Cookery Classes, Cooking, family meals, Food, Healthy Eating, Local food, Recipes

Summer Cooking

There’s something about cooking and eating outside that makes food taste better. As soon as the sun comes out my kitchen  doors are thrown open and the patio becomes my dining room. Given the vagrancies of an Irish Summer it’s important to be ready to grab every opportunity to enjoy the sun so the last thing you want to do is spend hours in the kitchen. This pork and apple burger fits the bill and the asparagus ‘slaw is the perfect accompaniment. A nice chilled glass of wine and what more could you need? I get my pork mince from my ever helpful butchers, Hanlons in Tullamore – it’s the mince that  Michael uses for his sausages and it has the right amount of fat for burgers. The apple syrup adds a certain extra 🙂

Pork & Apple Burger  

What you need:

  •  1 apple, peeled and cored
  • Bunch spring onions, finely chopped
  • 4-5 sage leaves, finely chopped
  • 500g pork mince
  • 30-50 panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tsp wholegrain mustard
  • Few drops of Highbank Orchards Apple Syrup
  • 1 egg beaten

What you do:

  • I take the easy way out and use my food processor to make these. Firstly whizz the apple to very small pieces. Then add in the spring onions, sage and mince.
  • Throw in a handful of panko breadcrumbs , mustard and apple syrup.
  • The last bite requires a little judgement – you might not need all the egg as you don’t want the mix to be too wet so don’t add it all at once.
  • Then form the mix into burgers – I use a chef’s food ring. This mix will give you 4 large burgers or 8 small.  If you have time allow them to chill before cooking.

When you’re ready, barbecue the burgers for  6/8 minutes on each side. As the Chief Taster discovered it’s much easier to cook them using a ‘burger basket’ rather than directly on the grill (I didn’t laugh, honestly…) If the weather isn’t as good as you’d like you can always cook the burgers in the oven – 10-15 minutes at 180 C. Pork burger I’m a big asparagus fan and when I saw this idea I had to try to it – it’s now become a staple here. Naturally I use our delicious local rapeseed oil grown and bottled by Fintan in Glen Field Rapeseed Oil and I use the fab Clover Petal Shrub Vinegar from The Wild Irish . If you’re not lucky enough to be able to find this vinegar a red or sherry wine vinegar will suffice. Sharon makes all the vinegars herself (after Gordon has foraged for the ingredients) and I believe the next flavour I have to try is Honeysuckle Shrub.

Asparagus ‘Slaw  

What you need:

  • Tbsp.freshly  chopped mint
  • 2 tbsp. Glen Field rapeseed oil
  • 2 tbsp. Wild Irish Shrub vinegar
  • Small bunch spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots,peeled
  • 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed

What you do:

  • Whisk mint, oil and vinegar in a bowl. Season
  • Cut the carrot into matchsticks and add to the bowl with the spring onions
  • Using a vegetable peeler, ‘ shave’ the asparagus into the salad
  • Toss everything together before serving.

Asparagus 'Slaw All you need to finish this dish is a pineapple & lime salsa but that’s a recipe for another day… full pic with relish

Happy Cooking !

If you’re interested in more BBQ ideas I’m holding another class on Friday 20th June – you can contact me at for more details


2 thoughts on “Summer Cooking”

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