Hamburger Vitello Tonnato style

This one is from the cookbook from “De Burgerij“, a chain of burger bars in Belgium.

I already tried out a few of their burgers and this time my eye fell on the “Italian Reveal”, a veal burger with tonnato sauce. Vitello Tonnato is one of my favourite starters and sandwich toppings, but I hadn’t tried veal for burgers before (as I considered it too lean for really juicy burgers), but wanted to give it a try anyway. I had the luck that my butcher had to freshly grind the meat, so he could accommodate a fat content of about 15%.

What worked and what didn’t:
Last Friday we had a mini heat wave in the Netherlands: in one day from 22°C to 32°C and back again to 18°C. Thunderstorms were expected around 7pm, so I thought that we’d have some time to fire up the BBQ and grill the burgers. It didn’t start pouring until 6.45pm, but it was so sultry that going outside to fire up the BBQ just was not an option.

Hence plan B: bring out the cast iron griddle pan and grill them indoors! The burgers were very nice and moist and the combination with the salad and the tonnato sauce was great.

Recipe accuracy:
The recipe was easy to follow and serves 4 and you’ll have some tonnato sauce to spare!

The Recipe:

  • Combine 500g veal mince with 1 egg, 2 tsp of mustard and 1 or 2 tbsp of breadcrumbs until it comes together and then season. Don’t overwork it or the burgers will become very dense. Shape into 4 burgers and chill for at least 30 minutes.
  • Drain a 185g tin of tuna chunks and 25g of (oil marinated) anchovies and put them together with 1 tbsp of capers, half an onion and 6tbsp of mayonnaise in a food processor and pulse to combine. Taste and season well.
  • Drizzle a little olive oil on the hamburger buns and griddle them.
  • Rub some olive oil over the burgers and grill them.
  • Dress the rocket leaves with some olive oil and few drops of balsamic vinegar and put it on the buns together with shavings of parmesan cheese.
  • To serve: add the cooked veal burger, some diced tomatoes and a big dollop of tonnato sauce.

Suggested tweaks:
Not really, but I added some slices of pancetta nonetheless.

Verdict: 9/10; Will be made again

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