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Hambagu -- Japanese Hamburger Steak

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"Hamburgers again?" Yeah, as though anyone will get tired of hamburgers. (#FirstWorldProblems) However, if you want to try something different, this dish isn't just hamburger: it's hambagu! What is hambagu? It's Japanese style hamburger steak, with a flavor combination quite different from what you would normally get at your local burger place.

This recipe is modified slightly from the original at Just One Cookbook. It uses double the amount of ingredients seen in the original recipe, because if you're going to make a steak, it should be big!


Chop and mince onion. Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat and add the onion. Sauté the onion until tender and almost translucent. Transfer to a large bowl and let it cool.

Along with the onions, mix ground beef and pork into the same large bowl, using a spatula. Add kosher salt, black pepper, and nutmeg, and mix together with a spatula. Add milk, panko bread crumbs, and two eggs. At this point, use your hands to knead and mix everything together. Divide the mixture into three 8-ounce patties. Be sure to make the patties flat and wide. Many burger recipes say to put an indentation in the center of the patties to keep them from becoming round balls. This isn't necessary if you make the patties more flat and wide than the final product.

Here is where this recipe differs from your typical burger recipe. Burgers are supposed to be lightly kneaded and not mashed together too tightly, to maintain their texture. These aren't burgers, they're steaks. They are meant to be thicker and more solid than burgers. Take each patty and toss it from one hand to the other hand repeatedly about 5 times in order to release the air inside the mixture. Cover with plastic and keep in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before cooking so that the meat combines together and fat will be solidified.

In a large cast iron pan, heat a tablespoon of cooking oil over medium-high heat and place the patties gently on the pan. Cook the patties until brown on the bottom side, about 3 minutes. Then carefully flip and cook for another 3 minutes until browned. Add red wine and reduce the heat to low heat. Cover with a lid and cook for 5-7 minutes to thoroughly cook the inside of the patties Use a probe thermometer and ensure the temperature is 165 degrees Fahrenheit or greater. At this point, move the patties to a platter and let them rest, while you prepare the pan sauce. Don't turn off the stovetop – leave the heat on to cook the pan sauce.

In the same frying pan (without cleaning), add ketchup, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and brown sugar. Mix well together with a spatula until the sauce thickens, and you can draw a line in the sauce with a spatula, Remove from the heatand drizzle the sauce over the hamburger steaks.