Burgers are popular in Poland, of course. Unfortunately, usually they are an imitation of those served at McDonalds’, with this horrible something that pretends to be meat, spongy bread rolls and mayonnaise full of sugar, salt and conservatives. This starts to change slowly, very slowly. In bigger cities like Kraków or Warszawa, as well as probably in some others, one can find a few restaurants and bars specializing in good quality burgers, which try to resemble those which are known from NYC and London. I love to eat good burgers and probably a lot of people do as well. So, for the God’s sake, how is it possible that, when going to the Tatry mountains and the Podhale region, one will find easily fake kebabs, awful quasi burgers, and terrible “pizzas” but no food made with good, local ingredients. This, unfortunately, is still a reality in our Polish provinces – due to many reasons, one amongst them being the low consciousness of people on how good their local products are in the region.
My burgers presented below are fully homemade and use local, fresh ingredients: onion buns, pine mushrooms fried in rosemary butter, oscypek cheese fried with bacon strips, homemade lingonberry mayonnaise and marinated pumpkin. It is best is to use lamb meat, but this time I could not get any (Poland produces lamb meat, but I have no idea where it is sold – maybe abroad and to restaurants?), so I used beef. Do not be surprised by the rosemary – this herb was already popular in Old Poland (much more than nowadays), in the 17th century.
You can prepare those burgers with onion buns that can be bought in regular bakery shops. You can, of course, replace the smoked slow foodie mountain cheese by an industrial one, add industrial mayonnaise and industrial pickled pumpkin and cranberries. It will be edible, and probably even good, but for sure you will not have this satisfaction when everything is made from scratch and when you are responsible for the final taste of your burger.
The proportions given below are for one burger (of course, this does not refer to buns, mayonnaise, and lingonberry preserves etc – you have to make batches of these ingredients).
I made onion buns for this burgers using the recipe for Lublin style onion buns (“cebularze”) – the recipe, with some, adjustments, comes from Karolina’s blog (see below).
Slow Foodie Burgers with Oscypek Cheese, Rosemary Pine Mushrooms and Lingonberry Mayonnaise
Ingredients (1 person):
1 home made onion bun * (recipe below)
2-3 table spoons of clarified butter
1 small fresh rosemary sprig
100 g of good quality beef or lamb meet, ground
1 slice of red onion
1 slice of oscypek cheese
1 long and thin slice of smoked, raw bacon
1 table spoon homemade mayonnaise* (recipe below)
2 table spoon of lingonberry (or cranberry) preserves* (recipe here on my blog you can omit pears)
3-4 medium pine mushroom caps
2 table spoons pickled pumpkin* (recipe below)
Vegetable oil for frying
3 frying pans, most preferably
1. Heat the oven to 200°C.
2. Prepare the lingonberry mayonnaise: sieve the lingonberry preserves through a fine sieve, and mix it with mayonnaise until it is homogenous and the color is intense pink.
3. Using your hand, form a flat burger, around 1 cm thick – the diameter should be a bit wider than the diameter of your roll (meat will shrink during baking).
4. Prepare your frying pans (for frying the mushrooms, grilling meat and cheese with bacon)
5. Roll tightly the slice of oscypek cheese into the bacon. Cut the bun into halves.
6. In a hot large frying pan, heat butter, add rosemary sprig, remove it after 30 seconds, add mushrooms, and fry them on each side for about 3-4 minutes, until nicely grilled (depending on the thickness their caps) and until they release their juices and absorb them back in (when frying over high heat, they should not release a lot of juice). Salt and pepper and leave aside in a warm frying pan, to prevent them from cooling down.
7. In the meantime, in a second frying pan, heat oil, add meat and fry it for around 4 minutes on each side, until grilled (the cooking time depends on the thickness of your burger). Salt and pepper at the end.
8. At the same time, in another frying pan, grill the cheese rolled in bacon, until bacon is nicely grilled and crispy, and the cheese starts to melt.
9. Place cheese with the bacon on top of your meat and put it into the oven for a couple of minutes. Do the same with the bun, so it becomes crispy.
10. Remove the bun from the oven, oil it with the rosemary – pine butter, add pine mushrooms, the slice of red onion, meat with cheese and bacon. Pour the lingonberry mayonnaise on top. Place the second half of the bun and serve immediately with pickled pumpkin, some extra mayonnaise and lingonberry preserves.
Home Made Mayonnaise (around 300 ml)
1 egg, most preferably organic (blanched in boiling water)
Around 170 ml vegetable oil
2 teaspoons mustard (according to your liking)
Juice from ½ a lemon
2 pinches salt
½ tea spoon, sugar
½ tea spoon, white powdered pepper
Break the egg into a bowl, add and mustard lemon juice, salt, sugar and pepper. Mix it well. Start to add oil little by little, whipping constantly, until the sauce becomes a bit white and thick. Eventually, adjust according to your taste.
Quick Pickled Pumpkin (makes around 1 liter*)
Around 700 g pumpkin, cut into julienne (around 0.5 cm) – around 900 g before peeling
200 ml red wine vinegar
150 g cane sugar
150 g water
1 red chili
Fresh coriander (optional)
* this recipe is inspired by the recipe of Polish chef Tomasz Jakubiak
- By Karolina from Senses in the Kitchen. I quote here her recipe, with some adjustments (I did not add any poppy seeds or caraway as it would be too much for burgers) and I put onion in the middle (not on top) of buns.
500g strong bread flour
7g instant yeast
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp melted butter
approx. 300ml lukewarm water
3 large onions, peeled and diced
50 g butter
1. Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add butter and water and knead for a few minutes with hands (or use a stand mixer), or put them in a bread machine and use the “dough” program. Dough should be firm and quite flexible. If using a mixer or hands put the dough in slightly oiled bowl and cover with a clean cloth. Leave it to rise in a warm, draft-free place until it has doubled in size. If you are using a bread machine, you don’t have to do anything until the “dough” program ends.
2. Prepare the onion filling: Fry the onions in butter over a low heat, until tender. Let it cool slightly.
3. Place the risen dough onto a lightly floured, flat surface, add onions and knead for five minutes to release the air from it. Divide into 8 equal balls and using your hands flatten each one into a circle. Place them on a baking tray lined with baking paper, cover with a clean cloth and leave to rise at room temperature for about 30-40 minutes.
4. Bake in a preheated oven (190C) for approx. 15-20 minutes, until golden and sound hollow on the base when tapped.