For quite awhile I’ve been talking about trying to replicate the ”Impossible” burgers without all of the added ingredients like methylcellulose, yeast extract, gums, and an ingredient high in iron called ”heme,” the red ingredient that appears to make the impossible burger bleed. While there is heme in humans and animals, and it is in the meat products that we eat, the heme in the impossible burgers is genetically modified from soybean roots. If you’re interested in reading more about heme, and how and why it is incorporated into the impossible burger, I suggest you google it. But there are none of those ingredients in this recipe which I found in Food and Wine’s August issue. I mean, where would I find heme?? I must admit it was quite a process, and it is decidedly easier to take a package of ground beef out of your freezer. But, if you want a plant based burger without a lot of additives, that is healthy, and good for the environment, try this recipe. It made eight burgers. My husband and I each enjoyed a burger for lunch and I froze the other six in packages of two. My husband said they were alright. I really liked mine. And I would definitely make these again.
4 cups of water
1 T plus 1/4 tsp kosher salt, divided
1/3 cup uncooked pearl barley, rinsed
1 dried bay leaf
1 pound of fresh button mushrooms stemmed and quartered
2 T tamari or soy sauce
6 T plus 1 tsp olive oil, divided
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 head of garlic halved crosswise
2 medium carrots peeled and shredded (about 3/4 cup)
2 small beets peeled and shredded (about 3/4 cup)
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 can chickpeas (15 1/2 oz can), drained and rinsed
2/3 cup gluten-free or regular panko
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 T whole grain or dijon mustard
Preheat oven to 400 F.
In a medium saucepan bring 4 cups of water and 1 T of salt to a boil. Rinse the barley and add it to the water along with a bay leaf. Return to a boil. Simmer undisturbed for about 25 minutes until the barley is al dente. Drain, remove and discard the bayleaf, and allow the barley to cool for about 15 minutes.
While your barley is cooking toss together the mushrooms, tamari, 2 T of olive oil, pepper, and 1/4 tsp salt.
Spread the mushrooms in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Place the garlic head halves on a sheet of aluminum foil, drizzle with 1 tsp olive oil, wrap tightly and place on the baking sheet with the mushrooms.
Transfer the cooled barley to a food processor and pulse until roughly chopped, about 15 pulses. Transfer the barley to a large bowl and add the beets, carrots, cumin, and paprika.
Transfer the roasted mushrooms to the food processor and pulse until finally chopped, about 10 pulses. Transfer mushrooms to barley mixture.
Add the panko, walnuts, and mustard to the barley mixture and stir well.
NOTE: If you’re preparing two to four burgers at one time sear them in an oven safe skillet and transfer the skillet to the oven. If you are doing all eight burgers, bake them on a rimmed baking sheet. Remember there will be very little if any shrinkage as the patties cook.
I put six of the patties in packages of two and froze them. The recipe says they can e frozen for up to one month. Thaw frozen patties overnight in the refrigerator before cooking.