Chef Johnny Bridge, University of British Columbia
Chef Bridge calls these burgers a ‘kinder surprise’ with the reveal of the roasted beet slice at first bite. At UBC these burgers are served on a whole wheat potato bun garnished with goat cheese mayo, frisée lettuce lightly dressed in lemon juice and olive oil, two slices of tomato and UBC farm-made pickles.
This recipe was adapted from Chef Bridge’s original and modified to cook at home.
1 medium to large beet
Canola or sunflower oil
10 oz (300 g) mushrooms, finely chopped (lobster or other exotic mushroom)
1⅔ cups (400 mL) thinly sliced onions
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup (250 mL) cooled cooked fine grains (such as amaranth, quinoa, fine bulgur) or whole wheat couscous
1 tsp (5 mL) black peppercorns, crushed
1 tsp (5 mL) salt
1⅔ lb (800 g) Medium Ground Beef
Salt and fresh ground pepper
8 burger buns
Toppings as desired
- Place beet in a baking dish. Roast in preheated 400°F (200°C) oven for about 45 minutes or until tender. Rub off skin and set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, heat a thin layer of oil over high heat in a large skillet. Cook mushrooms, onions and garlic, stirring, for about 5 minutes or until tender. Transfer to a sieve and drain off any liquid. Let cool.
- Beat egg with a fork in a large bowl. Add mushroom mixture, cooked grain, peppercorns and salt. Gently mix in beef with a fork (careful not to over-mix).
- Cut cooled peeled beet crosswise into 8 slices, about ¼-inch (5 mm) thick. Divide beef mixture into 8 portions. Shape each portion into a patty, about 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick, wrapping the beef around a beet slice. Place on a baking sheet or tray, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Season patties all over with salt and pepper. Heat a lightly oiled cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Sear patties, in batches as necessary, for about 6 minutes, turning to brown both sides. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet.
- Bake burgers in preheated 375°F (190°C) oven for about 12 minutes or until a digital instant-read thermometer inserted sideways into the meat portion of several burger patties reads 160°F (71°C). Let stand for 2 minutes.
- Serve burgers on buns with desired toppings.
Tip: Chef Bridge elevates these burger patties by wrapping them in caul fat prior to cooking as a way to encourage moist juicy burgers even when made with Lean or Extra Lean Ground Beef. Caul fat is used in cooking as a stretchy web-like casing for ground meat dishes like patties, meatballs or sausage. Caul fat can come from pigs, sheep or cattle.