This vegetarian take on In-N-Out’s famous burgers combines a homemade spin on “animal sauce” and combines it with a hearty burger that gets its meatiness from lentils, mushrooms, and buckwheat. The burgers are a great source of protein and fiber, as well as antioxidants, b vitamins and minerals.
Prep: 1 hr 45 min, Cook: 10 min, Yield: 6 burgers
1 qt vegetable broth, divided
1 c dried green French lentils, rinsed
1 oz dried porcini mushrooms
¾ c extra virgin olive oil, divided
½ c shallot, finely chopped, divided
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp sea salt, divided
8 oz shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, quartered
1 Tbsp tomato paste
½ tsp liquid smoke½ c dried buckwheat, rinsed
1 lg carrot, chopped into ¼” pieces
3 slices gluten-free bread
1 egg yolk
2 tsp lemon juice
½ tsp dijon mustard
2 cornichons, chopped
1 Tbsp ketchup
½ tsp apple cider vinegar
½ tsp coconut sugar
2 Tbsp ghee
¼ c yellow mustard
6 slices cheddar cheese
1 head of butter lettuce
In a medium saucepan, bring 2.5 c of vegetable broth and lentils to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, or until lentils are tender and most of the broth has been absorbed. Strain and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, pour 1 c boiling water over dried porcini mushrooms until just covered. Let sit for 15 minutes, or until mushrooms are soft and fully rehydrated.
Place a 12-inch saucepan over medium-low heat. Add 2 Tbsp olive oil until it swirls easily to coat the pan. Add ¼ c shallot and sweat until it is translucent and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, paprika, cumin, and sea salt, cooking for 1 minute. Add shiitake mushrooms, tomato paste, and liquid smoke. Cook for 5 minutes more, or until mushrooms are soft and have released their liquid.
Let mushroom mixture cool, then pulse in a food processor until the mixture is fully combined. About 10 pulses. Set aside in a large bowl.
Strain porcini mushrooms and reserve liquid. Roughly chop mushrooms and set aside.
Reheat skillet from mushrooms over medium-low, add 2 Tbsp olive oil and heat again until it swirls easily. Add remaining shallot and sweat as before. Once the shallots are translucent, add half of chopped porcini mushrooms and buckwheat. Cook 1 minute. Add half of mushroom soaking liquid and stir until liquid is absorbed into buckwheat mixture. Repeat with the other half of liquid and remaining vegetable broth, making sure not to exceed ½ c increments in adding liquid. Stir constantly, giving grains time to absorb liquid. When ½ c liquid remains, add chopped carrots. Stir in last bit of remaining liquid and allow grains to absorb it. Grains should have a risotto-like texture, and carrots should be just barely cooked.
Let grain mixture cool, then pulse in food processor until no large pieces of carrot remain. Combine with mushroom mixture in large bowl. Add cooked lentils and remaining porcini mushrooms as well.
Mash lentils with the back of a spoon as you mix into the mushroom and grain mixtures. Most should be crushed.
Toast bread and tear into small pieces. Place in food processor and pulse until the size of breadcrumbs. Mix into bowl of lentils, mushrooms, and grains. Refrigerate mixture for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, place egg yolk, lemon juice, and Dijon mustard into a non-reactive bowl. Whisk until mixed. Very slowly drizzle the remaining olive oil into the bowl, whisking constantly. The mixture will slowly emulsify and become mayonnaise for the sauce. Measure out 2 Tbsp + 2 tsp into a small bowl and save remainder for another use.
Combine measured mayonnaise, cornichons, ketchup, apple cider vinegar, and coconut sugar. Mix well and set aside.
Remove burger mixture from fridge. Divide into 6 equally sized sections and roll into a ball. Flatten the patty until it’s about ¾” thick and 3-4” in diameter.
In a large skillet, melt ghee over medium-high heat. Place patties into skillet and cook for 5 minutes, or until a deep, golden brown. While burgers are cooking, slather the uncooked side with yellow mustard. Flip, cover with sliced cheese (if desired) and cook 5 minutes more.
Serve burgers on butter lettuce with 1 Tbsp “animal sauce” on each.
Notes: This recipe can be easily adapted to be vegan by substituting coconut oil for the final frying of the burger, using Veganaise instead of the homemade mayonnaise, as well as choosing a vegan cheese to add at the end.
Allergens: Dairy, Egg, Nightshades
Source: Inspired by Mark Bittman’s “McBitty’s Bean Burgers”