Here’s a funny little bit of history for you. Supposedly, in Hamburg Germany, ground round was being used to create a Hamburg Steak, or Hamburger Steak, a form of meat dish possibly originating as early as the 1860s. In America we often think of it as a Salisbury Steak, topped with mushroom gravy or other sauces. The original name was a nod to its origins in the town of Hamburg – a resident of the town being called a Hamburger. There is no ham in hamburger.
The word hamburg in culinary terms refers to the uncooked meat, while the word hamburger refers to the cooked patty of meat. A hamburger sandwich supposedly originated somewhere near the turn of the century (1900 to be exact, not 2000), with various Americans and others claiming to have been the first to put a hamburger patty onto bread. While many claim to have invented it, the first written documentation of an actual hamburger as our modern thinking recognizes it, was in 1896 in the Chicago Daily Tribune.
This particular usage of hamburg vs hamburger is not unfamiliar to me. It must have been a colloquialism used in my family or others, because I instantly knew this referred to the uncooked meat, even though in the grocery you will find ground round sold as hamburger. Also, many grocers sell any form of ground beef as hamburger these days, while it originated as ground round. Fillers and other things have been added to the mix over the years to make 1 pound of meat go a lot farther than 1 pound of ground meat. To circumvent this, you can purchase 100% ground round, or you can purchase a cut of round and have it ground by your butcher.
Baked Hamburg & Rice
1 can Campbell’s cheddar soup
1 1/2 lb hamburg
1/3 c finely chopped onions
1/4 c quick cooking rice (uncooked)
1 egg slightly beaten
1 tsp salt
3 strips bacon
Combine 1/2 soup with ingredients except bacon. Mix. Place in shallow pan in ring. Bake 350º F 1 hour. Spoon off fat. Add rest of soup. Bake 5 minutes more. I have no idea what to do with the bacon…just eat it!