I was about 17 years old when I was part of a school student exchange with france. With our hardly manageable and ill-fitted school-french me and my fellow classmates found ourselves being caught in a school (un “collège”) downtown in the city of Marseille (deenfr) – and confronted with a very special local dialect 🙂

My guest parents though were extraordinarily endearing, caring and enthusiastic. They tought me more about french lifestyle, cooking and the language (yes, also swear-words) than school could ever have. Also, M. Rodriguez showed me how he made straight up southern france Steak Haché with veggies (it was a crowd feeder for their family of five) – this was about 30 years ago.

No-fuzz, done in no-time and delicious:

Ingredients (2 servings):

~500g minced meat (ideally beef but mixed is ok too)
Garlic powder
Dried thyme

1 head of brokkoli
2 cloves garlic
2 shallots
Pinch of chili flakes

Olive oil
Salt and pepper


Cut the brokkoli into small florets, trim the stemm off hard parts and the dry end. Then cut it up into fine cubes or stripes. Cut the garlic into fine slices, likewise the shallots.

Add everything to a baking dish, season with salt, pepper and chili flakes and mix thoroughly with a hearty dash of olive oil. Roast in the oven at 190°C, fan assisted, for ~20 mins. or until tender and browned nicely.

Form two meat patties of about 1.5 cm thickness, sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides. Season them with a just a pinch of garlic powder and thyme on either side. Lightly pat the seasonings into the patties.

In a frying pan, heat some olive oil over medium to medium high heat (I was tould olive oil was crucial and I’ve never done it with a different oil since.) Slowly cook the patties on either side until appetizingly browned and cooked through.

Serve brokkoli and patties arranged on a plate, together with crusty bread, if have some.