Swedish beef burgers (Beef à la Lindström)

One of the great things I love about living in the Algarve is the great cultural minestrone soup we find here.

Recently we have seen an influx of Swedish people who are making Portugal their new home in the sun. We recently invited some new Swedish friends over for a barbecue and thought, ‘what could we cook to make them feel at home?’; and came across this great recipe for burgers. Judging by the empty plates after the meal, it seemed to hit the spot.

Apparently, the recipe is a classic of Swedish cuisine. Describing it as a burger might put some of you off trying this dish, but adding beetroot and capers makes it super tasty and much lighter than your bog standard burger. Having cooked the recipe, I for one will find it hard going back to my simple alternative.

The burger gets its Swedish name from a famous industrialist called Henrik Lindström, who went into his favourite hotel’s kitchen and taught the dish to the head chef, and before long it was being prepared all over Sweden.

(should make enough for 4 people)
▪ 500g ground beef with low-fat content
▪ 2 egg yolks
▪ 6 cream crackers crushed to a powder
▪ 120g onion finely chopped
▪ 2 tbsp pickled beetroot, finely chopped
▪ 2 tbsp capers, coarsely chopped
▪ 2 tbsp water or beetroot juice
▪ 1 tbsp finely chopped chives
▪ Salt and freshly-ground, black pepper to taste
▪ Butter (herbed if you want to be really fancy!)

1. Put the minced beef, egg yolks, onion, beetroot, capers, water/juice, crackers and chives (optional) in a large bowl.

2. Blend the ingredients together until reasonably evenly mixed, but do not over mix or you will make the burgers too dense.

3. Divide the mixture into four, and shape into flat burgers between 1cm and 2cm thick.

4. Let the burgers rest for about one hour at room temperature before grilling.

5. Heat BBQ to a medium heat and place the burger on the grill. On top place a little butter which kicks in a lovely richness to the flavour. Grill for 3-4 minutes and then flip over.

6. Again place a little butter on top and grill for 3-4 minutes. The burgers should now be slightly pink inside and ready to serve.

Traditionally, the burgers are served with a fried egg on top. When we cooked the dish for our friends we served with garlic sautéed potatoes and roasted tomatoes, and a nice cold beer.

Article supplied by Chris Winstanley from Moveison outdoor living store near Lagos