Salmon and Pork Belly Burger

Russian Cuisine - Salmon BurgerI recently adapted a recipe for Jarred Salmon In Olive Oil from a Russian cookbook titled Pro Okhotu I Rybalku [Of hunting and fishing]. Here’s another idea I yanked from this book: adding pork fat to fish to make burger patties. Although I’m using salmon today, you could choose almost any fish you like.

The rest of the recipe is my own invention: baked tomato halves for additional juiciness, a kind of bean ketchup (with a lot of olive oil to balance the beans’ dry mouthfeel), and potato buns. There will be a recipe coming for my homemade potato buns very soon, but in the meantime you’ll have to cope with the store-bought ones that don’t taste like potato (because they contain nearly as much food coloring as potato flour) and are pre-cut in a less than optimal fashion (see my picture above). On the side, whole fingerling potatoes are deep-fried exactly as for the perfect fries, and topped with fried parsley. The result isn’t quite as crispy as real fries because of the lower starch content of the fingerlings, but is still rather excellent.

ETA: The potato bun recipe is here!

Fried Fingerling PotatoesFried fingerling potatoes
Yields 4 servings

kosher salt
24 oz peeled fingerling potatoes
canola oil (for deep-frying)

  • Fill a pot large enough to contain the potatoes with water mixed with 1% salt, and bring to a boil. Add the potatoes to the pot, return to a simmer, and cook over medium heat until the potatoes are just starting to break when you pick them out (you should start watching for this after about 15 minutes of simmering). Using a skimmer, transfer to a cooling rack, let cool, then refrigerate until cold.
  • Fill a deep-fryer with the canola oil, and bring to 250 F. Proceeding in batches if necessary, deep-fry the potatoes until they look dry and slightly colored. Don’t overfill; the potatoes tend to release a lot of water, which increases the liquid-level in the fryer. Transfer to a cooling rack and discard (or eat) the small broken potato pieces — there will be some, unavoidably. Let cool, then refrigerate until cold.

Bean purée
Yields over 4 servings

1 oz dry flageolet beans
0.7 oz peeled carrot, small dice
0.7 oz peeled onion, small dice
2 oz extra-virgin olive oil
0.7 oz tomato, small dice
salt
black pepper, ground
2 oz chicken stock

  • Soak the beans in water overnight.
  • In a small saucepan over medium heat, sauté the carrot and onion in some of the olive oil until golden brown. Add the tomato and the beans, and season with salt and pepper. Pour the chicken stock, then cover with a lid, and simmer over low heat for 1 1/2 hours.
  • Transfer to a blender, add the rest of the olive oil, and blend until smooth. Reserve. This makes more purée than you will need; you can keep the extra in the refrigerator for a couple weeks.

Salmon and pork belly patties
Yields about 4 servings (4 patties of 5 oz each)

5 oz peeled onion, sliced
1 oz olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
5 oz very fatty pork belly
15 oz cleaned salmon, large dice
0.15 oz chives, chopped
0.1 oz curly parsley, chopped
0.1 oz dill, chopped
10.5 g salt
0.5 g ground black pepper

  • In a pan over medium heat, sauté the onion in the olive oil until soft, then add the garlic, and cook until golden brown. Let cool. 
  • Grind the pork belly through the large die of a meat grinder. Transfer to a bowl, add the onion and garlic, then toss with the salmon, chives, parsley, dill, salt, and pepper.
  • Grind the mixture using the small die of a meat grinder, then shape into 4 patties of about 5 oz each.

Russian Cuisine - Salmon BurgerAssembly
Yields 4 servings

2 tomatoes (3 oz each), halved
1 oz olive oil
salt
black pepper, ground
salmon and pork belly patties
4 potato buns
bean purée
fried fingerling potatoes
0.3 oz curly parsley leaves

  • Place the tomato halves in an ovenproof dish, cover with half of the olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Bake in a 400 F oven for 40 minutes.
  • Heat the rest of the olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat, then sauté the patties to the desired doneness. Let rest for a couple minutes.
  • Toast the potato buns.
  • Spread some bean purée on the bottom half of each bun, then stack a patty, a tomato half, and the bun top.
  • Bring the deep-fryer to 375 F, then deep-fry the potatoes again until golden brown. Transfer to a bowl lined with paper towels.
  • Deep-fry the parsley leaves for a bit less than a minute, then toss into the fried potatoes.
  • Serve the burgers and fried potatoes immediately.