Although the word ‘rissole’ means different dishes in different countries, New Zealand style rissoles are a favorite of many people. Similar to the rissoles made in the UK, Ireland and Poland, these delicious ground beef patties are flavored with garlic, onion, egg and other tasty ingredients and then barbecued to perfection. Australian rissoles are similar but usually contain breadcrumbs. New Zealanders prefer to keep the ground beef percentage high and like to cook theirs over a barbeque in the summer, which is where the inspiration for the following recipe came from.
Rissoles in some other countries are unrecognizable from these. For example, in France a rissole is a baked, battered pear dessert, and in Indonesia they are similar to egg rolls and filled with chicken, vegetables and béchamel sauce. The tastiest type though is the New Zealand rissole because they are beef-rich and really flavorful, especially when flame-grilled so they take on a smoky taste.
So what is the difference between a New Zealand beef rissole and a hamburger patty, you might be wondering, since both are made from ground meat. Well, for one thing rissoles are a different shape. They are smaller and fatter than a hamburger patty and they do not have to be round either. In fact, keeping the shape slightly uneven adds to their appeal. Some rissole recipes call for finely minced carrot, mushroom, onion or another type of vegetable, which you would not put in a hamburger patty recipe.
You can adapt this recipe if you like, although it is very flavorful as it is. If you do have some vegetables to use up, you can finely mince them and add them to the mixture. Finely ground beef tends to hold together better than the coarser type, so if you are adding a variety of minced veggies then you might wish to put the beef through a food processor to get it finer, so it holds together better. Something else you can do is chill the rissoles in the refrigerator for half an hour before you barbeque them. This will solidify the fat content so they stick together better.
What do you plan to serve with this recipe? If you want to stick with the New Zealand theme, you might like to pick some ‘Down Under’ side dishes like baked fennel with parmesan and cream cheese or a summer salad with avocado, watercress, tomato, mango and any other flavorful, colorful ingredients you want to add. Freshly-made creamy coleslaw would be another popular choice.
- 1 lb ground beef
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 1 minced garlic clove
- ½ finely chopped onion
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- Oil, as needed
- Prepare your barbecue for medium-hot grilling.
- Combine the beef, paprika, garlic, onion, Worcestershire sauce, egg and thyme.
- Stir in salt and black pepper to taste.
- Divide the mixture into 8 round balls.
- Flatten each one into a ½ inch thick rissole.
- Brush the rissoles with oil then barbeque them for about 3 minutes per side or until they are cooked through and golden brown.
- Let the rissoles rest for a few minutes before serving.
This photo shows the visual difference between a rissole and a hamburger. Rissoles have an irregular shape because they are not served in a bun. Instead these are great served with a potato salad or perhaps coleslaw. Choose mayonnaise, mustard or ketchup as a dipping sauce, and enjoy these piping hot from the grill. In the summertime New Zealanders love to get outside and fire up the barbeque. Hot, smoky meat recipes served with cool, creamy side dishes are fantastic during the warmer spring and summer days, and using ground beef to make these means they are affordable too.
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