「はじめてのハンバーグ」 (Hajimete no Hamburg)
“First Hamburg Steak”
A good amount of Emiya’s Kitchen‘s appeal comes from how the spin-off takes characters who have either met their excruciatingly painful demise or suffered emotional/physical trauma throughout the Holy Grail Wars, and gives them a space where they can be happy and enjoy home cooking. This has been apparent through a few of the episodes such as ones where Sakura and Lancer can finally kick back and live peaceful lives alongside Emiya’s family and friends. However, Fate/Zero‘s Kiritsugu, who raised Shiro, has rarely had a shot at being genuinely happy with how much of his role was centered around the idea of the dark side that comes with heroics. He has suffered and caused suffering because of the ideals that he stood by, and the way the Holy Grail War he was involved with had entailed.
In this series, however, they give him a far happier, yet bittersweet outlook on his role as Shiro’s caretaker. He was able to enjoy the hamburg steaks that Shiro and Taiga made for him and talk of his travels to Germany for thicker variants, and yet it all still feels temporal. As Shiro yearns to have Kiritsugu stay with them forever, there’s a melancholic look at all the holidays that they could spend together with storybook-esque visuals. Kiritsugu knows his time there can never last that long, but he holds onto that feeling of being there as Shiro and Taiga grow up to see the one part of his life that hasn’t faded away flourish.
Some of the most enjoyable parts of the episode were seeing the bonding moments that Shiro and Taiga had when they were younger. It’s funny how personally young Shiro takes Taiga’s goofing around as tries to get a rise out of him. Additionally, it was cute for Taiga to tell Kiritsugu how much of the credit Shiro deserves for making the hamburg steaks after they helped each other make the recipe for just the right method to making them. The flashback shows much of the bonding they were all able to have with each other in the past, yet it was also a reminder of how far Shiro had come from his past. Where his family might have just been Taiga and Kiritsugu for the time being, but now that he’s older, he has his friends to support him and consider family as they all eat together and share many moments of happiness with one another.
As far as this week’s recipe, this is Shiro’s rendition of Hamburg Steak:
– Start off by mincing an onion. Take half of the finely chopped onions, and saute them on low heat. When they’re all coated with oil, add salt.
– Cool them off after they’re caramelized, leave the second half of the onions raw
– Place chilled ground beef in a bowl and add a dash of salt, mix well until slightly sticky.
– When mixed thoroughly enough, add bread crumbs, egg, nutmeg, pepper, and both raw & sauteed onions, and mix them together.
– Drop meat from one hand to another to remove air, shaping them into patties around 1.5 cm thick. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or so.
– Grill on a frying pan at medium heat. Once a crust forms, cook for three minutes on low heat. When the sides turn white, flip them over and continue cooking.
– Turn off heat, cover them up, and leave them for two or three minutes.
– Turn on the heat again and cook for two minutes or so. Poke the patties with a bamboo skewer, and if there’s translucent juice, the patties are ready.
– Cook on high heat one more time for 15 seconds or so. Once the patties are browned, you’re ready.