Over the years I’ve tried experimenting with many additions to the classic burger, and I’ve discovered that most just don’t work. One thing that does work is shredded meat from a tender beef stew. It adds a rich layer of beefy flavour and texture that I love! Just the thing to serve with my all-time favourite spud, smashed potatoes!
Yield: 6 Servings
2 pounds ground beef
1 minced onion
1 cup shredded beef, from leftover beef stew or canned beef stew, optional
2 tablespoons dried oregano
sprinkle Salt and Pepper
6 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
6 large buns, sliced in half
6 baking potatoes
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons whole fennel seeds
Salt and Pepper
For the burgers:
Preheat barbecue grill on high for 15 minutes. A clean hot grill will lessen the chances that the burgers will stick. Meanwhile place the beef, onion, stew meat and oregano in a large bowl then season with salt and pepper. Mix well and form into 6 large patties.
Grill for 8 minutes per side, until well done. Sprinkle cheese onto patties during last 2 minutes of cooking to melt. Toast the buns on the grill until golden brown. Top with lettuce and tomato and dig in.
For the potatoes:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Place potatoes on a baking tray and bake for 45 to 60 minutes, until tender.
Turn oven up to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Push down on the baked potatoes with a potato masher or small plate so that they crack open and are flattened, doubling in diameter. Drizzle liberally with olive oil and sprinkle with fennel seeds and salt and pepper. Bake until golden and crisp about 15 to 20 minutes more.
This is one of the great beef stews of the world. It's a uniquely Hungarian dish that's half way between a soup and a stew. While in Hungary, I learned a couple of things. First, that every cook has a different version of this recipe and second, that everyone believes their version is the most authentic. So to me, that means all versions are authentic as long as they contain Hungarian flavours.
This recipe is dedicated to the memory of Ann Szemba, my Hungarian friend who traveled with me to Hungary and taught me this dish.
Long ago, the cooks of the world discovered the efficiency of simmering tough meat in tenderizing water. They also discovered that they could add lots of local flavour to make the results more interesting. Today, beef stews are a part of cuisines and cultures around the globe. This one features the bright familiar flavours of the Southwest.