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Veal Burgers with Port Onions

Veal Burgers with a rose veal patty fully loaded with nutty Gouda cheese, crispy Parma ham and sticky slowly cooked port onions.

This indulgent burger definitely falls into the “gourmet” category and it takes a while to cook but it is well worth the wait!

Veal burger with port onions, gouda cheese and crispy parma ham.

A Fancy Old “Beef” Burger!

A good burger is a thing of great beauty and my veal burger is a great burger!

It joins other beefless patties on here like my shredded duck burgers, venison burgers, Indian-influenced lamb burger, and a wonderful Thai-influenced fish burger.

In many ways, this is really simple but also really indulgent. Just like most food I think greatness lies in attention to detail!

So the Parma ham for this gourmet burger is cooked between two baking sheets so that it does not shrivel up.

It isn’t just because it looks better but it eats better too. You don’t get one piece of shrivelled-up ham in the middle but a single layer in every bite.

But whilst we have the oven on we may as well get the cheese perfect too. For me, Gouda is the perfect burger cheese.

It melts fantastically well and has the most wonderful nutty sweet taste. Most importantly it does not overpower the other flavours you have got going on.

I don’t mess around with apologetic little slices of cheese on my burgers either. A beast of a slice 1cm thick (around 100g in weight) goes in the oven to begin to melt before it is added to the cooked burger.

As for the onions, I’ll just leave the idea of slow-cooked onions that are finished with port and brown sugar. A combination so good that it also appears in my pan-fried lambs liver and onions recipe.

Close up veal burger with port onions, gouda cheese and crispy parma ham.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it better to mince or grind my own meat?

Yes, because you can control the fat content to a far greater extent and also you can choose the quality of meat. However, this works well with store-bought minced veal too.

What is the pork belly for?

Veal is a relatively low-fat meat that sits at around 8% fat content. Adding a little fatty pork belly will push that up and lead to a juicier burger.

You could also use some really fatty thick-cut bacon or any offcuts of beef or pork fat that you have available.

Can I use something other than port?

Nothing will give you quite the same flavour. But, other decent substitutes include marsala wine, madeira or even a bold merlot at a push.

What no sauce?

Yup! This is a burger with no sauce, the pattie should be more than juicy enough and we have a load of cheese and those slow-cooked onions.

Nothing else is needed!

Crispy Fried polenta chip dipped in a pot of BBQ sauce.

Serving Suggestions

The obvious thing to serve with this veal burger would be some form of fries or chips. However, I am more than a bit fond of running with the fried polenta chips (pictured above) instead.

But if you want some spuds, then some wedges cooked in the air fryer, or some straw potatoes are superb too.

Sweet potatoes make for an equally delicious side. These baked sweet potato fries could easily be slipped into the oven with the cheese and ham.

If the calorie count “worries” you then maybe just stick with a nice green salad as a side lol.

Clsoe up profile of a veal burger with port onions, gouda cheese and crispy parma ham.

Equipment Used

I only recommend specific brands of equipment if I think that they make a material difference to a recipe. If you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.

  • Stovetop.
  • Oven.
  • 2 Baking trays, that will sit on top of each other.
  • 18-20cm (7-8″) saucepan, not nonstick.
  • Meat grinder or mincer (OPTIONAL).
  • Sharp kitchen knife.
  • Chopping board.
  • Weighing scales and or measuring cups and spoons.
  • Baking parchment.
Veal burger with port onions, gouda cheese and crispy parma ham on a brioche bun.
Yield: 2 Burgers

Recipe for Veal Burgers with Port Onions

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes

These veal burgers are my idea of a real indulgent treat, a rose veal patty is accompanied by nutty Gouda cheese, Parma ham and sticky cooked onions. 


For the Burger:

  • 300g (10oz) Coarsely Ground Rose Veal Shoulder
  • 30g (1oz) Pork Belly OPTIONAL
  • 1 Tsp Coarse Ground Black Pepper
  • ½ Tsp Salt
  • + Oil for Cooking

For the Onions:

  • 250g (1 Very Large) Onion
  • 1 Tsp Cooking Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 75ml (⅓ Cup) Ruby Port

And the Rest:

  • Rocket
  • 4 Slices Parma Ham
  • 200g (7oz) Gouda Cheese
  • Iceberg Lettuce
  • 2 Burger Buns


  1. If you are grinding your own meat place the veal and the pork belly in your mincer with a coarse plate and pass it through once. If you are not grinding your own meat but you are adding the pork belly, chopit as finely as you can with a sharp kitchen knife.
  2. Add the salt and pepper to the meat and then form two evenly sized patties and sandwich them between two sheets of baking parchment and allow them to rest in the fridge for at least 1 hour. Make sure that you remove the patties from the oven 10-15 minutes before cooking.
  3. Cut the onion in half, then peel it and cut it into 3-4mm (⅛") thick half-moon shapes.
  4. Heat a small-medium (18-20cm or 7-8") saucepan that is not nonstick over a low heat and when it is hot add the oil and the onions. Slowly caramelise the onions for around 1 hour stirring every 10-12 minutes.
  5. Once the onions are a deep brown, add in the sugar and stir until dissolved,
  6. Turn up the heat to medium-high then pour in the port and bubble down until sticky and dry, taste and add a pinch of salt.
  7. Cut the slab of gouda into two large squares 1cm thick.
  8. Take two baking trays that nestle into each other and place a layer of baking parchment in the first followed by the Parma Ham, followed by another layer of baking parchment. Add the second baking tray followed by another piece of baking parchment then the gouda cheese squares, then another piece of baking parchment.
  9. Place the next baking tray in a preheated oven and cook for 12-15 minutes at 200°C or 400°F.
  10. Heat a 28cm (11") frying pan over a high heat and oil both sides of the patty with a drizzle of oil.
  11. When the pan is hot add the burgers and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side, then remove and set aside.
  12. Toast the burger buns in the pan that you cooked the patties in for 30-60 seconds.
  13. Now build, I start with rocket, followed by a burger, some onions, baked cheese, Parma ham, then iceberg lettuce and finally some more onions.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1237Total Fat: 62gSaturated Fat: 31gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 25gCholesterol: 435mgSodium: 3506mgCarbohydrates: 68gFiber: 4gSugar: 23gProtein: 98g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!

Julie @ Running in a Skirt

Monday 26th of February 2018

Wow! These photos are gorgeous! What a burger! My husband would love this.

Brian Jones

Tuesday 27th of February 2018

Thanks Julie!


Monday 26th of February 2018

I do love a burger and this one is definitely a proper job! Every ingredient is there to do the veal justice and it looks like a complete meal in one too.

Brian Jones

Tuesday 27th of February 2018

There is definitely no need for 'fries' but hey, there is always room ;)


Monday 26th of February 2018

This beautiful burger has left me mouthwatering- gorgeous recipe and such a great capture! Great work Brian ??

Brian Jones

Tuesday 27th of February 2018

Thanks Ramona.

Meaghan | Cook. Craft. Love.

Wednesday 22nd of February 2017

My mouth is watering like crazy over this burger. It's been ages since I've had veal but I think that ends right now.

Brian Jones

Thursday 23rd of February 2017

Thanks Meaghan

Mary * Goodie Godmother

Tuesday 14th of February 2017

I'm a big fan of ethically sourcing meat when possible, but always, always, veal. Thank you for bringing up the subject, because then I can focus instead on the beautiful burger you've crafted. The Godfather would like me to mention he also approves of this recipe. ;)

Brian Jones

Thursday 16th of February 2017

Thanks Mary... Glad both you and the godfather approve, I'll take it as high praise indeed :D

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