This week I have two different burgers, one beef and one pork, both ideal for the good weather.

It is always nice to eat outdoors when we get the chance. It is great to make your own burgers from scratch and know exactly what is in them.

You can use any spices that you like.

And both of these recipes are ideal for children to learn to cook. Make sure you get Quality Assured Irish mince.

I always enjoy the pork and apple burgers. We have a lot of good blue cheeses made in Ireland now. You could try Wicklow, or Young Buck, or Cashel Blue.

There is a nice saltiness to them. If you are not a fan of that taste, just substitute with cheddar. You might also like to try smoked paprika instead of the paprika. Now all we need to do is enjoy the weather.

Happy cooking,



Smoked bacon beef burgers with cheddar shavings and tarragon mayonnaise

Smoked bacon beef burgers with cheddar shavings and tarragon mayonnaise. \ Food styling: Janine Kennedy. Photography: Claire Nash

Makes six

2 tbsp milk

75g (3oz) fresh white ciabatta breadcrumbs

550g (1¼lb) premium steak mince (preferably rump)

1 garlic clove, crushed

2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 tbsp tomato purée

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

6 slices of streaky smoked bacon

6 sourdough burger buns

50g (2oz) rocket

175g (6oz) shop-bought tomato country relish

100g (4oz) mature Cheddar cheese

6 dill pickles

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the tarragon mayonnaise:

150g (5oz) mayonnaise

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon

  • 1 First make the tarragon mayonnaise. Place the mayonnaise, mustard and tarragon in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Mix well to combine, then chill until needed.
  • 2 To make the burgers, put the milk in a large bowl with the breadcrumbs and set aside for 5 minutes to allow the breadcrumbs to absorb the milk. Add the steak mince, garlic, parsley, tomato purée and Worcestershire sauce and season with salt and pepper. Using your hands, mix well to combine. Shape into six patties.
  • 3 Heat a large non-stick frying or griddle pan over a medium-high heat. Add the patties and cook for 4 minutes on each side or until cooked to your liking – you may have to do this in batches depending on the size of your pan. Remove to a plate and leave to rest.
  • 4 Add the smoked bacon to the pan and cook for 2 minutes on each side, until lightly golden. Split the buns and lightly toast under the grill, then spread with the tarragon mayonnaise.
  • 5 Arrange a small pile of rocket on the bottom of each one. Top with a beef burger, a slice of smoked bacon and a dollop of tomato country relish. Using a vegetable peeler, pare over shavings of cheddar and dill pickles.
  • 6 Add the tops of the buns and serve at once with the rest of the rocket as a salad on the side.
  • Pork and apple burgers with Wicklow Blue cheese and coleslaw

    Makes six

    2 red dessert apples

    800g (1¾lb) lean minced pork

    2 tsp paprika

    1 tbsp rapeseed oil

    150g (5oz) Wicklow Blue cheese, sliced

    6 blaa or burger buns, split in half

    4 tbsp shop-bought caramelised red onion chutney

    50g (2oz) baby salad leaves

    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    For the coleslaw:

    ½ celeriac, peeled

    ¼ red cabbage, tough core removed

    2 carrots, peeled

    2 tsp caster sugar

    5 tbsp mayonnaise

    1 tbsp Dijon mustard

    1 tbsp white wine vinegar

    1 tsp salt

  • 1 To make the coleslaw, use the grating attachment of a food processor or the coarse side of an ordinary box grater to grate the celeriac, red cabbage and carrots. Sprinkle over the sugar and 1 tsp of salt. Make sure it’s well mixed, then place into a colander set in the sink. Leave to drain for at least 1 hour to remove the excess liquid.
  • 2 Meanwhile, cut the apple into quarters, remove the core and grate the flesh into a bowl with the minced pork and paprika. Season with salt and pepper and mix well with your hands. Shape into six round patties, flattening them slightly.
  • 3 Heat a griddle pan over a medium-high heat. Brush the burgers with the oil and add to the hot pan. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 5-6 minutes on each side, until lightly browned and cooked through. Turn off the heat, lay the cheese on top of the burgers and leave to rest.
  • 4 Give the grated vegetables a good squeeze before placing in a large bowl. Mix the mayonnaise, mustard and vinegar in a small bowl, then fold into the grated vegetables until evenly coated. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • 5 Toast the buns on a grill rack under a medium heat until lightly toasted. Add a little of the coleslaw, then cover with a burger topped with the blue cheese and finish with a dollop of the chutney and a small mound of baby salad leaves. Place the burger bun tops to the side and serve the rest of the winter slaw alongside.