Photo by Marta Domínguez
A labour of love by two lifelong friends and hip hop aficionados, Tan Erbas and Cevi Sadecolar, Friedrichshain’s Burgeramt has valiantly fought its corner in Berlin’s crowded burger-flipping scene since 2008.
“Quality and variety” is the secret to their staying power, shares owner Erbas, pointing to a menu boasting 20 home-concocted burger creations that are both unusually generous to herbivore sensibilities and made exclusively from fresh ingredients. The Chicken Erdnuss (€4.20) drenched in the ‘Amt’s staple peanut sauce is oft-cited as der Hammer, but it’s the Mediterranean (€4.20 veggie/€4.90 with meat) that brings all the Berliners to the yard. Carefully layered with slices of grilled aubergine, courgette and tomato, the lightly spiced köfte-based burger is topped with mozzarella, delicious homemade pesto and a perfect mix of both fried and fresh red onions.
Ingredients (serves 4):
- 4 burger buns
- 1 courgette
- 1 aubergine
- 1 packet mozzarella
- 2 tomatoes
- 1 red onion
- Iceberg lettuce
- 650g ground mince (beef or lamb)
- 1-2 eggs
- 3 tbsp parsley (chopped)
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 4 tbsp bulgur (cooked)
- 2 cloves of garlic (finely grated)
- 1 large onion (roughly chopped)
- 1 tbsp Pul Biber chilli flakes
- 75g fresh basil
- 200ml extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp pine nuts
- 1 clove of garlic
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp freshly grated parmesan
- 500ml mayonnaise
- 1 clove of garlic (chopped)
- 1 egg
Köfte: Knead all the ingredients together and press into a burger shape, ca 1.5cm thick. Lightly pan-fry the patty to seal for 1 min on each side.
Pesto: Place all ingredients – bar the parmesan – into a blender and mix. Stir in the fresh parmesan shavings. Aioli: Add the egg yolk to the mayonnaise and whisk. If the mixture becomes too thick, add drops of olive oil until creamy. Beat the egg white until stiff and carefully stir into the mixture with the chopped garlic. Add pepper to taste.
To assemble the burger: Slice the courgette and aubergine length-wise into eight thin strips, wash and dry with a paper towel. Drizzle with lemon juice and season with salt and pepper before lightly frying in a pan. Slice and pan-fry half the onion until golden. Place the köfte under the grill for 2-3 min on each side and then pop the bread into the toaster. Once the köfte is almost grilled to perfection, place two slices of courgette, aubergine and mozzarella on each patty, spread 1 tbsp pesto on top and return to the grill for 1 min. Apply a tablespoon of aioli to both halves of the toasted buns and cover the base with the cooked red onions and lettuce. Next, remove the köfte with veg and mozzarella from the grill and place onto the base. Finally, top with raw onions, rocket, lettuce, tomato and the other half of the bun. Skewer and serve.
Tip 1: To pack more Mediterranean flavour into your burger, substitute the original burger bun for ciabatta and layer on 2-3 sun-dried tomatoes.
Tip 2: For a delicious meat-free version, double the amounts of courgette, aubergine, tomato and rocket.