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Old 11-17-2008, 02:00 PM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 57
I need help with pesto burgers please

The original recipe calls for you to make your own pesto sauce from scratch. I can't do this because it's too expensive and I don't have the necessary equipment needed to make the pesto (a food processor/blender). The pesto comes in little glass jars that are like 6 oz. each (at least that's how big I recall them being last time I used the jarred variety; this is a guesstimate).

Anyway, my question is, the recipe doesn't specify how much pesto you're supposed to use total in the recipe; I know you're supposed to use at bare minimum, a 1/2 cup. This is because the recipe states that the use of the pesto is divided (recipe doesn't state this in the ingredient list, but it does imply this in the instructions of the recipe). You combine a 1/2 cup of pesto with the ground beef. The other portion of it you spread onto the hamburger buns, and is essentially used as a condiment. I'm also making a double batch, so I'm guessing I should use 2 jars of the jarred pesto for a total of 1 cup?

One more thing I would like to ask about the recipe. It calls for breadcrumbs to be mixed into the meat mixture, which I know will act as a binding agent. However most recipes I see for burgers also specify to add egg to bind your meat, breadcrumbs (or I've seen crushed cracker used) so you have a cohesive mass. It does specify to add pesto sauce to the meat mixture, so should I worry about adding eggs
to this or not? If so, how many and should I worry about beating them prior to adding them to the meat mixture? Please specify (if I need to add eggs) how many I would need to add for a double batch.

Below is the link for the recipe:



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Old 11-18-2008, 06:39 AM   #2
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Rule of thumb with eggs and ground beef is one egg per pound of beef. Having said that, I don't usually add eggs to burgers. I could see adding the pesto, but I'd personally eliminate the breadcrumbs. To me, now you're making meatballs, not burgers, regardless of the shape.

Pesto and beef go great together; I'd suggest being wary of overkill, though. Would you consider using it either in the burger or on the bun, but not both? Christopher's Ranch makes pesto, probably what you've seen. It's not bad, but it has a citric acid taste. It would definitely get the job done for you. Purist that I am, and since you clearly cannot make your own, why not simply chop chop chop chop chop fresh basil and garlic, toss it with some olive oil, cheese, S&P and just spoon that over the cooked burger?

Specifically, to answer your question, you don't really need the eggs to bind the meat. Once you added the pesto, the bread crumbs will absorb any extra liquid the pesto presented.

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Old 11-18-2008, 12:41 PM   #3
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Since you are grilling the burgers & using 1 lb of ground beef, I would cut the pesto down to 1/4 cup. I would eliminate the oregano, as the recipe calls for Italian breadcrumbs. No eggs are needed, as pesto contains oil, & you want the burgers firm enough to grill & flip -- not fall apart. My suggestion - buy the best beef, season very little (w S&P), & spread the pesto on your buns. You could add the chopped red peppers (or sun-dried tomatoes), a little worcestershire, & chopped onion to the mix. Shape it into patties, and firm up in the fridge for the grill.

I rarely use eggs in ground beef anymore, unless I'm making a meatloaf. I like to taste the beef. Another hint/trick - don't overwork the beef mixture, form it gently together with your hands.
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