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Hemingway Burgers

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gracoman View Drop Down
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    Posted: 04 August 2019 at 10:06
This has been on my to-do-list since 2014  when ..."about two thousand newly digitized documents of Ernest Hemingway’s personal papers in Cuba finally wending their way to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston. This was the second batch of Hemingway papers to arrive from his home in Cuba, where he lived from 1939 to 1960"...

This is why the Hemingway burger recipe is in the this section.  It was likely developed there by Ernie and/or his fourth wife Mary but who knows for sure. 

I knew about this hamburger almost immediately but it took until now to follow through. What was I waiting for?

The original digitized recipe with footnotes describing other additional ingredients which can also be added or used as substitutes.  I left these out so no minced standard ham, chopped tomato, grated cheddar, grated apple, grated carrots, mushrooms or parsley was added.

FROM EXPERIMENTING,

PAPA’S FAVORITE HAMBURGER. There is no reason why a fried hamburger has to turn out gray, greasy, paper-thin and tasteless. You can add all sorts of goodies and flavors to the ground beef — minced mushrooms, cocktail sauce, minced garlic and onion, chopped almonds, a big dollop of piccadilli, or whatever your eye lights on. Papa prefers this combination.

Ingredients —
1 lb. ground lean beef
2 cloves, minced garlic
2 little green onions, finely chopped
1 heaping teaspoon, India relish
2 tablespoons, capers
1 heaping teaspoon, Spice Islands sage
Spice Islands Beau Monde Seasoning — ½ teaspoon
Spice Islands Mei Yen Powder — ½ teaspoon **
1 egg, beaten in a cup with a fork
About one third cup dry red or white wine.
1 tablespoon cooking oil

What to do —
Break up the meat with a fork and scatter the garlic, onion and dry seasonings over it, then mix them into the meat with a fork or your fingers. Let the bowl of meat sit out of the icebox for ten or fifteen minutes while you set the table and make the salad. Add the relish, capers, everything else including wine and let the meat sit, quietly marinating, for another ten minutes if possible. Now make four fat, juicy patties with your hands. The patties should be an inch thick, and soft in texture but not runny. Have the oil in your frying-pan hot but not smoking when you drop in the patties and then turn the heat down and fry the burgers about four minutes. Take the pan off the burner and turn the heat high again. Flip the burgers over, put the pan back on the hot fire, then after one minute, turn the heat down again and cook another three minutes. Both sides of the burgers should be crispy brown and the middle pink and juicy.

** Spice Islands discontinued its production of Mei Yen Powder three years ago. If you don’t have any in your pantry, here’s how to recreate it:
9 parts salt
9 parts sugar
2 parts MSG
If a recipe calls for 1 teaspoon Mei Yen Powder, use 2/3 tsp of the dry recipe (above) mixed with 1/8 tsp of soy sauce.


The burger mixture on its second marination with added beaten egg and wine.  Total marination time for both marination's was 30 minutes.


The recipe doesn't mention to not overwork the burger mix when shaping into patties so I will do that here.  This mix with wine and egg could easily turn into a meatloaf so don't overwork the mix.  I opted to form the one pound of ground meat mixture into four equal sized balls because these are going to be Hemingway Smash Burgers on account of the overworking thing.

Up close and personal

Papa preferred his burgers pan fried but I used a better option along with a better smash burger technique  
"The patties should be an inch thick, and soft in texture but not runny."  They were exactly that.

Flip em

A beautiful evening was in store for enjoying a Hemingway Wild West Hamburger.  Sometimes everything just falls together.  I'm stoked.


These burgers are some serious gourmet s**t LOL
No condiments required.
Worth the effort?
Yes, and very little effort was made past tracking down the ingredients.

The Hemingway's would have undoubtedly used what is now referred to as "grass fed" beef for these burgers.  Grain fed hadn't happened yet.  I don't think.

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Margi Cintrano View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 August 2019 at 12:17


Cool ..  Interesting that Hemmingway documented his beef Burger.

He was  a grand fan of Spain and Spanish regional cuisine .. 

Very well done post and photography as always.
Volamos a Mediterraneo, un paraiso que conquista su gente u su cocina.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hoser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 August 2019 at 13:15
Good stuff there Gman....I just may have to give this a shot myself
Go ahead...play with your food!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gracoman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 August 2019 at 14:11
India Relish is a part of my childhood and it was nice to find it again.  Only on Amazon of course. 
India Relish was invented by Heinz BTW so I'm using the same relish as the Hemingway's did. I don't believe it has anything to do with India but there is cabbage in it if that makes a difference.  Low demand caused the disappearance of that.

I can also use the other ingredients I collected for these burgers with the exception of one pound of msg.
What am I going to do with that?

There was once a "flavor enhancer" on the market named Accent.  It was available in small round red and white tubelike hard cardboard containers and the ingredient list was 100% msg.  That also disappeared from supermarket shelves when msg fell out of favor with the general population.  It too was available on Amazon but for more money than the one pound plastic bag. 



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pitrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 August 2019 at 10:54
Looks superb gman! I would have never thought of capers in a burger. And I've never heard of India Relish. Going to have to look that one up.

Originally posted by gracoman gracoman wrote:

I can also use the other ingredients I collected for these burgers with the exception of one pound of msg.
What am I going to do with that?

There was once a "flavor enhancer" on the market named Accent.  It was available in small round red and white tubelike hard cardboard containers and the ingredient list was 100% msg.  That also disappeared from supermarket shelves when msg fell out of favor with the general population.  It too was available on Amazon but for more money than the one pound plastic bag. 


If you're up for it, I'd buy some of the msg off you. As you noted Accent disappeared from the shelves around here about a two years ago and even then it was hard to find, and a couple months before that my favorite seasoning salt dropped the msg from their ingredients. Personally I like msg because it allows you to get the flavor enhancement without using as much salt as would be required using regular table salt. I've never noticed any ill effects from it.
Mike
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gracoman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 August 2019 at 13:36
Mike, msg is cheap.  It would cost more to ship it to you than I paid for it.  I bought a pound of it in a plastic bag because it was cheaper than smaller amounts in plastic spice containers with shaker lids.  I believe it was $5.00 on Amazon with Prime "free" 2 day shipping.  It's likely available in any local Asian food mkt for half that much, but I was ordering India Relish anyway so why not add the msg. Hindsight being 20-20 I should have just left it out but my OCD wouldn't let me.  I think I only used 1/16 tsp.  Must be potent stuff, this msg.

Most of America's ridiculously high sodium intake comes from canned and other processed foods.  Highly processed meats like hot dogs, bologna, salami, and other sausages are also in that group. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pitrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 August 2019 at 13:51
good to know, I've never priced it lately. I know the little shaker bottle of accent was pretty expensive for what it is. There's a couple big Asian groceries near my work, maybe I'll swing by one of these days and see what they have for msg. Thanks.
Mike
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