Originating in Hamburg, this patty is an abbreviation of the Hamburger steak, i.e. beef grilled in the Hamburg style. Introduced into the United States by German immigrants, it’s this American version that has gained worldwide fame.
Unfortunately, the UK hasn’t quite gotten the memo; London does great fish’n’chips, but, burgers? Eh, not so much. Too often they are overcooked and lack additional seasonings or creative combinations of toppings. Because of this, I just make mine at home – it’s really easy! The finely chopped shallots and thyme provide additional seasonings to the meat and the ground pistachios are a surprising touch that enhances the flavour. Add any combination of toppings you want, but I think these caramelised onions and seared shitake mushrooms create the perfect burger. If you’re having cheese, I suggest a nice goat, but Rob’s preference for cheddar might be spot on. Serve with coleslaw and oven-roasted chips to really complete the dish – just what I’ve been craving!
400 g quality ground beef
2 eggs, beaten
1 tbl thyme, finely chopped
1/3 cup shallots, finely chopped
1/3 cup pistachios, finely ground
Salt and pepper
2 red onions, sliced thinly
250 g shitake mushrooms, sliced
- Combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and season with salt and pepper.
- Form 4 thick, flat round patties, brush with olive oil and grill for 5 min on each side. Add the cheese during the last few minutes of cooking so that it melts over the meat.
- Caramelise the onions by cooking the thinly sliced onions in a mixture of butter and olive oil, and seasoned with salt and pepper, in a large saute pan over low heat for approx. 30 min. The caramelisation comes from the natural sugars in the onions – if you wish, add a sprinkle of sugar to help this process along. Add water as necessary to stop the onions from drying out or burning.
- Pan fry the shitake mushrooms in a small amount of butter. Season with salt and pepper.
- Serve the burgers in slightly toasted buns with the caramelised onions, seared shitake mushrooms and coleslaw and oven-roasted chipson the side.