I must have been about 6 at the time… a bit vague, but that would have been my first “burger’ experience. Dad took my brother and I to ‘town’ (Port of Spain) to spend the day at the zoo and the choice was Burger Boys or Wimpy’s! This was before McDonalds, Burger King and Wendys invaded the Caribbean. Not sure why we ended up at Wimpy’s, but I still recall sharing a massive platter with my brother as we joked with my dad that it looked like something from the Flintstones. Even to this day, when we grill/BBQ in the Caribbean burgers and hotdogs rarely ever touch the grates.. we want REAL meat (and fish)!
1 1/4 lbs ground beef (medium)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 scotch bonnet pepper finely diced (optional)
2 scallions (chopped)
1/2 cup parsley (chopped)
3 sprigs thyme (optional)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon Montreal steak spice (optional)
1/4 teaspoon allspice (optional)
Important: If doing this recipe gluten free, go through the full list of ingredients to make sure they meet with your specific gluten free dietary needs – especially the Worcestershire sauce.
Finely chop the parsley, scallions and scotch bonnet pepper – don’t use any seeds or white membrane surrounding the seeds as that’s where you’ll get the raw heat and remember to wash your hands after with soap and water. Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix together. You’ll notice that I do not use eggs or any sort of filler in my burgers. Shape into 4 large burgers or 6 smaller burger and you can place them in the fridge to set (so they don’t fall apart on the grill) or grill immediately.
For a little more island flavor you can add a touch of allspice in the mix. And once formed, if you have Montreal Steak Spice, you can sprinkle on some as you grill these burgers. If you don’t have access to a grill, you can definitely pan fry them on your stove top (a dry non stick pan will work best). Basically all you do now is grill on a medium flame ( I used a propane grill - too lazy to do charcoal this time) and cook as you would normally do your burgers.
Having moved to North America and slowly immersing myself in the culture over the years, good homemade burgers is something I look forward to every summer! So gone are the days when I’d reach for the roadhouse burgers in the frozen section at the Costco, as I much prefer to control what I put in my burgers.. maybe next time I’ll share my trick of using spicy sausages in the mix and grilling some slices of pineapple to top them with!