The third in this trio of everyday dishes consists of beef patties with onions, potatoes, and brown gravy. In terms of old-fashioned Danish cuisine, it represents the very epitome of food with umami. When Danes are asked by foreigners to identify food that is quintessentially representative of their country, they often answer smørrebrød (smorgasbord or open-face sandwiches) and beef patties with onions. The patties are made with ground beef, which should be neither too fatty nor too lean. A fat content of about 8 percent is best. Ideally, the meat should have been aged and be from older animals, as this results in the most umami.
Usually the patties are served with onions fried until they are translucent and a brown gravy made with the meat drippings from the frying pan. Here we have updated the recipe to increase its umami content by seasoning the gravy with Worcestershire sauce, HP sauce, or soy sauce. And, whether one likes it or not, custom dictates that the gravy must be a deep brown color, so it might be necessary to add a little caramel food coloring to achieve the desired result. Boiled or mashed potatoes and a fried or poached egg, which also contribute umami, are served on the side. The dish is rounded out with condiments that are sweet and sour, such as pickled beets, cucumber pickles, sweet and sour red cabbage, and wild cranberry or red currant jelly. Beef patties, Danish style
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