Hamburger Vitello Tonnato style

This one is from the cookbook from “De Burgerij“, a Belgian chain of burger bars with some outlets in the Netherlands nowadays.

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 favorite starters and sandwich toppings. 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 grind the meat freshly, 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. With thunderstorms expected around 7 pm, I thought that we’d have still some time to fire up the BBQ and grill the burgers for dinner. It didn’t start pouring until 6.45 pm, but unfortunately, it was so sultry that going outside to fire up the BBQ was not even 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:

The Ingredients

  • 500g / 17½ oz veal mince
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp mustard
  • 1-2 tbsp breadcrumbs
  • 185g / 6½ oz tin of tuna chunks
  • 25g / 1oz (oil marinated) anchovies
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • half an onion
  • 6 tbsp mayonnaise
  • olive oil
  • rocket leaves
  • balsamic vinegar
  • Parmesan cheese shavings
  • tomato, diced
Instructions
  1. Combine the veal mince with the egg, mustard, and (gradually) breadcrumbs until it comes together and then season with salt and pepper. Don’t overwork it or the burgers will become very dense. Shape into 4 burgers and chill for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Drain the tin of tuna chunks and (oil marinated) anchovies and put them together with the capers, onion, and mayonnaise in a food processor and pulse to combine. Taste and season well.
  3. Drizzle a little olive oil on the burger buns and griddle them.
  4. Rub some olive oil over the burgers and grill them.
  5. 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.
  6. 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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