Aussie Burger, Portuguese Style

1 1/2 lb 93% lean ground beef
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
6 pineapple rings
1 1/2 teaspoons sambal oelek
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
3 pickled beets, thinly sliced
1 tomato, sliced
6 eggs
6 lettuce leaves
freshly ground black pepper


In a medium bowl, mix together the meat, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Form into 6 uniform patties. Set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the sambal oelek and mayonnaise. Set aside.

Prep grill according to manufacturers’ instructions*. Grill the burgers until desired doneness. Quickly grill the pineapple slices, flipping once, until grill marks appear. Transfer burgers to a plate, cover to keep warm.

Heat a small amount of butter in a skillet or spray with cooking spray. Fry each egg.

Place one burger on top of each lettuce leaf. Spread with sambal oelek mayo. Top with pineapple, beets, tomato and fried egg. Serve immediately.

*Alternately, cook the burgers and pineapple on the stove in a grill pan or skillet.

My thoughts:

When we were in Portugal, we were surprised at how many gourmet hamburger shops there were. It seemed silly to get a burger while we were there but we couldn’t resist. We found that in Portugal it is really common to serve burgers without buns and with a side of rice and fries. And what burgers they were! Each one came with exciting toppings and sauces that were either Portuguese influenced or with a more international flair. They were so good! No one in Portugal every picked up any food with their hands (even hot dogs were served with paper napkins wrapped around them so you didn’t have to touch them directly) so a hamburger you ate with a knife and fork make sense.

To bring it back to this recipe, I had always wanted to make an Aussie burger “with the lot” but it seemed like too much to fit on a bun. I mean, I guess they do it all the time in Australia but I would end up with half of that burger in my lap if I tried to pick that up. So I thought I’d serve it up Portuguese style. I served it with rice and corn on the cob because corn is in season, but a small salad or fries (!) would work too. The addition of a fried egg seemed very Portuguese-appropriate too, I love a fried egg and they were quite popular in Portugal on burgers and steak (bife a cavalo). I have somewhat recently become a fried egg devotee and love how they taste on top of a burger which only inticed me further to try my hand at an at-home Aussie burger. The egg I fried up for this recipe was slightly crisper around the edges than I’d like but our stove is on a slight slant which makes my whites run a bit and I was distracted by assembling all those toppings! It still tasted fantastic though, I love a runny yolk on a burger.

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