Veal and cheese burgers

Kalvkött- och Västerbottensost burgare

Veal and cheese burgers

I came up with this recipe because during the barbecue season I wanted a change from the two classic Swedish burgers. I think it works well because the coating is crisp and the inside is soft, succulent and well flavoured.

Of course, I can’t claim it is a classic to compete with the two Swedish burger kings (sorry about the pun!). The two kings are Biff à la Lindström (a wonderful beef burger flavoured with beetroot, capers, onion and spices) and Wallenbergare (luxurious creamy veal burgers). I think both are really good, although I think of Wallenbergare as a winter dish.

My local supermarket stocks ready ground veal, but it is easy to grind yourself if you’ve not got a local stockist. Choose some veal with between 10 and 20% fat content.

I’ve also used Västerbottensost, the king of Swedish cheeses, but if you can’t get any you can use parmesan instead.

Of course, the burger goes well with salads and all the normall barbecue dishes. The photograph above shows it with some carrots and sugar snap peas simply because I needed to thin out my carrots!

Finally, I’ve also used a spice mixture called epice riche, which I make up and keep in a jar. If you’ve not got time to make any, use a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg instead. John Duxbury



• If possible let the burgers rest at room temperature for about an hour before cooking.
• If you haven’t got a griddle on your barbecue you can fry them instead, adding a light coating of oil to the pan before frying.
• If you are catering for a large party you can cook them in the oven instead at 200°C (400°F, gas 6, fan 170°C) for about 10 minutes, but then the coating won’t be quite as crisp.


400 g (14 oz) minced (ground) veal, about 15% fat content is ideal
40 g (1½ oz) grated Västerbottensost
2 tbsp   freshly chopped parsley
6 tbsp   fresh white breadcrumbs
pinch   epice riche
1   lightly beaten egg
    salt and freshly ground pepper
    oil, for frying


1. Put the veal, cheese, parsley, 2 tbsp of breadcrumbs, seasoning and egg in a large bowl and blend together until reasonably evenly mixed, but don’t over mix as the burgers will become too dense and tough.

2. Spread the remaining breadcrumbs on a large plate.

3. Divide the mixture into four and shape each portion into flat burgers just over 1 cm (about ½”) thick.

4. Turn each burger over in the breadcrumb mixture a couple of times until evenly coated.

5. If you have time, leave the burgers to rest at room temperature for about an hour. (If you make them more than an hour in advance cover in cling film (food wrap) and chill until required.)

6. Heat the griddle on your barbecue for 5 minutes to get it really hot.

7. Brush the griddle with oil and then add the burgers. Fry the burgers for 4 or 5 minutes per side until nicely coloured. Serve hot with a salad or fresh vegetables.


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