Meatless Mushroom Burger
I know everyone and their mother is obsessed with the Impossible Burger, myself included, but I wanted to create my own version of this that I could make at home. There are 2 reasons for this: 1) I can’t afford fancy meatless substitutes on the reg, and 2) I want to know exactly what ingredients are going into my meatless burger. This mushroom burger is the answer to my personal DIY Impossible Burger prayers. I do want to preface: I am not a veggie burger fan. Veggie burgers are not usually in my lineup of go-to dishes, as I find the grassiness and dryness to be a sad substitute for the ground beef alternative. However, I don’t think this mushroom burger really falls in that dry, sad veggie burger category. The mushrooms have a toasty, meaty quality to them, which makes this a way better option to substitute for ground beef, if we must. I also jazz up the burger mixture with red wine vinegar, charred and slightly caramelized onions, salt and pepper. Then, I add my binding agents: toasty quinoa flour and flax seeds. The end result is as close to meat as meatless can get.
This isn’t my first rodeo in the mushroom burger game. I also have a delicious Caribbean a ground beef and mushroom burger, served with sweet potato “buns” and a mango salsa. The reason I used mushrooms in that recipe was to cut the amount of ground beef I used in half, without compromising flavor. Try it if you don’t believe me! It’s a great way to reduce ground beef intake without being *completely* meatless.
Ok, back to this recipe. I’ve made this burger a multitude of times. My favorite way to serve it is with a slice of chèvre (creamy goat cheese) and topped with some charred and slightly caramelized onions. The burger serves its best without buns, and instead with crispy roasted potatoes and a salad. If you are vegan, skip the cheese and top with avocado, onion and sesame seeds. Or, make a dairy-free version of my avocado “aioli,
all you have to do is sub a dairy-free yogurt of your choice for the Greek yogurt in the recipe.
You can watch the video below for an idea of the texture of this burger, which IMO is fuegggo.
|1 white or sweet onion|
|1cup portobello mushrooms|
|1tbsp red wine vinegar|
|1 1/2tsp onion powder|
|1/3cup flax seeds|
|1/2cup quinoa flour|
Season a sauté pan with oil over medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the sliced onions to the pan. With a spatula or wooden spoon, mix them around the pan so that each onion is hitting the surface. We want them to slightly char and caramelize. Let the onions cook, and sauté them every few minutes to ensure they don't burn.
While the onions cook, prep the burger. In a food processor, add the garlic and pulse until minced. Add all of the mushrooms (if your food processor is small, you will have to do this in batches) and pulse until finely chopped. We don't want a purée, but we also don't want large chunks in the food procesosr. Make sure the mushroom mixture has some texture and doesn't turn to mush. Add the flax seeds, onion powder, half of the red wine vinegar and 1 tsp of salt. Pulse until combined.
After about 10-15 minutes, the onions should be soft, slightly browned and charred. Remove half of them from the pan and add them to the food processor. Pulse until fully combined into the mushroom mixture. If your burger mix is more of a chunky purée now, that's fine. Continue to sauté the rest of your onions on low heat, until they caramelize and shrink up even more.
Transfer the mushroom mixture to a bowl and fold in the quinoa flour. Once the flour is fully combined, add the rest of the red wine vinegar and another generous pinch of salt. Mix until fully combined and taste the mixutre to make sure you like it. TIP: If you don't like the taste of the raw mixture, you won't like your burger, so if you want to jazz it up with anything else, here is your chance. The consistency should be that of a thicker paste. We do not want this to be too flour-heavy, or else the burgers will taste like a baked good, which is not what we are really going for here.
Remove the remaining onions from the heat and set aside. Add some more olive oil to the skillet over medium high heat and wait until the oil is shimmering. With a spoon, scoop out some of the mushroom mixture and plop (sorry for using this word but it really is a plop) it onto the pan. Use the back of the spoon to flatten the mixture into a thinner burger while it's in the pan. Repeat with another burger and let them sear until the edgese look golden brown (kind of like a pancake.) Flip the burger and, please, let yourself be amazed at how meat-like the burger looks. TIP: I prefer a cast iron or non stick skillet for the burgers, as stainless steel can sometimes adhere to sticky substances even when the pan is properly seasoned.
After the burger is flipped, let it continue to sear for another 1-2 minutes. Remove from the pan when it's dark brown on the outside, just like a ground-beef burger. Repeat with the rest of the mixture. If you feel adventurous and want to make a pan sauce, lower the heat and add some red wine vinegar to the mushroom juices in the pan. Please make sure the heat is low when you add the vinegar because it will smoke and splatter. Then, add 1 tbsp of butter and a sprinkle of salt. When it's all combined, you have a beautiful pan sauce that weirdly resembles fatty burger meat juices.
Plate all of the burgers how you see fit. Top with whatever toppings make you happy. The only thing I wouldn't do is eat these burgers with a soft, mushy bread because a bun can get soggy quickly, and then ruin the taste and texture of the burger. The burgers go well with crunch, cream and tang. However, that is just a warning and you do not have to follow my advice. Serve immediately or freeze.