11 July 2011

Aussie Burger

When I'm dealing with Australian winemakers and publicists, I skip past the usual Crocodile Dundee references and prefer to talk about cricket or the weather issues of the Indian Ocean or anything that doesn't sound like a silly commercial for Matilda Bay Wine Coolers*.

While the hamburger has covered the globe at this point, there are still many regional variations amongst and within different countries. Here, I chose to prepare a standard Australian burger, with chili mayo, pickled beets, and a sunny-side-up egg. Now, when everything is put together this is delicious but it's a little tricky to get everything ready at the same time. The egg is the most problematic part, as you need the yolk to be runny but not raw... but you also need to serve the meat at a proper medium rare, and have the buns toasted and all that. And if you're serving fries, even more timing challenges. But not insurmountable.

I've had burgers topped with fried eggs before, and while I like them, I think they're generally too heavy. Just a bit too much protein going on. It is a delicious combination, but not something you want to do all the time. But the beets? Completely awesome. Place them under the burger and they sort of melt into the meat, and add an earthy and slightly sweet character to the meat. I'm all in favor of pickled beets as a standard accompaniment to burgers across the Northern Hemisphere. Even those who say they hate beets will be pleasantly surprised by this flavor mix.

*There was a funny moment when I was sixteen, and the day after a cookout, there was a leftover Matilda Bay wine cooler in the fridge. Mom and I split it and couldn't stop laughing about how silly the whole thing was.


fredric koeppel said...

aarrgghh! you write about these cooking excursions and then don't mention a wine...

Benito said...


I don't have wine with every meal, and I think in this case the refreshment was a simple gin on the rocks. I wanted to do an Australian wine with this, but didn't have anything on hand, and the samples that were available weren't really a good fit with the dish.


Samantha Dugan said...

While a agree that it can be a bit too much at times I do loves me runny yolk on a burger. Never tried beets though and I happen to be one of those people that adores those earthy buggers so I'm gonna give it a shot, might stick to beer with it though.

Benito said...


The beets sound weird but I honestly don't know why they're not a more popular condiment up here. I've also been informed that adding a ring of pineapple to this whole mess is another popular option in Oz.