While flying back from Italy two months ago, I kept myself entertained reading Finnair’s inflight magazine Blue Wings. I loved everything about Finnair (it’s all here) and of course I could but love their magazine. Browsing through it, my eye caught the picture of a hamburger with a raw egg yolk on top – I immediately started reading the article related to that food picture. It was about a Danish restaurant that serves very classy and interesting versions of smørrebrød, the Scandinavian open sandwich. I kept this delicious idea in mind, with the intention to recreate it at home.
The Danish meat sandwich featured on the magazine had beets and horseradish, which are not among my favourite foods, so for my smørrebrød I decided to make a little variation in taste and used scallion. Furthermore, real Danish open sadwiches would probably be made on dark bread, while I chose ciabatta, thus also giving it a little Italian twist. Being fresh ciabatta so wonderfully soft on the inside, I decided not to toast it (or fry it in butter, as the original recipe called for) but I only spread a generous layer of butter on its open face.
There is no Danish dish without a generous layer of butter, that’s a given.
Danish beef sandwich:
- 1 small ciabatta
- 300 g ground beef
- 2 eggs
- 1 scallion
- 2 tbsp bread crumbs
- salt and pepper to taste
- red onion for decoration
Separate yolks and egg whites. Mince half a scallion and combine with ground beef. Add salt and pepper to taste to meat mix. Mix in egg whites (I only used one, as the eggs I had were quite large) and bread crumbs. Add more bread crumbs if the egg whites made the mixture too runny and squishy: it should be firm enough to mould into a patty. Fry on medium heat in its own grease, flipping over after some time. As the meat is cooking, halve the bread roll and spread butter over open faces. Lay cooked meat patties over butter layer. Leave for a couple of minutes: the warmth of the meat will melt the butter into the bread. When the top surface of the meat will have cooled off a little, place raw onion rings on top and pour egg yolk in the centre. Don’t add the egg straight after taking the meat out of the pan to avoid scrambling. Lastly, sprinkle some freshly ground pepper over the sandwich and the other half of the scallion. If unsalted butter is used, a sprinkle of salt may be needed as well.
When it is time to eat, gently pierce the egg yolk and let it spread all over your meat, becoming like an extra sauce to give the whole sandwich extra taste and moisture.
The raw egg yolk is probably this sandwich’s key asset: there is this soft layer of melted butter under the meat, and this velvety layer of dripping egg yolk over it. Not your average boring hamburger: The Danes really know their thing.