I went to the store to buy ground lamb. I picked up a package of it and noticed it was all sticky (yuck!) so I put it down and picked up the one next to it and tossed it in the cart. When I got it home, I realized I had bought ground veal instead. Drat. Somebody needs to work on their packaging.
I wasn’t about to throw it away. Or trek back to the store to exchange it. So…I was challenged to come up with dinner using an ingredient I have actually never cooked with. No problem. I just pretended I was on one of those cooking competition shows and had just been given something weird like sea urchin. Veal was my sea urchin. I had an idea for a gourmet-ish burger. For some reason Veal Parmesan popped into my head. Which is weird, because I’ve never made that either. So I combined the two ideas. Veal Parmesan Burgers were born. And they were out of this world! Next time I may just have to buy veal on purpose!
Veal Parmesan Burgers
1 pound ground veal
2 cloves garlic, minced & divided
1/4 cup onion, chopped finely
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
Salt & pepper
2 slices of bread, any kind (or you can use panko)
1 28 oz. can whole tomatoes, pureed in a blender
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
2 tbsp. pesto or chopped basil
1/2 cup shredded parmesan
Ciabatta bread or Kaiser rolls
Mix veal, 1 clove minced garlic, onion and mushrooms. Add a pinch of salt & pepper. Mix well and form into 3-4 patties. I made my patties oblong to fit my bread better.
In a food processor, pulse the bread and 1 clove of garlic to make coarse bread crumbs. Spread out on a cookie sheet and bake at 400˚ for a few minutes. Stir every couple of minutes. Keep a close eye on them so they don’t burn, you just want them to get light brown and a bit crunchy.
Dredge the patties in the bread crumbs and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, heat a drizzle of olive oil. Add sliced garlic and crushed red pepper. Stir until fragrant. Add pureed tomatoes. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium. Add a pinch of salt & pepper. Simmer for 15 minutes or so until slightly thickened. Stir in pesto or basil. Set aside. Note: this is going to make more sauce than you will probably need for this recipe. The leftovers will keep in the fridge for several days, or they freeze well for future use. Yay, spaghetti for lunch tomorrow!
Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil and let it get hot. Flick a few drops of water in the pan. If they sizzle you are ready to go. Add veal patties and cook about 4 minutes on each side until cooked through.
Heat broiler. On a large baking sheet, lay out slices of bread or buns, and the veal patties. Lightly drizzle the buns with olive oil.
Top patties with marinara sauce and a sprinkle of parmesan. Put until the broiler for a couple of minutes until cheese is melted and bread is toasted.
Build your burger and enjoy!