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Wednesday, June 27. 2012
We probably don't eat as many hamburgers as we should, here at the Farm, but I am planning a friends and neighbors cookout for around 30 people and thought I would do some research on the best burger recipes.
Seems like a couple of splashes of Worcestershire sauce per pound, salt and pepper, and some Cuisenarted red onions is the simplest way to prep the meat. My preference for grilling is fatty beef, not lean. From Costco, of course.
My reading informs me that some people stir eggs, herbs, and all sorts of other things into the meat, but that sounds more like meatballs than burgers to me. Plus I like a burger rare, and who wants to eat raw eggs?
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I like to make burgers about 3/4 beef and 1/4 pork. That will keep them juicy. All your other stuff listed is good by me too.
I'm OK with your recipe (might add a little garlic powder) but I prefer the lean beef. For one thing I prefer the taste and for another thing I prefer not constantly fighting the fires the fatty beef makes. But that's just me. Costco always works for me though a very particular friend insists BJ's has superior meat.
Speaking for My Better Two-Thirds, she wants nothing but beef in her burgers. Just plain, thank you very much. She'll tolerate seasoning salt and a hint of garlic, but just barely tolerate it to placate me.
suggest against lean beef, as it will dry out too easily especially if you're doing multiple scores of burgers. not less than 80-20.
you could also try adding bacon fat into the patties, saving the bacon as a topping.
with a bit of salt and pepper only. I also use 80/20 ground beef. Love juicy burgers.
Make 'em like they do at the Thurman Ave. Cafe. Next time you're in the Columbus area, it's worth the trip. http://www.thethurmancafe.com/
I'm just asking. How can a burger be both rare, and fully cooked? I've always been led to believe that hamburger meat has to be fully cooked to prevent interior avalanches. While steaks, being solid, only require thorough cooking of the exterior, with the rest per your caveman preference?
If you're going to serve them rare, it's best to grind the beef yourself at home.
Discard the vegetables and buns and it would be perfect.
Grind your own burger out of steak and bacon at a 2:1 ratio. Bacon burger with the bacon incorporated into the burger itself. It is doubleplusgood.
For every pound of ground beef (I do 90/10), one beaten egg, 1/4 cup water, 2 Tablespoons Mrs. Dash Table Blend (I have to watch sodium), 1 package no sodium beef seasoning. Blend with hands, and don't be afraid to add water to the meat. It really makes it juicy. I have always read to make a divot in the center to help it spread out and you won't have the funny ufo shaped burgers, but I never have luck doing that. I have added onions in the past, but never get them diced well enough and end up with big chunks of onion.
Try 4# ground beef. Mix in by hand 1/3 cup 1/2 and 1/2 cream.
Chop 1/4 cup fresh basil and 1/4 cup fresh parsley and 1/4 cup fresh oregano.
Kneed all in by hand. Kosher salt to taste.
grill on screen (the cream makes the beef loose)
Top with sharp cheddar and 2 slices thick cut bacon.
Call your cardiologist in the morning.
My wife kneads a package of Lipton's Onion Soup mix into the burger meat. Really adds a lot of flavor, and as an added bonus, makes you belch & fart, too! I don't know the proportions, but they're probably on the box.
I make bacon burger macaroni and cheese. I use 80/20 beef.
After frying the bacon, I take the beef - 1 1/2 lbs. mixed with an envelope of Lipton's onion soup mix- and make little 'burgers', kind of like oblong meatballs. After frying them off, I drain them thoroughly, and brush them with ketchup and let them stay warm in a 200 degree oven while I make the mac and cheese part.
Then I mix the beef and bacon into the mac and cheese:
I use 3 cheeses to make my mac'n'cheese: Havarti, American and Monterrey Jack.
For world class burgers, you can go all the way up to buying th meat and making your own 'mince'.
(Don't mince it, use a food processor to chop it. a mix of brisket
and sirloin, or brisket, chuck and boneless short rib)
Otherwise, keep it simple. To each pound of beef, gently mix in 45 or so grams (1.5 ounces) of chopped bone marrow, pepper to taste and 3 tablespoons of ice cold water.
Form patties and cook to taste.
Unfortunately I no longer live in a major beef-producing country. Most of our beef is imported from South America or Europe - and even locally raised beef can be uneven.
So: to add fat and flavor to lean ground beef, cook down onions and garlic in a mix of olive oil and rendered fat. Cook them until they are soft and brown. Then grind/mash and stir into the beef. Go ahead and add all the drippings.
This is also a good way to add BBQ smokiness to patties cooked indoors - just get the onions blacker.
For a flavorful twist I'll mix in some spicy Italian sausage. As Mike noted above, a mix of ground pork makes for very nice burgers.
I just put some parmesan and oregano in the center and form the pattie around that, then season the outside with garlic salt and pepper prior to hitting the grill.
Find a real butcher and buy local meat. I guarentee you it will be 100% better than anytinhg you buy from Costco.
No steroids or antibiotics to boot.
We gave up buying super market meat a while ago. Now we buy a cow from 4H kids (split with friend or family). It helps them - and the meat tastes SOO much better.
Worcestershire and little soy, Weber grilling spice and good sharp cheddar is how I like mine.
I am in agreement with jg on this: THERE REALLY IS A DIFFERENCE between Costco (Supermarket) beef and local raised beef. I prefer beef that is grass finished (fed grain the last 30 days of being fed). We have many very good local organic producers: tht puts the price at $3.49/pound for 80/20, which is the best for burgers. You do need some well flavored fat in there! Grass raised and grain finished is the best way to do that. Costco calves start out in a feed lot and stand up to their ankles in wet runny cow poop until their end! D'ya think any of that gets into their system? You betcha! Stick with local and if you can local/organic. But at least make sure that they are raised on grass in the field until the last 30 days when a good beef man will add grain every day to their diet.
Aww shucks--you mean there is a science to great tasting beef?
HOW I cook the burger has been more important than the recipe. Homemade burgers are thick and ground beef has to be cooked thru. My wife found if she pinched the middle to be significantly thinner than edges, then the middle is cooked thru, the edges are not overcooked, and as the burger shrinks up, the burger is flatter and not humped in the middle. Since I have used this method, I have great burgers, whatever the recipe, everytime.
Equal amount of ground Italian sausage and ground beef, % of fat your choice. Make appropriately shaped/sized patties of each and press together. Grill with sausage side down first, flip & cook beef side to preference. No need of additional seasoning. I like some mayo and whatever cheese I fancy at the moment. Lightly toasted sourdough works well. Usually make about 6 servings from 3 pounds of meat.