Minced meat and toppings: 4 characteristics of hamburgers

Quality, options, refinement
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Minced meat and toppings: 4 characteristics of hamburgers

The hamburger has evolved from fast food to a high-end culinary product. Even star chefs devote themselves to gourmet burgers. We explain to you what makes such a perfect burger different.

Fine dining usually means French cuisine, good Italian and maybe Japanese, Korean or Peruvian – but not a burger restaurant. Gourmet Burgers proves otherwise. What makes such a high food? There are a few criteria to recognize a really high-quality burger.

1. Organic quality is mandatory

According to Jan Pflüger, head of the Brooklyn Burger Bar in Hamburg, a gourmet burger is characterized above all by the high quality of the ingredients. “Our burgers are made with high-quality, homemade ingredients,” he says. “Most importantly, we use high-quality, humanely sourced local meat for our patties.” The fact that the burger is organic is part of it.

2. The combination must be correct


You can taste good quality.

You can taste good quality.

“For me, gourmet is about creating extraordinary combinations with simple ingredients that you wouldn’t expect, and that gives you a unique experience on the plate,” says cookbook author Martin Kintrup. In his book “Burger Formula” he collected many recipes for gourmets. It always includes a beautiful name.

  • Pink Pretty: Buns and turkey patties are pink with beetroot powder or juice. There are also beet pickles, pink horseradish mayo, radicchio leaves, onion rings, grapefruit and red sprouts.
  • Orient Express: Oriental lamb patties with mint yogurt, chickpea and sesame oil, plus honey and cumin.
  • “California Here I Come”: Crispy chicken patties paired with shrimp, pineapple salsa and guacamole.

A suggestion: Open the menu at a burger restaurant and let the names on the menu whet your appetite for unusual combinations.

In theory, the exclusivity of a burger can always be increased. But Kintrup has little in the way of football star Franck Ribery’s gold-leaf-covered patties. “It’s just PR,” says the burger pro. “Someone will surely come up with the next upgrade soon.”

3. The flavor of the meat should dominate

For gastronomy critic Jürgen Dollas, the proportions of the whole burger are particularly important – ie. interaction of all ingredients. “What’s the point of the most expensive and best meat if it’s drowned in soggy bread and over-seasoned sauces?” A professional criticizes the classic hamburger for too much bread and calls for “a certain dominance of meat”.

Burger bar owner Ian Pfluger also believes that burgers should taste like meat. 200 grams, his patties are a little heavy.

Classification as a gourmet burger can also be determined by the origin of the meat.

These are passionate Burger Beefs:

  • See Angus
  • Simmental beef
  • Charolais
  • Galloway
  • Wagyu

In fine restaurants, patties are usually done to varying degrees. “Medium is the essential,” says Pfluger. It also corresponds to his personal preference.

Advice from a professional: “If the beef is fresh, there’s no reason to overcook the patty,” says Pfluger. “Medium tastes better, it’s freer and stronger.”

These – similar to steak – are the most common Level of preparation of beef patties:


Fresh stuffing tastes best when cooked medium.

Fresh stuffing tastes best when cooked medium.

  • Rare: with a bloody core
  • Medium rare: with raw core
  • Medium: Pink or partially done
  • Average Good: Almost finished
  • Well done: well done

To warn: According to Martin Kintrup, the first two stages are only suitable for cattle. Thus, veal, pork, game and lamb can be obtained from average meat. Only well-done chicken, turkey and goose.

4. What toppings make a burger better

The burger is also special because of the special ingredients and sauces. Jan Pflüger is always working on new creations at his restaurant and offers a burger of the month. So the “truffle pig” scores points with wild boar pie, truffle cheddar and bacon-whiskey mayonnaise with exclusive toppings.

Less ingredients is more, says Jürgen Dollas, who relies primarily on fresh ingredients, such as tomatoes, and as little onion and lettuce as possible.

Ultimately, it’s a matter of taste. For Martin Kintrup, for example, all kinds of onions are always good.


If you love onions, you have many options.

If you love onions, you have many options.

the and Onion options There are some:

  • onions caramelized with balsamic vinegar and sugar
  • Red Wine Onion Jam
  • fried onion rings
  • long cooked onions
  • pickled onions
  • fried onions
  • raw onion rings

More popular additions these are:

  • caramelized walnuts
  • grilled marshmallows
  • Blue cheeses such as Fourme d’Ambert
  • Parma Ham Chips
  • thin, fried slices of Spanish raw sausage chorizo
  • pickled carrots

Forget ketchup – try these sauces:

  • Truffle Mayo
  • Cucumber apple
  • Bourbon BBQ Sauce
  • Mango chutney
  • Fig mustard sauce


With your hands or with a utensil: Eating a burger should be fun.

With your hands or with a utensil: Eating a burger should be fun.

A tip for burger experts: Can I cut a burger with a knife and fork?

When a hamburger is in front of you at a restaurant, one question must be answered: do you grab it with both hands, or do you choose a knife and fork? There is no right or wrong here.

In a restaurant, burgers are often served with a wooden skewer in the middle for cohesion. Otherwise, the artwork can quickly slip away. The skewer is designed to help you eat the burger with your hands. “Just press it a little so that everything is stable, and off we go,” says Jan Pflueger.

His belief: “Eating a burger should be fun, and it’s okay to have a little sauce on your chin.” At his restaurant, Pfluger always serves steak dishes. Everyone can decide how to eat a burger.

According to Martin Kintrup, knives and forks are a good choice in restaurants. “But even if something goes wrong at home, I recommend eating the burger out of hand,” he says. “It’s just part of enjoying a real burger.”

The special burger recipe is a three country flavor burger with Oecher sauerbraten sauce.

© dpa-infocom, dpa:220319-99-586128/59

(dpa)

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