He Just Smiled and Gave Me a Vegemite Sandwich
and He Said,
Our inspiration today comes from Gusfacegrillah who is a meat genius and wordsmith from the great 'Land Down Under', He made a stuffed burger using a condiment that is foreign to me as his native home of Australia. This condiment is Vegemite. Vegemite is a food spread that is made of brewers yeast and barley malt extract. It is spread on toast and enjoyed by Australians (?). Today we are going to duplicate his burger that is stuffed with cheese and vegemite. This burger also has a crust that consists of ketchup and Vegemite. Our first step is to find some Vegemite.
It was not terribly hard to find some Vegemite. The Berkeley Bowl West carried it in the incorrect 'British Section". The British like Vegemites distant cousin Marmite. Another story for a different day. When I was in the checkout line an Australian expatriate asked me; "Are you Vegemitrous, Mate?" I have no idea what that means so I just smiled and gave him a Vegemite sandwich. But seriously folks, what is Vegemite?
We are back home and the top was removed from this mystery condiment. 'Holy La Brea Tar Pit" this is a dark black gelatinous mass. The ingredients are; yeast extract, malt extract, salt, spices, coloring and various things that are warned; "Suitable for Vegetarians".Malty aromas escapes the open container. Of course a Vegemite sandwich was made. WOW what a salt bomb. This left me smacking my lips for a gulp of water. There also was a malty, mushroom kind of flavor that if I could get past the salt would want another bite. In a strange way I actually enjoyed it. This ingredient just might add that extras sensory flavor called umami. (Umami is a hipster term for you will be paying more for less and telling everybody how great it is and you do not get it).
Burgers were formed with an interior layer of cheese and vegemite. As you can see this Mad Meat Genius did not skimp on the beef. A slurry of ketchup and vegemite was made to brush over our burger to form a crust. (I briefly heated the ketchup mixture in the microwave to help combine ingredients). Today's burgers were cooked on the flat top inside. I would of preferred to grill them outside but we are hunkered down for an impending rain storm. Even though the smoke alarms were screaming the house smelled wonderful. The ketchup/Vegemite mixture formed a meat crust that was spectacular.
We served our burgers on some home made potato rolls with pickles, avocado and Berkshire bacon as accompaniments. The verdict? This was a messy, sloppy, salty most ultimate burger ever. The center of the burger had warm gooey cheese with a flavor enhanced by the Vegemite that had you craving the next bite. The exterior meat crust was the most ultimate flavor boost. This ketchup/ Vegemite slurry ccaramelized to form my new go to technique. If there was any fault in this ultimate burger was the hit of saltiness. I did season the burger meat which will not happen again. I dug this burger. I have plans to use Vegemite as a future flavor ingredient. It does add an extra boost of yumminess that has you craving more.Thanks Gusfacegrillah. The link to his original recipe is below.