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The Hamburger

Posted by by Michael Goodman
Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Hamburger. Do we take it for granted? Isn’t it just “always there” – always available, always accessible? You may have never known it, but the hamburger has had quite a journey!

In about 1209 AD, the Mongolian emperor, Genghis Khan was busy conquering two thirds of the world’s population, he and his horseback cavalry would travel into battle with scrapings of mutton, goats and oxen that were formed into patties and placed under their saddles. The saddles and the back of the horse would help soften and tenderize the meat. The meat would be eaten raw with their hands while riding to their next battle as they were known to ride horseback for days at a time without dismounting. When Genghis Khan’s grandson, Khubili Khan invaded Moscow, the saddle-softened meat eventually became a part of the Russian culture and was known as Steak Tartare as “Tartars” was the name the Russians used to refer to the Mongolians.

The history then fast forwards to the 15th century where ships from Hamburg, Germany began calling on Russian ports which introduced the pattied-treat to the German’s where it was soon known (in Germany) as the Hamburg Steak - where it was usually cooked till hard and sometimes smoked and served between two pieces of bread. Next, we have German immigrants arriving in the U.S. bringing this soon-to-be American classic to our door step! In 1834, the Delmonico Restaurant in New York City is credited as being the first American restaurant to credit the Hamburger to its printed menu for $.10. Add a little finesse and some American ingenuity and we now have a multibillion dollar baseline in which entire empires have been built!

OK, now that we are all experts and can appreciate the journey that the hamburger has taken, here's my favorite – Lunds and Byerly's Minnesota Grille Old School Burgers. These are a combination of what my mother would make for my family (trust me, you did not want “dish day” on burger day as the splatter of the sizzling beef knows no boundries!) and a small hole-in-the-wall watering hole near Bemidji, MN (with no windows and a griddle that had never been cleaned since the took it out of the box! – hence yielding its one-of-a-kind, seasoned flavor). But I digress, the Old School Burger is VERY loosely formed scoop of fresh ground beef (ground in store daily in the meat dept.) cooked on a crazy-hot cast iron skillet (not grilled) over a bed of onions. The onions char and permeate the meat making it mouthwateringly delicious! I like to top mine with bacon, Tillamook Smoked Cheddar and a Fried Egg - Then I give it a shot of mayo and dip it in BBQ Sauce! Molto Benne! The only garnish that makes it on my burger is the pickle slices! The lettuce and tomato make a nice little salad if your server is kind enough to bring you a little dressing. Don't pussy-foot around with the 6-ouncer either - go straight to the top with the 10-ouncer! THAT’S what I'm talking about! (you may need to wrap your burger with a napkin to minimize any loss of flavorific deliciousness… - oh, it will help keep your shirt clean as well!) Learn how to eat an Old School Burger in my video blog on YouTube.

Old School Burger

Now that you are a hamburger expert who understands the journey that the Hamburger has taken to bring its mouth-watering-goodness to our beckon call, what are you going to put on YOUR Old School Burger?

Goody Sliders

You can also enjoy a dwarfed version of what I described above at Byerly's Creations located in our Golden Valley Byerly’s Store off of Highway 100 and Duluth Street. This new quick-service concept offers everything under the sun. One of the main attractions is the "Goody" Slider... - It is everything that was described above, but in a miniaturized slider version! Check it out >

Also watch for our next Byerly’s Creations to be opening in September 2011 at our Ridgedale store!


Tags: HamburgerOld School BurgerSlidersByerly's CreationsMinnesota Grille

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