Immersive Ten Plagues Seder Menu: Plague 4 – Wild Animals
Seder night is maybe the one time it’s acceptable for kids to play with their food. We wanted to bring some levity to the table and our wild animal burgers and shnitzels do just that. Each recipe makes 6 pieces. They are child-sized portions, but as an added meat option they present a fun extra, even if you only have big kids at the Seder. We have given you two meaty options for making this one, but if you would like a vegan alternative, try out our celeriac wild animals.
Both of these meat recipes use a large bear animal cookie cutter—we tried a number of different cutters but found the large bear was the best. We bought ours on Amazon and you can find the link for the exact cutter we chose on our Pesach menu shopping list.
Midrash says that after the second plague, the bodies of frogs littered the cities of Egypt, but after the fourth plague, the animals disappeared as miraculously as they came, so that the valuable skins could not be plundered. So eat up, and leave no burgers or shnitzels behind!
Both these recipes can be made in advance, frozen and reheated before serving.
Beef ‘Bearger’ Patties
Prep time: 15 mins | Cooking time: 10-40 mins
Perhaps it’s not quite the same trying to eat a burger between two pieces of Matza, but our beef ‘beargers’ are quick, delicious, fun and waste-free. Plus, these patties are so simple to make that even the kids could do it–so why not get them involved in the meal prep?
- 900g (2lb) Beef Mince
- Black Pepper
- Other seasonings to taste
(Garlic powder, onion powder, herbs, finely diced onions etc.)
- 1 tbsp Oil
- Separate your meat into 6 x 150g (approx). balls. Flatten down each one into a patty until it is big
- enough for the bear cookie cutter.
- Press down on your mince with the sharp edge of the cutter, pressing all the way through the patty.
- Tracing round the edge of the cutter with a finger (or a spoon if you prefer) scoop up any excess from the edges and put back into the mold, pressing down and filling in any gaps.
- Carefully push the patties out onto a flat surface from the top (to avoiding the sharp edge–you may wish to use the back of a spoon, and children should be supervised).
- Once you have done this with all your mince, you’re ready to cook your wild animal patties.
If cooking on a stove top:
- Dip your patty in a little bit of oil (pour a couple of tablespoons of oil onto a lipped plate).
- Cook in a hot griddle pan or regular frying pan for 4-5mins per side. For best results, only flip once, and avoid pressing down with the spatula. Patience is key!
To cook in the oven:
- Preheat your oven to 200°C / 180°C fan (Gas Mark 6 / 400°F)
- Rub patties with a little oil and place on a foiled tray.
- Bake in the oven, 30-40 mins, turning once halfway. They will release quite a lot of moisture, and have a tendency to pool, so carefully drain the liquid at the first turn to avoid your patties going soggy.
This is the more labour intensive of the two, and costs a little more–you will need six turkey breasts for this, which will only make you six schnitzels–but you can save the offcuts for a turkey stir fry or bake for another meal.
- 6 Turkey Breasts (Shnitzels)
- 2 Eggs beaten
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Matza meal (medium or fine)
- Oil (for frying)
- Beat your turkey pieces out flat (to do this, we placed in a ziplock and then gave them a good bash with a foiled rolling pin).
- On a chopping board, push out the shape using the sharp edge of the animal cutter, banging down the edges with the rolling pin if necessary, and use a sharp knife (or meat scissors) to cut away the excess.
- The more defined you can get the shape, the better.
- Pat your schnitzels dry (this step is very important!)
- Next, beat two eggs together in a wide, dish and set up a second dish beside it with Matza meal in (if you want to add any dried seasoning to the Matza meal, now is the time).
- Dip your turkey bear into egg, coating both sides, then dip into the Matza meal to coat and lay on a plate ready to fry. For an extra crispy schnitzel, you can repeat the egg and Matza meal coating for a second time.
- Heat a pan with oil – we like to fry ours in a decent amount of oil to coat the schnitzel and give them space to ‘float’.
According to some sources, the climate of each wild animal’s natural habitat came with them–why not plate your wild animals amongst salad leaves and rocket to make it seem like they’re emerging from a forest?
Photo credit: Sophy Weiss Photography