If you shop when you’re hungry, then you’ll come home with a surprise. My plan was to cook a new dish from Hiroko Shimbo’s book (The Japanese Kitchen): pork belly braised with daikon, then simmered in a flavorful sauce involving hours and hours of cooking time. As I looked at the displays of fruits, vegetables, fish, and meats many quick and simple possibilities lured me toward one of the fastest meals I could cook. Japanese-style hamburgers are delicious! As soon as I saw a package of ground veal on sale, I knew what would be my dinner.
Hambagu is usually made with a mix of pork and beef so they are nice and juicy (rich: fatty)—just like the ground veal! And mushrooms looked firm and plump…
makes 4 large patties
- 1 pound ground veal
- ½ yellow onion, finely minced, sautéd light gold
- 1 clove garlic, grated, and added later to the onions
- pinch of thyme
- 1 Tablespoons saké
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 teaspoons dark miso
- ½ cup panko (breadcrumbs)
- 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
Combine all of the above ingredients in a bowl. Knead with your hands to ensure even distribution. The Japanese will often gather the meat mixture, lift it, and throw it back with force into the bowl, repeating this action 4 or 5 times. The mixture will be fairly soft, but the tossing ensures the meat will hold together. Divide the meat mixture into 4 equal portions, and shape each portion into an oval patty about 4 inches long, 2 ½ inches wide, and ¾ inch thick.
Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Let the patties rest in the fridge for at least 2-3 hours so that the flavours in the meat mixture can develop.
Heat some vegetable oil in a pan. Slide the burgers in and cook. Remove burgers and keep warm while you make the sauce. Drain excess fat.
- 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
- 1 Tablespoon butter to fry the mushrooms
- ½ cup all natural beef concentrate, (1 packet stirred into water)
- ⅓ cup ketchup
- 2 Tablespoons mirin
- 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
Fry the mushrooms in butter in the pan you used for frying the burgers. If there is a lot of good stuff browned on the bottom of your pan, deglaze with 2 Tablespoons of water.
Combine the beef stock concentrate, ketchup, mirin, and soy sauce. Add the mixture to the pan and heat.
To serve, put the hambagus on a plate with glazed carrots and plain white rice. Putting the rice on a plate makes this a yoshoku (Western-style) meal. Or serve with steamed or fried or mashed potatoes. Spoon sauce over the burgers.
Cooking with Dog