Hamburg steak is just hamburger steak, why they call it Hamburg instead (like after the city in Germany), I don’t know. It’s actually a Japanese creation. I first came across Hamburg Steak watching Cooking with Dog. I’ve had hamburger steaks few times at Kissaten too. I don’t know if I’m super-enthusiastic about this dish because it’s mainly a huge hamburger patty without the buns and some gravy on top but since I got some leftover burger meat from my Burger Quest #1, I thought I’d do my spin on a Hamburg Steak.
What is my spin? Haha! Stuff cheese to the middle! So it’s like a Hamburg Steak-Cordon Bleu combo. The side dishes are preferential but I stuck with the classic onion gravy because #1; I like onions, #2; I like gravy, #3; I like caramalised onion gravy.
The cheese in question that I’m currently crazy about is Calico cheese. Now, I did some research on this cheese because I was wondering whether Calico refers to a brand or the type of cheese. But I gather it’s referred to the type of cheese where you have two combinations of something on one block of cheese.
Most times it’s cheddar, while I’m not sure whether the other cheese can be any type but the type that I love at the moment is this cheddar and Monterey Jack combo. This cheese is really awesome for my baked pasta. Since I got like a smidgen of a block left, I’m experimenting how it would taste inside the hamburger steak.
If you’re worried as to how such a thick patty can cook all the way through to the middle, fret not. This steak actually uses the fry first then steam method. This method also ensures that the meat is moist and juicy rather than frying it all the way or oven bake it. I was apprehensive at first too but it worked for me so I think it shouldn’t be a problem.
Of course, I’m always nervous as to how the inside would look. If you cook anything that needs to ooze out something from the inside like a poached egg or a molten lava cake, you’re forever holding your breath for that one moment when your knife goes through the center (below).
And lo and behold….it is a breathtaking sight…… (phew!!)
Now isn’t that a gorgeous thing to behold? To see cheese oozing out like a calm spillage. The taste? Really unlike all the hamburger steaks I’ve had. Although some might argue that it is again; just a hamburger where you put cheese on it…what the heck…it’s awesome! And cheese oozing out from inside the patty definitely makes it more special doesn’t it?
Burger meat (or use just beef and add some seasoning)
Grated Calico cheese (or use ordinary cheddar)
1 large onion, sliced
2 medium potatoes, peeled & cut to wedges
1. I’d like to start with making my potato wedges first and my onion gravy because these two takes a while. Pre-heat your oven to 250C.
2. Prep your potatoes accordingly, put the wedges in a heat-proof bowl, pour a little water into the bottom and microwave it under medium heat for 2 mins.
3. Mix olive oil, dried rosemary, garlic powder, a bit of salt and black pepper in another deep bowl.
4. Strain the potatoes when it’s done and toss it in the olive oil mixture. Line them up on a tray and roast for about 30 mins, turning once in between. Try not to burn a few like what I did.
5. While the potatoes are roasting, get to work on your gravy. Heat olive oil in a pan and cook your sliced onions under medium heat slowly, stirring occasionally till they’ve caramelised.
6. Do not add salt, because butter might make it salty enough.
7. When you have caramelised onions, pour in some beef stock and let it simmer for 2 mins. Turn off the heat. We will re-heat and add the butter after the burger steak is done.
8. Get your burger mix together. I’m using my leftover burger mix, but you can just use lean minced beef seasoned with some salt and pepper.
9. Crack and egg into the mixture and mix with your hands. Add some breadcrumbs to achieve a sticky but mouldable texture.
10. We need the egg as a binder because you’re shaping them into large patties and the breadcrumbs is to make the mix less wet.
11. Take a handful of the burger mix, about 1 1/2 inches thick, the size of your palm and shape them into a large patty.
12. Make a dent in the middle. Put about less than a handful of grated cheese in the middle.
13. Close it up and re-shape the patty again. Make sure you make the middle part slightly thinner than the sides by pressing it down because when it cooks, it will retract and the middle will double in size.
14. Heat a pan or wok or whatever cooking vessel that has a lid with some olive oil.
15. When it’s hot, sear the burger steaks on one side for 2 mins and then the other side for 3 mins. Or till you have a nice crust on the outside.
16. If you’ve used too much oil (like I did), take some paper towels and soak up the excess oil.
17. Pour in the wok about a 1/2 cup water, turn the heat down to medium and cover with a lid. Let it steam till most of the water has gone.
18. Poke the meat gently and if the juices run clear, it’s done.
19. Turn off the heat and place the hamburger steak on its plate along with the potato wedges and some simple salad.
20. Re-heat the onion gravy and add about a teaspoon of butter. You don’t really need salt, because the butter is salty, the burger has salt and the cheese inside the burger is salty.
21. Taste the gravy and see. Pour some gravy on top of the hamburger steak.