashed or chopped. The beans should be puried in a blender to produce a paste which will act as a binding agent. Top tip. You use some of the cooking liquor otherwise it becomes too thnik. The consisnency of this is like firm baby food! At this stage, give it some salt. Warning - it does not look too apetizing at this stage.
Finely chop the mushrooms and the nuts. Second top tip. If using the same food processor for everything, chop the nuts first, followed by the mushrooms, the beans and finally the wheat with a dash of water. Place all separate ingredients into a big bowl. Doing the wheat last is great for creaning the bowl - the beans can be a bit messy.
Mix all the separate ingredients into one bowl adding the seasoning. If any of the ingedients are still hot/warm the final mix will initially feel slightly sloppy. Mixing cold ingredients together makes it feel stiffer. The end result will feel stiff but mobile. If you can make a ball in your hands and it stays as a ball, you have it about right. Too sloppy and it runs, too dry it falls apart. if too wet add more wheat or nuts, if too dry add some more bean liquor.
Fry: shallow fry for around 5 minutes per side in oil by flattening the ball. Great with roasted tomates, poached eggs and other breakfast things.
Freezes very well.
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