Everyone loves a great origin story.
One such story concerns the humble hamburger. For over a century the origins of the hamburger have been disputed more hotly than a flame grill barbeque but one thing seems clear – the name has nothing to do with the ingredients.
Nowhere has it ever been suggested that ham, or any
variation of pork, should be the meat in the bun. Instead it appears the fast
food favourite takes its name from the German city of Hamburg – or possibly its
little cousin, the US town of Hamburg.
Recipes involving finely chopped meat date back centuries and can be found across the globe. In Hamburg, Germany a particular delicacy was the Frikadeller: a pan-fried combination of ground beef with soaked stale bread, egg, chopped onion, salt and pepper, usually served with potatoes and vegetables – though not in a bun.
In the early 19th century many Europeans heading
to New York departed using the Hamburg America shipping line and soon numerous
restaurants sprang up offering immigrants a taste of the old country. As the
population of New York grew new towns sprung up, one of which took the name of
Hamburg. In 1885 food vendors Frank and Charles Menches ran out of pork sausage
for their sandwiches at the nearby county fair. A local butcher, short on pork,
suggested ground beef instead. The brothers served it in bread with ketchup and
onions and the “Hamburg” sandwich was born.
Various other tales lay claim to the revolutionary step of serving ground beef in a bun as food on the go but the first fast food chain to really embrace the hamburger was White Castle, which celebrates its centenary this year. Their flattened, square burgers were known as sliders and soon the company had nearly 100 restaurants across the mid-west with staff kept up to date through the company newsletter “the hot hamburger”.
In 1940, on California’s
route 66, McDonald’s first restaurant opened. It offered 25 different menu
options but brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald soon found hamburgers made up
80% of sales.
Word spread of their
innovation – the “fast food” burgers ready for takeaway in a minute and the
drive-in where you could eat food in the car park. Now you can find McDonalds
in more than 100 countries across the world.
The humble burger has
progressed, there’s one to suit all appetites, pockets and tastes, including vegan
options and every summer enthusiastic garden chefs across the land cook up
their own barbeque creations.
For those with a big appetite the world’s largest burger is available at Mallie’s Sports Grill and Bar in Detroit though you have to order three days in advance. Weighing in at over 2,000 pounds, it’s topped with cheese, tomatoes, onions, pickles, and lettuce and measures three feet tall and five feet wide.
Meanwhile, over in Las Vegas high rollers can visit the Fleur restaurant to dine on the world’s most expensive hamburger. The Fleurburger is made from wagyu beef, seared foie gras and truffle shavings, served with a prized 1995 Chateau Petrus wine from Bordeaux it will set you back $5,000 – at least you also get a few chips.
We’re staying with the good old US of A for this week’s recipe, and it won’t cost you $5,000!
Philly Cheese Steak Baguette
Pickled Red Cabbage:
- Half red cabbage
- 2g cracked black pepper
- 8g garlic puree
- 6g smoked salt
- 25g sugar
- 220ml water
- 220ml red wine vinegar
- 50g red sliced jalapeno
- 50g green jalapeño
Slice the red cabbage place to one side
Boil the rest of the liquids until the sugar is dissolved
chill then pour the liquor over the cabbage and leave in the fridge for 24
Gruyere Cheese & Dijon Mustard Sauce:
- 2 tbps flour
- 2 tbps butter
- 1 can evaporated milk
- ½ block gruyere cheese
- 1g sodium citrate
- 0.5g turmeric
- 200g milk
Melt the butter and slowly add the flour and turmeric mix
the milks together and slowly add to the roux (flour + Butter) stirring
constantly add the sodium citrate and fold in the cheese slowly
A1 BBQ Sauce:
- 200g glucose
- 125g tomato paste
- 125g tomato ketchup
- 72g white wine vinegar
- 15g veg Worcestershire sauce
- 10g molasses
- 10g burnt caramelized syrup
- 10g garlic powder
- 5g natural smoked syrup
- 50g orange concentrate
- 2g yeast extract
- 20g water
Salt & Pepper Tiger Baguette:
With the range of fresh bread available I bought this
from the local supermarket
Caramelized Red Onion:
- 8 red onions
- 1 red chilli
- 2 bay leaves
- 25ml olive oil
- 200g brown sugar
- 150ml balsamic vinegar
- 150ml red wine vinegar
Cut your onions and chilli into short, thin slices and put them into a pan with
the bay leaves and oil. Cook gently over a low heat for about 20 minutes.
Once the onions are dark and sticky, add the sugar and the vinegars and simmer
for 30 minutes or so, until the chutney is thick and dark.
Pour the chutney into hot, sterilised jars and let it cool. Ideally, you should
leave it for a month or more before you eat it, to mature in flavour.
Dijon Mustard Mayo:
- 4 tbsp mayo
- 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
Mix these in a bowl and place in a side dish
Beer Battered Onion Rings:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 300g pale ale
- 2 large onions
- veg oil for frying
Slice the onions
width ways inch thickness to make the rings gently break these up into rings,
add the flour and dry’s to a bowl gradually stir in the beer insure there is no
lumps in the mix
Sweet Potato Fries:
Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/gas
6. Wash 2 large sweet potatoes under cold running water, scrubbing well
with a scrubber to get rid of any dirt (there’s no need to peel them)
Cut each sweet potato in half
lengthways, cut each half in half lengthways, then each piece in half again so
you end up with 8 wedges
Add to a large mixing bowl, then
sprinkle over a tiny pinch of sea salt and black pepper, and ½ a teaspoon of
sweet smoked paprika
Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil,
then toss everything together to coat
Spread out into a single layer in a
large baking tray, then bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until golden and cooked
Leave to sit for a couple of minutes
(this will make it easier to remove them from the tray), then use a fish slice
to transfer them to a serving dish
White Onions, mixed peppers:
- 2 sliced onions
- 2 peppers sliced
cheese cut into half 8 slices
x Sirloin Steak
Place the seasoned sirloin steaks on a
hot grill pan and cook each side for 2.30sec this will give you a medium rare
finish, once both sides are cooked place on a tray and allow to rest place a
knob of butter on each steak and rest 10-12min
Use another hot pan and add the sliced
onions and peppers add salt to taste and sauté these until soft
When the meat has rested thinly slice
each one mix with the peppers and onions,
Cut each end of the bag and slice in
half, place a thin layer of mayo across the whole of the bottom baguette, add
the red onion chutney on top and place the Emmental cheese from top to bottom.
Add the meat, peppers & onions to
the baguette and slowly pour over the gruyere
cheese sauce whilst warm add the washed rocket and place the bag on top, place
on a slate and add the other accompaniments to the board
Ideal for a party will serve 10 people easily.