Turkey Burgers with Smoky Chipotle & Lime Mayo

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Happy Fourth of July my American readers! I seem to get quite a few people clicking through from the USA, so happy Independence Day to you today! I’ve always envied your amazing BBQ culture and I just love a good burger recipe!

This turkey burger recipe is inspired by the wonderful Rachael Ray, whose show I used to watch when it aired on Irish TV about 6 or 7 years ago. I don’t know why they don’t air it anymore, but I love her recipes and use her website a lot for inspiration. I also like to make these amazing Brioche Burger Buns to go with the burgers if I’m feeling ambitious. Any good quality burger bun will work well though, or even a soft flour tortilla to encase everything.

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The sauce is what really sets these burgers apart, as it adds so much extra flavour and texture.  Mr Cooksalot was not a turkey burger fan until I came up with this sauce. Turkey can be quite dry at the best of times, so the sour cream and scallion in the burgers themselves really helps to offset this. And the sauce adds some much needed creaminess to the assembled burger. I also love to make a version of this with beef burgers too, like these ones below:

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The featured image at the top of this post is also a photo of the beef version, because it fit better up there, but the rest of the photos below are of the turkey recipe! Sorry for the confusion, I just wanted to use the beef photos as they have better lighting. But the method is much the same anyway…

If you happen to have any left over sauce, it will keep in the fridge for a couple of days. As always, I try to get the best quality meat and other ingredients that I can afford. Fallon and Byrne will sell you great quality free range turkey mince if you order it a few days in advance. And Marks and Spencer sell both minced turkey breast and a mixture of minced breast and leg meat, if you prefer a bit more fat and therefore flavour. It’s not always in stock, so if I spot it, I usually stock up and keep it in the freezer.

These burgers also freeze well when raw. Just wrap them up well in clingfilm and freeze in flat layers in a ziplock bag. They will be fine for about 3 months. I’ve yet to try them out on my new gas BBQ as the weather has been ridiculously unpredictable here lately, but I see no reason why they wouldn’t work well on the grill, providing you treat them delicately, as they are softer and wetter than a traditional beef burger patty.

On to the recipe itself!

Ingredients:

For the sauce:

2-3 heaped tablespoons sour cream (the thicker the better if you can find it, e.g. Avonmore)

2-3 heaped tablespoons good quality mayo

Hot sauce of your choice – I like Chipotle Tabasco which is easy to find now in supermarkets, or any other smoky hot sauce

1 lime – you may need half or all of this, depending on how juicy it is

1 small onion

Flaky sea salt

For the burgers:

600g good quality turkey mince

2 or 3 scallions (spring onions)

1 Tbsp yellow mustard, I like French’s American mustard for burgers

1 Tsp dried thyme

Large pinch of sea salt

Good grinding of black pepper

1/3 cup or about 80 ml sour cream

100g smoked mature white cheddar, grated ( I used Gubbeen Smokehouse Cheese)

Light olive oil for frying

To serve:

4 large brioche burger buns (recipe for the best ever ones here)

Ketchup

Mustard

Crunchy lettuce like baby gem or cos

1. Turkey Burgers Ingredients

 

Method:

Start by making your special sauce so that it has time to marinate and the flavours can blend.

Finely chop or grate your onion into a small bowl. Add your lime juice (you’ll need about 2 tablespoons worth) and a generous pinch of salt and leave to stand for about 10 minutes. This will help to draw the all important juices out of the onion and also to mellow the taste. Then add your sour cream, mayo, hot sauce and stir well. Taste and check the seasoning – it’s totally up to you how spicy or mild you want this.

In a large bowl, mix all of the burger ingredients carefully with your hands. I like to make a claw shape with my hand and turn the mix over, trying to mix throughly without over working the mince, which will make it tough.

3. Turkey Burger Ingredients in bowl

Divide the turkey mix into four equal sections with the side of your hand, as if you’re making soda bread. Don’t worry, it will be a very wet mix – much wetter than a normal beef burger mixture. But you need that extra moisture to keep the turkey meat itself nice and juicy. Shape each quarter into a round patty and lay them on a plate. Of course, as always, be very careful not to touch anything after handling the raw meat, and wash your hands well. Clean down your work surface, making sure there’s no chance of cross contamination!

Heat a large, heavy bottomed frying pan over medium-high heat. Heat a tablespoon  or so of light olive oil in the pan. Add the burgers to the pan. Be careful not to move the burgers around until they have formed a deep brown colour on the bottom, then flip them carefully and squash them a bit with the back of your spatula.

Keep an eye on the heat, you want them to cook evenly throughout, so if they are browning too fast on the outside, chances are they’ll still be raw in the middle! They should take about 12-14 minutes to cook through. I always check the centre with the tip of a short knife to make sure the juices run completely clear and the meat has no pinkness to it. No-one will mind if their burger has a little cut into it, and it’s always better to be safe than sorry!

13. Grated Cheese on Burgers

At about 12 minutes, add the grated cheese to the top of each burger. If you have a fitted lid for the pan, cover them now, as the steam will help to melt the cheese. If you don’t have a lid, a large flat baking sheet will do the trick too, just make sure it’s nice and clean and that the sides of the frying pan are high enough so that the sheet doesn’t touch off the cheese!

12. Burger Buns and accompaniments

Get your buns and toppings ready. Warm the buns up gently in a low oven (unless they’re freshly baked like mine!). Wash and dry your lettuce. Get your ketchup, mustard, special sauce and whatever else you like to top your burgers with ready. You can even have all of this prep done before you start frying the burgers, In fact, if you are grilling them outside, I highly recommend doing this first, as you don’t want them getting cold!

Spread the sauce on the bottom bun, and your mustard and ketchup on the top. Place the burger on the bottom bun and dress with lettuce. Carefully fit the top bun on. Serve the turkey burgers immediately, with some yummy homemade chunky oven chips on the side. I love to serve any leftover sauce in a small bowl for dipping your chips.

16. Finished Turkey Burger Close Up 1

Most importantly, enjoy!

If you liked this recipe, you might also like my Brioche Burger Bun Recipe here. While you’re at it, check out my review of Itsa Bagel’s authentically American BBQ Shack pop-up from a few years ago here. Or if you can’t be bothered to go to all that trouble and you live near Dublin 4, may I suggest a trip to The Old Spot, for a very delicious burger? Read my review of it here.

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