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Polish Hamburgers

Polish Hamburgers – Simple ingredients and a deliciously different way to prepare burgers!

My husband Jack has been quite enamored lately with an old, classic Polish cookbook that was my mother’s called, The Art of Polish Cooking by Alina Zeraska. Jack loves recipes that combine simple, common ingredients in a delicious new way – and these Polish Hamburgers are exactly that!

These burgers start out almost as if you were making a meatloaf or meatballs – a mix of ground beef and ground pork are combined with eggs, soft white or wheat bread that has been soaked in milk, and simple seasonings of salt and pepper.

Polish Hamburgers – Simple ingredients and a deliciously different way to prepare burgers!

But the different (and delicious!) twist is that these Polish Hamburgers are coated in seasoned bread crumbs before they are sautéed in rendered bacon fat – both of which give a simple burger some really fantastic flavor!  Then you layer the burgers with the cooked bacon slices on top from the earlier rendering step (In Polish cooking – as in many cultures – nothing goes to waste!) and bake in the oven until cooked through.

The flavor and texture of these burgers are reminiscent of individual-sized meatloaves, and they are a perfect mid-week family supper. The cookbook recommends that you serve these Polish Hamburgers with mashed potatoes and cooked green peas – which is exactly what we did at home! Enjoy!

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Polish Hamburgers

Polish Hamburgers - A Family Feast
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4-8 servings

Ingredients

  • 8 slices of uncooked bacon, about ½ pound
  • 3 slices soft white or wheat bread, crusts removed
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 cup onion, diced small
  • 1 pound 80/20 ground beef
  • ½ pound ground pork
  • 1 whole egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs

Instructions

  1. In a large sauté pan, cook bacon slices about half way to done. You want at least 4 tablespoons of bacon fat reserved. The bacon will cook further in the oven so don’t cook to crisp. Reserve both the bacon and the bacon fat separately.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. In a small bowl, soak bread in the milk.
  4. Place one tablespoon of the fat back in the pan and sauté the onions over medium heat until cooked through and nicely browned. Add to bowl with the bread and milk to cool onions.
  5. In a large bowl, place ground beef, ground pork, the beaten egg, salt and pepper. Add the bread and onion mixture and mix to combine. The mixture will be somewhat loose.
  6. Divide the mixture into eight patties.
  7. Pour the bread crumbs into a plate or platter and press both sides of each patty into the crumbs pressing slightly.
  8. In the same sauté pan, heat half the remaining bacon fat over medium to medium high heat.
  9. Have a 9X13 pan or glass baking dish standing by.
  10. Place four of the coated patties into the hot oil and cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side or until browned. Transfer to the baking dish.
  11. Repeat for the remaining bacon fat and last four patties and transfer to the baking dish once browned.
  12. Cut each bacon strip in half and place two halves over each patty.
  13. Bake for 20 minutes and serve immediately.

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Polish Hamburgers – Simple ingredients and a deliciously different way to prepare burgers!

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  1. I want to eat this SO BAD. This is perfect summer food.

  2. I went to Poland recently and didn’t see these! Wah. We loved the food so much that we’re planning another trip for the fall and I’m so going to look for these! Until then, I can’t wait to try this out. 🙂 That breadcrumb coating sounds awesome!

    • I don’t remember my grandmother making these burgers either Erin! Your trip sounds wonderful – we hope to make it to Poland some day!

  3. I know a lot of people that eat meatloaf on white bread like a sandwich so the fact this these polish hamburgers are made kinda like a meatloaf is kinda neat!

  4. I love old cookbooks with recipes like this one.

  5. I made these Polish burgers for dinner tonight, and they were a big hit! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Holy smokes, this blows my mind! This is impressive!

  7. This does my Polish heart good. Hello cooked in bacon fat .. YES please.

  8. Oh, what a delicious idea. I bet tha coating of bread crumbs adds an awesome texture and flavor layer. Sounds like something my whole family would enjoy.

  9. I was sold with the first picture but reading more about these hamburgers has me wanting to jump into the kitchen right now to fix them up!

  10. I need to make this for my Polish-rasied father-in-law! What’s not to love about something that’s cooked in rendered bacon fat?!

  11. I’m polish…like my grandfather was born and raised there…and I never heard of these burgers that I know of. Maybe they were called something else but I definitely have to try them. That bread crumb coating sounds like it could be spectacular.

  12. I made burgers last night for dinner using a beef and pork mix. I didn’t use bread but I’ll bet that adds a lot to the moisture. I’ll be trying your polish burgers soon. Thanks for the recipe, Martha!

  13. Great recipe, very authentic. When in Poland, look for “kotlety mielone”(that’s plural. Singular is “kotlet mielony”), which is Polish name for those meatballs, we never call them “hamburgers” (in our opinion, hamburgers are always flat and made of beef. In comparison, kotlets are never flat and are made of either ground pork-beef mixture or just pork. They can be oval or round.) I’ve never seen/heard of anyone wrapping their meatballs in bacon but as far as bacon is very popular in Poland, it does not make the dish any less authentic, in my opinion. It certainly tastes great and gives a nice twist to the dish – I must try this next time. “Kotlety mielone” (literally “Ground-meat Cutlets”) are usually served with mash potatoes and creamed carrots with green peas, sauerkraut salad, steamed beetroot salad or cucumbers-with-sour-cream salad. Should you need some Polish recipes, do not hesitate to contact me. Always glad to help 🙂

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