There is something special about piling a few select ingredients between a couple of pieces of bread.
Burgers, like Vietnamese banh mi, take the concept of sandwich in a new direction. MacDonald’s and Burger King, while building billion dollar businesses out of this, have unfortunately lowered many people’s expectations. We should see them as outliers while we focus on the amazing potential of this simple culinary structure. There are many dedicated to making great burgers. My go-to burger restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City certainly takes the art of the burger very seriously…
The subject of this post was inspired by a recipe from the Food & Wine site. I tailored things a little, and am very pleased with the results. Many burgers, while looking pretty yummy, are not particularly healthy. This one omits the cheese and rich salty sources, but it is nevertheless very tasty and will leave you more than satisfied.
Burger with pickled beets, smoky grilled pineapple, fried egg, and tomato and black garlic sauce. Grilled parsnip chips. Lettuce and fennel salad.
- 600 g quality minced beef
- 2 large or 4 small beetroots
- 1 onion sliced thinly lengthwise
- 1 pineapple cut into 10mm rounds
- 3 tomatoes
- 1 red pepper
- 2 cloves black garlic or 1/2 bulb roasted garlic
- 5 eggs 1 spare
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 4 burger buns
- 1 cup rice vinegar or sushi vinegar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
Wash the beetroot and wrap in foil with a drizzle of olive oil. Bake at 200 degC for an hour. Allow to cool.
Halve the tomatoes and peppers, lay on a baking tray and drizzle with olive olive, salt and pepper, and bake at 200 degC for 40 minutes
Peel and chop the parsnips into chip sized pieces
Drizzle with olive oil and bake until nicely browned
When the beetroot has cooled, peel and slice, and put into a bowl
Add the thinly sliced onion
Bring the vinegar and sugar to the boil, then pour over the beetroot and onion and let sit for 20 minutes. Drain.
Add beaten 1 egg and 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs to the beef mince and mix in by hand.
Form the beef into 4 round patties, separate with baking paper, and store in refrigerator for at least 1 hour
Peel the skin from the baked tomatoes. Remove the hard core. Blend tomatoes and peppers to make a sauce. Stir in the black or roasted garlic.
Grill the pineapple rounds over a wood fire, or grill in an oven then smoke. Or just grill and omit the smoking bit.
Grill the beef patties for 3 minutes per side, or until medium rare, or as per your preference. Let rest for 5 minutes.
Fry the 4 eggs
Halve the buns and grill until just starting to brown
Add a beef patty to the bun base, top with beetroot and onion, a pineapple slice, and a fried egg
Apply the sauce to the other half of the burger bun
Serve with a salad and healthy parsnip fries.