Hamburg In Ratatouille Sauce


In August 2016, my husband and I finally took a thorough health check up after years of not doing so.  This may not be so unusual in other countries but the majority of people take thorough health check up once a year in Japan (except perhaps older generations, my Mum never did).  When we had the results, the doctor told us that it’s better to have pork, lamb or beef less than once or twice a week and eat chicken breast or fish other days for a good health and also avoid stewing meat and minced meat as they are specially bad for you.  Since then I have been quite conscious about it.  I don’t stress myself out about it but I do keep it in my mind when I think of a menu.  Both my husband and I love casserole type dishes and also lots of dishes where minced beef is used – like Cottage Pie, Hamburg steak, Middle-eastern style kofta, Moroccan meatballs, Keema Curry etc – but I haven’t been cooking them as often as before for this reason although I still do cook Chilli Con Carne often as it’s my husband’s favourite.  It’s a pain to think of the menu, though.


So, it’s been a long time since I cooked “Hamburg Steak” – Japanese style.  Some use just beef, some a mixture of beef and pork.  I used to use just beef but I now use a mixture. It looks like I hadn’t made it since the last health check-up so it’s been a year and a half since we had this last.   I use a recipe from a Japanese cook book written by a Japanese chef but instead of a half minced beef and a half minced pork like in the recipe I use a little more beef than pork.  It has a large amount of sauteed and pureed vegetables (onion, celery & carrot) so it’s very tender and juicy. I use some spices like clove, nutmeg and cinnamon in the Hamburg, – I might’ve put in a little too much today.  Japanese usually have demi glace sauce over the Hamburg but I tend to make something like ratatouille in tomato sauce.  My husband seems to prefer it and also this way I don’t need to make side vegetables as there are lots of vegetables in the sauce.


The size of Hamburg changes every time but I think they were about the standard Japanese Hamburg size today.  My husband had 2 and I had 1 but my husband couldn’t quite finish the second one, so I had the bit that was left.





There was a little bit of good news that we wanted to celebrate so we opened a bottle of Champagne.







It’s quite a lot of work as you have to chop a lot of vegetables and cook them, then let it cool, so I made a lot and froze the rest.  We’ll be having them again relatively soon.  I could also break it and use it for a pasta sauce, too.



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