Hambagu Steak alla Sri

Posted Tuesday, July 2, 2024 by Sri. Tagged MEMO

I like the various Japanese "set meals" (Teishoku) from family-style restaurants that consist of some sides, miso soup, and a main entree. Hamburger Steak is one such entree often featured as a comfort food in various Anime. In particular, there is an episode in Frieren where "ridiculously large hamburger steaks" are a celebratory dish given to people on their birthdays as an acknowledgement of their hard work and this got me interested in learning how to make really big ones.

I am also really lazy when it comes to following recipes, so I like to distill them into steps that I can follow intuitively using ratios and knowledge of cooking technique, tasting and adjusting the preparation along the way. This one is based on the Just One Cookbook recipe.

Gather Hambagu Ingredients

  • ingredients: sweated minced onion, ground meat, 1TB salt-pepper-nutmeg, panko-milk-egg
  • proportions: 1 POUND total of meat, around 1TB of seasonings, HALF ONION, 1/3 cup of panko and 1/3 cup of combined dairy
  • prep: mix, flatten, rest 30 min, 3 minutes per side medium, cover and simmer low with wine for 7 minutes.

Ingredient Measurements

  • aromatics - HALF ONION minced into bits
  • proteins - 1 POUND ground meat made of 2:1 or 7:3 beef to pork ratio (the pork makes it juicier)
  • seasonings - HALF TSP EACH salt, nutmeg, ground pepper
  • dairy - 2 TBS MILK and 1 EGG
  • fillers - 1/3 CUP Panko bread crumbs
  • liquids - 3 TBS red wine for cooking

Gather Sauce Ingredients

Intutive Summary for Hambagu Sauce

  • ingredients: red wine, ketchup-tontaktsu, adjusted and diluted to taste
  • proportions: 3/4 cup of sauce ingredients and two pats of butter.
  • prep: add wine to deglaze low, add ketchup-tontatsu. Add butter and reduce.

Ingredient Measurements

  • liquids - 3 TBS MORE of WINE, ketchup, tonkatsu sauce, water (or use pre-made bulldog sauce)
  • dairy - 1 TBSButter

Prepare Meat Mix

The basic idea is to mix everything together and knead the mixture until it's a paste. This is counter to hamburger patties and meatballs, which emphasizes minimal handling to retain crumb. You don't want crumb in Hambagu Steak.

  • Cook onions until translucent, put in large bowl
  • add MEATS, SEASONINGS, DAIRY, FILLERS, and liquids to bowl
  • mix with big spoon, then really knead it a lot until it's sticky and pale
  • divide into 4 balls, then toss them back and forth to release trapped air (prevents cracking)
  • Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to resolidify the fat

Cook Hambagu Steaks

  • Flatten into PUCKS
  • preheat pan with 1TBS neutral oil on medium heat
  • add PUCKS to pan, denting the middle down to keep the patties flat as they cook.
  • low heat and add SAUCE, cover and cook for 5-7 minutes.
  • check for doneness with clear juices (or check for 165-170F with probe)

Make Wind Sauce Reduction

Remove the patties, and now prepare the WINE REDUCTION SAUCE

  1. add butter, ketchup, tonkatsu sauce. taste for desired level of sweetness
  2. add 3TBS wine and 3TBS water
  3. mix well and simmer over medium heat to evaporate alcohol