When I saw that there was going to be a one pot challenge on MasterChef, the FIRST three things that came to mind were Japanese cream stew, the dreaded tarte tatin that I royally messed up, and the one that I would have gone for, knowing that the recipe would be in a family magazine, cheeseburger dumplings with a tomato-fennel jam. I mean, come on, what family in America doesn’t like a cheeseburger? Besides vegans and vegetarians and the lactose intolerant, but still.
For my rendition, it would be very similar to chef Shirley Chung’s from Ms. Chi Café, because hers are the OG and they are freaking delicious. So I would make a mixture out of hand ground chuck roast, bacon, paprika, fennel seed, salt, cumin, and pepper, as well as parmesan, cheddar, and American cheeses. For the wrapper, it would be a Chinese style dumpling dough, but using paprika to color it. I would also make cheese fricco to coat the bottom of my dumplings with, and a fennel-tomato jam to go with it. In the context of that one pot wonder challenge, I would have gotten the jam started first while I focused on making my dough, then my filling, then assembling the dumplings. I think it would have been doable in an hour, given the amazing equipment we had in the MasterChef kitchen to help us, aka meat grinders and food processors.
For the relish:
1 bulb of fennel
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 cup crushed tomatoes
a pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon esplette pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
Sweat out fennel, pepper, salt, and paprika in olive oil before adding in your other ingredients. Stir and allow to simmer. Once reduced significantly, puree until chunky.
For the wrapper:
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons paprika
a pinch of salt
Combine into a dough, kneading until smooth. Split dough in half continuously until you have about 32 even balls of dough. Roll out into even disks.
For the filling:
1 1/2 cups chuck roast
6 strips of bacon
3 tablespoons grated cheddar
3 tablespoons grated American cheese
2 tablesoons grated parmesan
Grind the chuck roast and bacon together before seasoning with the other ingredients. Don’t be afraid to get aggressive with your seasonings, as ground meat has a tendency to be bland. Fill each dumpling wrapper with about 1 1/2 tablespoons of filling and crimp. On a medium-heated nonstick (or cast iron) pan, line with oil and place in your dumplings. Allow to sear first for 2-3 minutes before making your fricco.
For the fricco:
2/3 cups hot water
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons finely grated parmesan
2 tablespoon grated American cheese
Combine ingredients. Pour over the dumplings while they are searing, place the lid on, and cook down 4-5 minutes with the lid on. Remove the lid then and allow the liquid to cook out and the fricco to form around the dumplings.