There is something special about piling a few select ingredients between a couple of pieces of bread. This grilled pineapple burger adds some brightness with the pickled beetroot while the black garlic and tomato sauce contributes loads of flavour enhancing umami.
Burgers, like Vietnamese banh mi, including many variations like this bánh mì heo quay, take the concept of a sandwich in new directions. 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.
The Big Mac does have its secret sauce. For this grilled pineapple burger, the black garlic and tomato sauce is special – both the roasted tomatoes and the black garlic contribute their unique sweet characters, together with lots of savoury umami to accentuate the flavour of the beef. It is amazing what a difference a great sauce can make.
With all this sweetness, these burgers needed an ingredient to add some acidity. The pickled beetroot and onion delivered. Not just acidity of course, but also the wonderful beetroot flavour.
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…
This grilled pineapple burger was inspired by a recipe from the Food & Wine site. With the addition of the black garlic and tomato sauce, the special sauce, these burgers took on a fascinating and distinct character. I was certainly very pleased with the results.
Many burgers, while looking pretty delicious, are not particularly healthy. This one omits the cheese and rich salty sauces, but it is nevertheless very tasty and will leave you more than satisfied.
Grilled pineapple burger with pickled beetroot and a black garlic tomato sauce
- 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