Hamburgers – in the Kitchen with Jenn

Last weekend, to kick off grilling season, I decided to take my Landesverband Frauengruppe Cookbook outside. I combined two German recipes and fired up the grill to make an American classic. I used Deutscher Kulturverein, St. Louis’ German hamburger recipe and Christa Miller’s (Milwaukee Donauschwaben) cheese spread to make a mouthwatering cheeseburger packed with German flavor.  

Deutscher Kulturverein’s “German Hamburgers” cook up perfectly on the grill. The recipe is a great base for any burger whether you want to go 100% beef or follow along and use a mix of beef and pork. Their use of paprika and mustard, simple pantry items, ramps up the flavor and allows the hamburger to stand on its own. As the recipe note says, “they are not always served on a bun but just as a main dish”.  

 I chose to serve mine on a bun with baby arugula and Christa Miller’s “Cheese Spread-Spiced” found on page 139 of the Landesverband Frauengruppe Cookbook. The cheese spread is made with Camembert cheese. It is so soft and creamy that it melts instantly when added to the hot hamburger; there is no need to add it until after the burger comes off the grill.  

Both Deutscher Kulturverein’s German hamburgers and Christa Miller’s cheese spread are great make-ahead recipes. The burgers can be formed and refrigerated until you are ready for them to go on the grill. They are the perfect meal for an outdoor gathering when you do not want to be stuck inside cooking.  I am looking forward to making a big batch to put in my freezer to get me through the Summer.  

Although, these recipes pair beautifully, I cannot wait to try them on their own. The cheese spread would be just the thing to mix up an ordinary cheese board and I think Deutscher Kulturverein’s delicious meat mixture would make amazing meatloaf or meatballs. These recipes are so versatile; the possibilities are endless.  

By Jenn Lineman Blank

German Hamburgers (Frikadellen)  

2 large slices of bread (day old bread)  ½ lb. ground beef  

1 egg               1 teaspoon sweet Hungarian paprika  

1 onion chopped               1 tablespoon mustard  

½ lb. ground pork               salt and pepper to taste  

Soak bread in water. Squeeze the moisture out of the bread and put in bowl. Mix meat, egg, onions, mustard and paprika; season with salt and pepper. Mix well, make into 4 burgers; can be grilled or fried in a pan. Note: they are not always served on a bun but just as a main dish.  

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