…that I almost died for.
Hamburger steak or hamburg steak? Do you know the difference? We all assume that the origin of hamburger is from Hamgurg, Germany. Is it real? Hmm…I’m not so sure…My conspiracy is that it’s something to do with pronunciation. The inventor of hamburg steak couldn’t pronounce “-er” or didn’t like the burger part, therefore took out the buns and called it “burg”. Convincing? Well…I love punning and joking around.
I don’t remember the last time I had a hamburger. Probably a few years ago in Australia, at Burger Fuel. It’s a New Zealand chain of gourmet hamburger chain, famous for grass-fed bee, fresh ingredients AND yummy sauces such as aioli and tomato relish. Their menus cater for all tastes ranging from meat lovers to vegans such as tofu, chickpea patties, etc.
I don’t eat hamburgers, don’t get me wrong, I love the taste of the patty and sauce, but the buns. I just don’t like them because I am a protein girl! I hope it will reach Europe some time; it’s reached so far as Iran!
Yes, the sauce…yes, it’s important. I can still taste in my mouth the tender meat patties smothered in the sweet and tangy tomato based sauce I used to eat as a kid. We had this 3 min-microwavable packet that you pour over rice. Oh…so delicious..it must have been full of MSG and artificial flavourings, but I didn’t care about them back then.
In fact, they were “Hamburg Steak”, which is a Japanese take on Salisbury steak. Now I know the reason why most of the hamburger patties aren’t up to my taste. The major difference in the ingredients is tofu and egg, that is, Western style is meatier. Turks live on meatballs, kofte, as you know, but I don’t like them much because they have a lamb taste or strong spices. So I’ve been avoiding eating meatballs for a while.
Then, with the starting of my new blog, my perception of meatball, in other words minced meat, has changed. Now I see it as economical and environmentally friendly. It is, indeed, the best option to stretch out a meal for one to a meal for ten. What a great concept!
I had 250g of minced beef in the fridge and I was going to make either Bolognese sauce or spiced mince to toss in bulgur or noodles.
Then, I saw cooked, mixed bulgur and rice, and I instantly switched my idea to meat patties and therefore came my fake steak. So I used up all the bits left over from making pizzas. However, accidentally, they happened to be the best meatballs or meat patties I’d ever made, not that I made them so often. Soft and moist, firm, not crumbly..I indulged in the victory of mastering hamburg steak.
I kept savouring slowly to think what made the difference this time, and my guess was that it was the seasoning; soy sauce and fish sauce.
And of course, once again, the sauce….it made a huge difference when it came to the taste and pleasure. My favourite red wine and balsamic reduction with demi-glace! I have home-made demi-glace in ice cubes ready to be used any time and I’ve been making good use of it instead of using ready-made stock cubes. It enriches the flavours of every dish you make. I hope you get to experience the power of demi-glace in your home.
Now, let’s talk about wine. We had two bottles to compare, one French, which my guest brought and had been half-drunk and open for a day, and one Turkish, Terra Öküzgözü 2009; typing Turkish characters is a pain in the neck.
Château de Cabran 2008 really took me by surprise, making me regret not having waited for a more suitable occasion for better appreciation. It had vibrant and complex tastes of both red fruit and bouquet – must have Syrah and Grenache in it, perhaps tidy bit of Viogner?? – had an elegant and lingering finish leaving kind of vanilla taste in the mouth. It’s been long time I last tasted Viogner wine so I’m not sure about it but anyhow, it was a very enjoyable drop for sure. As it was a gift, I have no idea about the wine and I shall thank Julien and ask him about the wine on his return. So I give this wine ♥♥♥♥.
As for Terra, it wasn’t that bad, once again, for the price, and it’s a fruit-driven table wine with low tannins, but no complexity. However, it happened to pair well with my hamburg steak, lucky you, Terra! So I give this wine ♥♥♥
Finally, here is the recipe.
Best Hamburg Steak
with Red Wine&Balsamic Reduction
Ingredients (makes 6 patties)
250g minced beef (more depending on your preference)
2 garlic gloves, minced
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms(optional)
1/3 cup pecorino, grated(optional)
1/2 cup cooked rice, bulgur or whatever you need to get rid of (optional)
1 egg, whisked
1 Tbsp flour
fresh herbs, basil or parsley
vegetable oil for shallow frying
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp fish sauce
cracked black pepper
For My famous Red Wine Reduction
1/2 cup cup red wine
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 cube demi-glace
1 tsp butter
a sprig of rosemary
1. Saute the chopped onions and garlic in the pan as it helps binding with the patty mixture.2. In a large bowl, put all the ingredients and seasonings and put on a disposable glove and mix well.
3. Heat oil in a pan and fry the patties on medium heat until the crust turns dark brown.
4. In the meantime, make the sauce by boiling down the liquid ingredients till the liquid sticks on the surface of the sauce pan when you swirl it.
5. Add a small dollop of butter to finish off and add cracked pepper, if desired.
6. Serve the steak with the sauce and dig in!