Having lived in Brunei for a couple of years when I was a teenager, I am following the news of how the Sultan of Brunei is implementing the penal code of the Sharia Law. I was utterly amazed when I first read about it, and I still am so.
At the time when I was living there, a few Islamic impositions were in place. The sales of alcoholic drinks were prohibited. The entry of alcoholic drinks into the country for personal use by non-Muslims was heavily regulated. They were big on ensuring that the Muslims did not eat our haram foods. Despite the fact that Brunei is geographically located in a hot and humid tropical country, Muslim women were obliged to wear a veil and clothes that kept them well covered. And so on. One could think that all this is quite menial compared to what’s to come.
It was common knowledge that the Sultan, who at that time was the richest man in the world, toppled himself off that status by living his overly lavished lifestyle. His palaces were furnished in gold furniture. His collection of over 200 horses lived in air conditioned stables. He had a massive collection of Rolls Royce cars. He would throw the most amazing parties, especially when he was overseas, where it was a known fact that alcoholic drinks were in abundance.
Above all, it was well known that the Sultan and his brother had a harem of beautiful women from many nationalities. I read this article today from The Daily Beast, written by one of the women from the harem herself. Her article reflects in great precision my amazement at how somebody that gives women as a gift for his brother’s harem now decides to put in place such a law.
Ok, let’s go onto some happier thoughts, like with some homemade thyme beef burger with French Cantal cheese. This post was supposed to feature a lasagna recipe, but the usual thing happened. I was short on time so I made burgers with the minced beef instead.
Thyme Beef Burger with Cantal Cheese
600g minced beef, thyme, 1 clove garlic, 1 egg, 2 teaspoons flour, salt, black pepper, Cantal cheese, 1 teaspoon olive oil, chapata bread, lettuce, 1 tomato, mustard
Cut the garlic into very small pieces. Mix the minced beef, thyme, garlic, egg, flour, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Shape the burgers.
Slice the Cantal cheese.
Heat the olive oil in a large pan. Cook the burgers for about 5 minutes on each side. Add the cheese while the burgers are still being cooked if you like them melted.
Serve on some bread with lettuce, tomatoes and mustard, or with other garnishes of your choice.
Thank you for reading!