Before we get to the Beef Burger Kraut Style lets talk about the Beef Burgers. Beef Burgers, as we American’s call them, have a rich history indeed. To many, this will be a surprise when they learn that America’s best loved meal was not an American discovery, but rather a German one. As the story goes, in the 1850’s, a ship line named the ‘German-Hamburg Amerikan Line‘ would bring Germans and other European’s over to the new world. The cheapest meal they could offer their passengers was “hamburger steaks” as they were known as. The meat was cheap, and to keep it preserved, often smoked ahead of the journey. This ‘hamburger steak’ was especially popular among the Jewish immigrants. So much so, they continued to prepare this dish when they arrived on the shores of America.
White Table Cloth Burgers
Yes, I’d say in many ways, this hamburger steak has morphed over the years. Quite obviously, it’s been down-graded and thanks to the fast-food industry, the dish is often looked down upon. Today however, the glory days of the burger are returning to somewhat of a delicacy. You can find yourself a fancy steak burger in most any white-table cloth steak house. It will more than likely be accompanied by house made sauces, alternative vegetables, and nice fresh herbs. The burger has been upgraded, and updated.
As I’ve mentioned before, I live in Switzerland at the moment. Not too long ago, Switzerland announced the coming of a brand new, very alternative burger, only this burger was to be made with insects! It’s a growing trend here, one which I have yet to try…but it’s still available for purchase in select grocery stores. I guess it’s one way of getting yourself off beef, and onto insect! But, I’ve also noticed in the markets and butchers here that most hamburger patties are pre-formed and pre-made. The are not resembling our American patty much, but each country has their own likes on this well-known meal.
All different Kind of Burgers
This leads me to believe that many European’s are still not to familiar with our good old American burger traditions. Well, I’m here to show you just how simple it is. Be inspired to create your piece of burger history. Create and name your combinations. Do you fancy the “Kraut-Burger” which could be a burger topped with warm or cold Sauer-Kraut. Or is it the “Mushroom Burger” that is topped with oodles of deliciously sauteed shrooms. Go seasonal-for summer, make it the “Guacamole Burger”, or the “Zucchini Burger”. Are you feeling the inspiration yet? The possibilities are quite endless here. Don’t be conned into thinking that you need to buy your patty pre-made and formed! For this occasion, think like an American and see, taste and feel the difference!
- 1 lb ground meat or grind your own as I talked about earlier
- 1 small egg acts as a binder
- 2 to 3 TBS herbs fresh or dried oregano, sage and rosemary
- 1/3 cup bread crumbs acts as a binder
- 2 to 3 pinches salt
- 2 to 3 pinches ground pepper
- In a small to medium metal bowl, combine your ingredients-everything together
- use your hands to mix and mash together until well combined and everything seems to stick. If the mixture feels too moist, add more bread crumbs, but not too much.
- Form your patty’s to the desired size. It might help to know what size bun you will use, thus not making them to large or to small.
- Get a medium size frying pan for the cooking process, or throw on a grill. Either way, cook the patty to your specification. Do you like it more rare? Then don’t go longer than 4 minutes on each side. For a but more well done, about 5-6 minutes. You should determine if it’s cooked by pressing down on the cooked patty while on the grill or in the pan. Be sure the juices that come out are clear and not bloody.
- Prepare your condiments. Anything goes, but somethings are a must. For us, we like lettuce (either iceberg or a butter leaf), onion (preferably red!) and a tomato. If I happen to have sprouts, or avocado, then they are added too. Accompany with french fries, or in this case, I made a cole-slaw salad and some fresh made red sauerkraut.