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Here we are, at National Hamburger Day. Again. If you’re a loyal 365food reader you may recall that this day is a repeat–Eva blogged about the gods own BBQ sauce and her lovely halibut burger back in December, for … National Hamburger Day (clearly the makers of this list were not too Type A!).
I’m going to pick up where that post left off, in two respects. Eva posited:
I know it’s not a hamburger (why do they call them hamburgers when they’re made with beef?)
Lets break this down: Why *do* they call it a hamburger? Hamburgers really are an American gift to cuisines of the world, but the etymology is all German, dear Eva. Via Wikipedia:
The term hamburger originally derives from the German city of Hamburg,Germany’s second largest city, from where many emigrated to America. In high German, “Burg” means “castle”, or king’s abode; earlier also city/town, and is a widespread component of city names. Hamburger can be a descriptive noun in German, referring to someone from Hamburg (compare London -> Londoner) or an adjective describing something from Hamburg. Similarly, frankfurter and wiener, names for other meat-based foods, are also used in German as descriptive nouns for people and as adjectives for things from the cities of Frankfurt and Wien (Vienna), respectively. The term “burger” is associated with many different types of sandwiches similar to a hamburger.
That’s the long winded answer. The short one is that the Germans love their ground critter, and brought said ground critter with them when they emigrated.
Now, on to the second part of Eva’s post:
I’m sharing my recipe for halibut burgers with you (because not all of us eat red meat!)
I do respect that Eva’s not a meat eater. But I think if we’re really talking a classic burger, something with hooves had to go into it. It’s just the way it is. Avert your eyes, dear Eva.
For my burger, I thought I would try my hand at Epicurious’s Portobello Buffalo [Bison] Burgers with Celery Apple Slaw. These burgers compensate for bison being leaner (and thus prone to drying out) by mixing in a whole lot of portabello and onions into the meat before cooking. The recipe then calls for a slaw made only of Granny Smith apples and celery. I made a double batch of the recipe, and my only addition was to add a 1/2 cup of balsamic pickled baby onions into the mushroom mix for extra punch. I also topped it with sheep’s milk herb gouda.
My guests and I give the bison burgers two thumbs up- the meat was moist, and the mushrooms and onions added some nice complexity. I thought the apple slaw was a little timid on the burger, but makes a nice side salad. Give this recipe a try, if you have a source of ground bison.
Finally, may I offer to you a spectacular resource on burgers: the New York Times keeps an online index of all things burger related. There are recipes, trend reports, and restaurant reviews. Burger lovers, converge here, it is your mecca!