Week 89: Hamburger pies

Ever since having my first taste of Zumbo pastry in Sydney earlier this year, all I wanted to do is to try my hands at one of his avant-garde recipes. And his latest book, The Zumbo Files, is full of them. I must have spent more than a week, going through this book every night before I sleep, looking for that very first recipe to try.


There was many, many interesting dessert recipes. But finally, I gave in to one of his savoury recipe. I loved pies, and burgers are always my choice of fare. To have hamburger and pie in one, mmm, I had never imagine it could be. But with Adriano Zumbo, it can.

Makes 6 x 4.75″ tarts

For the pâte brisée

143g cold unsalted butter

37g cold water

187g plain flour

4g salt

1) Put the cold butter, flour and salt into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until until mixture resemble dry crumbs.

2) Pour the cold water into the mixture and give a few more pulse.

3) Pour mixture onto work surface and roughly pat into a into a disc of dough.

4) Wrap the dough tightly in cling wrap and chill for at least an hour.

5) Divide dough into 5 pieces and roll them out between 2 sheets of parchment paper into rounds. Line individual tart rings. You should have enough leftovers to line the 6th tart ring.

6) Allow to freeze for at least an hour.

7) Preheat oven to 175C fan.

8) Line frozen tarts with tin foil and weigh it down to rice. Blind bake the tarts for 15 minutes.

For the burger filling

2 beef stock cube

500ml water

15g olive oil

120g bacon, chopped

1 tablespoon minced garlic

230g beef brisket, diced

2 medium red onions, caramelised

5g salt

2g freshly ground black pepper

30g tomato ketchup

30g barbecue sauce

10g extra hot chilli sauce

25g corn starch

25g water

1) Heat the beef stock cube and 500ml water in a pot.

2) Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Then add the bacon and garlic and sauté gently. Add the diced beef and cook until lightly browned on all sides.

3) Add the beef stock, caramelised onion, salt, pepper, ketchup, barbecue sauce and chilli sauce.

4) Simmer on low heat for 40 to 45 minutes until beef is tender.

5) Mix the cornflour and water into a paste and add to beef mixture. Turn the heat up and cook for a few seconds until mixture has thicken. Leave to cool.

For the burger bun

25g plain flour

150g water

240g bread flour

15g granulated sugar

4g salt

40g eggs

100g whole milk

2g instant yeast

40g unsalted butter, at room temperature

1) Make the tangzhong by whisking and heating the plain flour and water in a heavy-bottomed saucepan until mixture has reached 65C. Mixture should have thicken into a paste. Leave to cool to room temperature.

2) Add the tangzhong and all remaining ingredients, other than butter, into the bowl of a stand mixer, and using the dough hook, mix until dough is smooth, shiny and elastic.

3) Add the butter and mix well until bowl is clean.

4) Scrap dough into a well-oiled bowl and cover with cling wrap. Leave to prove until dough has doubled in size.

5) Pinch 75g balls of dough and lightly shaped into rounds. The dough is very sticky and you should have more than 6 pieces.

6) Cover and allow to prove again until double in size.

7) Leave to chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

To assemble

1 large egg, fried and chopped

90g cheddar cheese, grated

Egg wash

Sesame seeds

1) Preheat oven to 175C fan.

2) Fold the fried egg into burger filling. Then, scoop 100g to 110g of burger filling into each baked pastry. Top with 15g grated cheddar.

3) Put a piece of chilled, proved dough on top of the burger filling. Egg wash each dough then sprinkle some sesame seeds on top.

3) Bake covered pies in pre-heated oven for 15 to 20 minutes until burger bun is browned.

It is quite a bit of work, I have to say, and boy, beef is quite expensive. I rarely cook meat at home, so that adds to the challenge. But I have to say, it was well-worth the price and effort. I should have pre-baked the tart pastry after blind baking. While I didn’t really get any soggy bottoms, but the tart pastry was not quite as brown as I would have liked. The filling was quite delicious if I should say so myself. The recommended amount of seasoning was just perfect. I just was not too crazy about the barbecue sauce I used as I made do with some random brand I picked up at the baking supply store. Probably Heinz would have been a better choice.

But, overall, it was a good bake. I look forward to have this for dinner in the next couple of week.

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