DEUTSCHES BEEFSTEAK (German beef patties with onions, for six)
Josh Ozersky, in his book titled The Hamburger: A History, notes that while Hamburg steak, called Deutsches beefsteak in Germany, is often cited as the forerunner to the American hamburger, the earliest references to hamburger-like dishes come from English cookbooks.
2 pounds ground beef (chuck and round combined in equal parts make a good mixture for this)
1 medium-sized onion
2 tablespoons minced parsley
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons butter, melted
3 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons butter or other fat for frying
2 onions, sliced and separated into rings
1. Put ground meat through the fine blade of a food chopper along with the onion and parsley. Mix thoroughly with eggs, salt, a dash or two of pepper, melted butter and flour. It is best to mix this through with your hands, as the ingredients will be more thoroughly blended. Shape the meat mixture into 6 oval patties.
2. Heat butter or fat in a large, heavy skillet. When fat is hot (butter should not begin to brown), add meat patties. Fry until first side is a rich brown; turn and brown second side. If you want hamburgers rare, fry first side 4 to 5 minutes, and second side 3 to 4. If you want hamburgers well done, fry slowly or they will be too brown by the time the centers are finished.
3. When the hamburgers are done, remove them to a heated platter. Add onion rings to the pan and saute a few minutes until soft and bright yellow, but not brown. Spoon sauteed onion rings over hamburgers. If you would like a little sauce with this, pour ½ cup hot water or beef stock into pan; let it come to a boil once or twice as you stir and scrape coagulated pan juices into it. Pour over hamburgers with the onions.
from Mimi Sheraton, The German Cookbook