Because my hemoglobin tested low last week, I’ve been trying to eat as much red meat as possible, but I’ve been wracking my brain for a hamburger dish that isn’t mostly bread or pasta. I was thinking about hamburgers with mushroom sauce, and this prompted a food flashback.
Back in the early 80’s, when we were dating and then newlyweds, my husband and I used to go to the local Mr. Steak once in a while. The menu favorite for both of us was the Continental Burger. I’m not claiming it would be health food, but it is, at least, a fairly low-carb way to eat a burger. For those who have never tried this delicacy, it was a hamburger patty with some juicy/creamy/mushroomy sauce in the middle, served open face on rye toast, with caramelized onions on top. My husband always ordered a side of deep-fried clams and ketchup for dipping, and a baked potato with butter and honey (yes, honey) on top. How’s that for carb overload?! Back then, we could eat that way, though.
Now? Notsza much!
I remember that back then we tried to duplicate the Continental, but never succeeded. Thanks to that modern marvel we call Google, today I was able to track down what sounds like some plausible copycat recipes…
“I was a Senior Grill Chef at Mr. Steak in the early 70’s…. The Continentals came pre-made. They were two thin oval patties of what we now call 80-85% lean ground (need that much fat to stay together) — I think each patty was about a fifth of a pound. The filling was two things only – pasteurized process swiss cheese ONLY and fresh mushrooms. The ‘shrooms and process swiss were diced to about 1/2″ dice. Put about 1 to 2 tablespoons on one patty, cover with second patty and crimp edges gently but completely so there are no holes. Grill till medium, turning as little as possible, and use some kind of cover on top last 2 minutes or so to help cheese melt. That restaurant served them on buttered, then grilled on one side, light rye bread. The burger was served open face…. Everyone ate them with a knife and fork! They were hugely popular!! I love them, make them once a year or so.”
“I worked at Mr. Steak for over 5 years. I have tried and tried to duplicate the Continental and … have come up with a reasonable knock-off recipe. Take your ground beef and press it into two very thin and large patties…. Don’t go crazy with a lot of filling, or it will leak when cooking. Then lay on a piece of ‘processed Swiss cheese’ — not the real stuff! You want the fake processed Swiss cheese slices; they melt easily and are gooey; real Swiss won’t work as well. Next, place about a Tbsp. of Condensed Cream of Mushroom soup on top of the cheese. Place the other patty on top and SEAL WELL. Grill — and make sure while grilling you only turn this once or twice at the most. Flipping too much is taking a risk it will break open or ooze out the good yummy stuff inside…. It’s been so long now, but I still crave them. Try the above and I guarantee you it will be close in taste and looks; not exact but close enough.”
I think the ole’ Continental Burger will be making an appearance in our kitchen some time this week! No fried clams, though.
All recipe info found here.