Burgers are by far the most significant section of my food-related bookmarks, so I have plenty to choose from when lacking inspiration. This one is based on the “The Pastrami Burger Bomb” from Serious Eats. I really like pastrami but usually have it cold or only slightly warmed through on a Reuben sandwich. Therefore, I was quite curious how it would taste when baked more or less like bacon.

What worked and what didn’t:
The pastrami was excellent as the layer you had to put in the pan was big enough to keep some moist pastrami in the middle while the outsides turned deliciously crispy. I used the Palmesteyn hamburgers that are made from Blonde d’Aquitaine cattle, served on toasted Italian buns with some slices of Gruyère cheese (all from Landmarkt in Schellingwoude). These burgers are already slightly seasoned and never disappoint.

However, the burger sauce (a 4:2 tbsp mayo/ketchup ratio with 2 tsp each of white vinegar and sweet pickle relish and 1 tsp sugar) was quite runny so it was a hugely messy burger. As such the burger sauce tasted nice but combined with the coleslaw it was too sweet to really work well with the pastrami (despite the fact that I used less than half of the serving size of both).

Recipe accuracy:
The recipe was easy to follow and serves 4.

Suggested tweaks:
To better complement the pastrami, I would use a more acidic burger sauce. Serious Eats’ “Fakeshack” sauce (a 8:1:1 tbsp ratio of mayonnaise, ketchup and yellow mustard with added dill pickles, garlic power, paprika and a pinch of cayenne) is good. Add a kick/smokiness with Jamie Oliver’s Insanity burger sauce (2:1 tbsp mayo/ketchup ratio with 1 tsp each of Tabasco Chipotle sauce, Worcestershire sauce and bourbon). My personal favorite is an adaptation of the very straightforward burger sauce by Heston Blumenthal and is just a 3:2:1 ratio of mayo/ketchup/Dijon mustard (Heston’s ratio was 9:6:1, but I like the kick from the higher mustard content).

Verdict: 9/10; Will be made again (with a different sauce)

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