Admittedly, these are a bit more fun than gourmet and unlikely to be furnished with a Michelin star anytime soon, but hey, sometimes it’s all right to play with your food!
These dumplings were born out of the flames of the ill-fated bacon chili cheeseburger dog (a hotdog wrapped in cheese, then sealed in burger mix and topped with chili con carne, all in a hotdog bun. Yeah…).
While the Fatdog (as I will now call it) never saw the light of day, it did spark of the idea of playing around with certain combinations of classic fast/comfort foods.
I had been toying with a few ideas for dumplings recently, and in the interest of promoting East/ West harmony, the Bacon Cheeseburger Dumplings were born. It also proved to be more than enough to satisfy the weird Frankenstein-like complex that drives my need to bring freakish creations to life.
And so I give you the Bacon Cheeseburger Dumpling – burger and chips/fries (depending on your side of the pond) in dumpling form.
It consists of a mix of seasoned beef mince, cheese and bacon, wrapped in a potato-based dumpling wrapper, deep fried and served on a bed of lettuce and topped with special sauce.
If you can sing the jingle, you get extra points.
First let’s talk about the wrapper. Traditional dumplings wrappers are usually made from wheat flour and water (take a look at a previous post on dumpling wrappers for a more in-depth discussion). Here, I’ve used a portion of mashed potato together with the flour – it adds a little bit of potato flavour and starch to the wrapper in an attempt to simulate the fried potato component of a burger meal.
As I don’t have potato flour lying around, I used mashed potato to make up the dough – I’ve used a ratio of 40% mashed potato to flour, and as you’ll see there’s no extra water added as all the moisture is provided by the potato. The problem with this is the moisture content and consistency of mashed potato can vary quite a bit, making exact measurements tricky to pin down, and getting the right consistency can take a bit of trial and error.
If it all gets too much however, by all means use regular homemade or shop-bought dumpling wrappers instead – you’re not going to lose a whole lot if you choose to do so.
If you’re making the potato dough, you can press some sesame seeds onto one side to simulate a sesame seed bun topping, but if you’re not fussed or using regular wrappers, you could always just scatter them over the top.
The filling is pretty straightforward, though it does resemble more of a meatball mix than a purist’s vision of a burger. That’s because I felt I wanted the filing to have a little more interest to it, as with a dumpling the focus is more on the contents, without things like a bun or toppings to balance it out. The texture here is also a bit lighter, but just remember not to overwork the meat mix, otherwise it’ll get too dense and heavy.
I’ve just listed the cheese element as “cheese”, so feel free to use whatever you like as long as it’s a fairly firm but meltable cheese. I used a mature cheddar for this recipe. I also opted to dice the cheese and mix it through with the minced beef, but if you have the patience, pressing larger chunks of cheese into the middle of the mince before wrapping the dumpling produces a great cheesy centre. Beware though, that this makes the dumpling stuffing procedure more fiddly.
This should make about 24 dumplings.
Finally, it’s all topped off with a version of the popular fast food chain’s Special Sauce, of which a number of variations abound on the internet. I ended up using the recipe from Epicurious. After all, why reinvent the wheel? The recipe below is more or less the same as at the Epicurious website, linked to here…
Bacon Cheeseburger Dumplings. Ta da!