Epic morcilla laced burgers

Now let’s get this straight, this burger won’t win awards based on its beauty but it will win all the plaudits for it’s taste and probably make you a lot of friends! Morcilla is the star of the show here and really helps to bring out the flavours of the beef. I also added some additional spices to compliment the meats.

I have used morcilla from Brindisa (www.brindisa.com) which has the perfect meatiness to spice ratio. While you’re here, also check out this stunning quail recipe which also uses morcilla or to find out more about it: http://whatchloecooked.co.uk/2015/02/06/spanish-style-marinaded-quail-with-morcilla-and-pepper-potatoes/.

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Ingredients- makes 4-5 burgers
500g beef mince- I used 20% fat
100g morcilla
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper
Handful of flatleaf parsely- chopped
Salt and pepper to season

1. This couldn’t be must more straightforward (unless of course someone else made these for you!), take a large bowl, combine all the ingredients and bring it together. Feel free to play around with the levels of spice but be sure not to overdo it- remember the morcilla is the star of the show here! I give the mince a decent squidge around so it firms up and binds well. You may have noticed that there is not an egg or breadcrumb in sight to help the meat come together- I have never found the need to use either. The morcilla I used has some rice which also helped it come together. When the meat is ready, shape it into patties and they are then ready to fry in the pan.

2. Heat a little oil in a non- stick frying pan or griddle, if you prefer, and cook to your tastes. I gave them 2-3 minutes on each side which was spot on. Serve in a good bun and I also added some maple bourbon gherkins and salad which was fabulous!

Morcilla laced burgers- a great twist on the classic!

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Spanish style marinaded quail with morcilla and pepper potatoes

A wonderous thing happened a few weeks ago when walking around Borough Market. We stumbled across a Spanish produce stall and morcilla jumped into my hands and propelled me towards the counter to seal the deal and I’m glad it did! Morcilla is a Spanish blood sausage which is perfect crumbled through dishes so this is when this recipe was born. I allowed two quail per person for a main meal but this recipe is easy to double as needed. I also served this with a dressed green bean side dish which is well worth a try so read on for the recipes for the quail, potatoes and beans!

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Ingredients- serves 2
For the quail
4 prepared quail
60ml sherry wine vinegar
40ml olive oil
1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp runny honey
Salt and pepper

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For the potatoes
Glug of olive oil
250g new potatoes
1 large roasted red pepper- sliced
Handful of crumbled morcilla
Roughly chopped flatleaf parsley

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For the green beans
100g green beans- trimmed and cut in half
Glug of oil
1 garlic clove – finely sliced
1 shallot- finely sliced

1. Get started by making the marinade for the quail by combining the sherry wine vinegar, oil, paprika, oregano, honey and seasoning. Cover and set aside for at least an hour but longer if you have a bit more time.

2. Preheat the oven to 180c/ 160 fan when you are ready to get going, pop the quails in a roast dish and cook for around half an hour until cooked through and the juices run clear. During cooking I basted the quail in the excess marinade to keep them moist. I also covered them with foil for the first half of the cooking time before removing for the last part.

3. While the quail is roasting you can start the potatoes. Par boil the potatoes for a few minutes before removing and halving. If you halve them before cooking they can get a little soggy so this way round is better. Drain well and set aside as you heat a glug of oil in a frying pan. Pop the potatoes in the pan over a medium heat for 10 minutes until they are starting to become a little more tender and turning a light golden colour. Add in the pepper slices and crumble in the morcilla and cook for another few minutes. Sprinkle over the parsley when ready.

4. At this stage you can think about boiling a separate small pan for the green beans- multi-tasking at its best! The beans need to be boiled for 5 minutes and then removed with a slotted spoon before refreshing in a bowl of cold water. Reserve 100ml of the cooking water. Using the same pan, heat a small amount of oil and cook off the garlic and shallot for a minute or two before adding the reserved water and beans back into the pan. Pop the lid on the pan and cook for an additional few minutes until the beans are tender and the water has reduced. The water, garlic and shallot creates its own little kind of dressing.

Serve the quail, morcilla potatoes and green beans in warmed dishes so everyone can help themselves.

Spanish style quail with morcilla potatoes and dressed green beans- a perfect way to try morcilla!