Thursday, October 20, 2011

Debo's Cajun Angus Burgers

When you look into the history of hamburgers in the U.S., you'll find sources proclaiming the inventor to be Louis Lassen, "Hamburger Charlie" Nagreen, or the Menches Brothers.

The history of the hamburger is truly a story that has been run through the meat grinder. Some sources say it began with the Mongols, who stashed raw beef under their saddles as they waged their campaign to conquer the known world. After time spent sandwiched between the asses of man and beast, the beef became tender enough to eat raw certainly a boon to swift moving riders not keen to dismount.

It is said, then, that the Mongols, under Kublai Khan later brought it to Russia, which turned it into the dish we know as steak tartare.

Several years later, as global trade picked up, seafarers brought this idea back to the port city of Hamburg, Germany, where the Deutschvolk decided to mold it into a steak shape and add heat to the equation, making something that, outside of Hamburg, was referred to as "Hamburg steak."

In John T. Edge's book Hamburgers & Fries, that's wishful thinking. As Mr. Edge writes, "The history of proletarian dishes like hamburgers is rarely explained by a linear progression of events."

But enough fishing in European and Asian waters, let's cut bait here. Somehow ground beef gets to America. Somehow it's put on a bun. But by whom? Surely the historical record becomes more clear once we cross to these shores.

It doesn't. There are currently three major claims staked on the confusing and contradictory map of American hamburger history. Each has its adherents and detractors. They are:

Louis' Lunch: This New Haven, Connecticut, burger joint claims to have invented our favorite lunchtime and dinnertime meal in 1900. From its website: "One day in the year 1900 a man dashed into a small New Haven luncheonette and asked for a quick meal that he could eat on the run. Louis Lassen, the establishment's owner, hurriedly sandwiched a broiled beef patty between two slices of bread and sen the customer on his way, so the story goes, with America's first hamburger."

"Hamburger Charlie" Nagreen: It's said that he started selling meatballs at the age of 15 at the summer fair in Seymour, Wisconsin. But, homeofthehamburger.org says, "Charlie was a resourceful young man with an outgoing personality. After not experiencing much success selling the meatballs, he had an idea and located some bread. He realized people could take this meal with them if he simply smashed the meat together between two pieces of bread. He called it a "hamburger" and yes, in 1885 the burger was born at the fair in Seymour, Wisconsin."

Menches Brothers: The brothers' descendents, who now operate a small chain in Ohio called, not surprisingly, Menches Bros. claim that their great grandfather and his brother (Charles and Frank, respectively) invented the dish at an 1885 fair in Hamburg, New York. The brothers originally sold sausages but ran out and were forced to use ground beef, which at the time was considered declasse. John Menches, in a Businessweek story, says, "Faced with nothing to sell at all, they fried the ground beef up, but it was too bland. My grandfather decided to put coffee, brown sugar, and some other household ingredients in it and cooked up the sandwich. My great uncle Frank served the first sandwich, a gentleman tasted it and said, 'What do you call it?' Uncle Frank didn't really know what to call it, so he looked up and saw the banner for the Hamburg fair and said, 'This is the hamburger.'

So who invented the hamburger? Take your pick. Too ground down at this point.
By http://aht.seriouseats.com/archives/2005/08/the_history_of.html


Debo's Cajun Angus Burgers
Copyright 2011 Christine's Pantry. All rights reserved.

Ingredients:
1 pound ground Angus beef
5.5 oz bag Zapp's spicy Cajun craw tators (potato chips)
1 cup french fried onions
1 egg, beaten
hamburger buns

Directions:
In bowl, add Angus beef, breaking meat up. Add potato chips, french fries onions and egg. Mix well. Form into patties. In skillet over medium heat, add burgers and cook until to desire done-ness. About 14 minutes. Serve on buns and top with your favorite toppings. Enjoy!

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26 comments:

  1. This burger would make my husband so happy!

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  2. Burgers and fries are my very favorite food ever.....thanks for the history!

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  3. Great history on the burger. It's certainly a favorite in this house. :)

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  4. It looks yummier than the one I'm eating now :D

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  5. I love the history you gave behind this dish! It's great learning new things about food everyday. This burger looks delicious! I mean seriously, who doesn't love a good burger? Thanks for sharing :)

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  6. Burgers and fries are comfort food!

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  7. This is making me hungry! Love the background history, and I can't imagine how good this must taste with the Cajun potato chips in the meat. Yum.

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  8. So much more tastier than bought/And with Angus beef sure to be a winner.Great story as well;)

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  9. Nothing like a great burger and you sure did put some goodies in these! I will just have to remember not to eat all those chips by themselves. Thanks for sharing.

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  10. Interesting history...Most of all, interesting development. Now it is known all over the world.Looks yummy!

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  11. great recipe burger using ( potato chips )
    Ridwan

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  12. I heard the story about the Mongols, strange, isn't it?

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  13. Hi Ola,

    Food history is very interesting to me.

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  14. I think hamburgers and fries is one of American's favorite.

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  15. I am so happy you clarified what craw tators are. lol Definitely a manwich and my men would love this!!

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  16. Love reading the complicated history of foods found in various guises all over the world, pasta/noodles is another one everyone lays claim too

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  17. That's a good-looking burger--and a fun use of Zapp's (it's been so long since I left New Orleans, I'd forgotten about them).

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  18. Great burger history lesson here! so interesting.

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  19. Thanks for the history lesson! I don't even eat beef and was entertained. I will be making this for my husband though, he is on the hunt for the perfect burger recipe and this one looks like a winner. Thanks Christine!

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  20. Hi Maggie,

    I hope your husband likes the burger.

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  21. Chips-what a great addition for seasoning in a burger. This sounds great, Christine!

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  22. Nothing beats a good burger and this looks like a good burger!

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  23. That is a good looking burger. My wife and I had Carolina Burgers yesterday.
    It had chili and cole slaw on it -- a pretty good burger.

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  24. What a special burger! Though I like to cook mine for 2 or 3 minutes per side tops. Mmm, rare meat.

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  25. My son would say "this satisfy a man's desire" to your burger. Never think that burger is originated from Asia. Burger and chips is a great meal!

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