In a recent family poll, our kids voted a hamburger as their favorite meal. We are not talking any hamburger, we are talking a healthy, grass-fed, run down your arms juicy hamburger with all the fixins. They are quick, easy, and can be enjoyed any time of the week. If you're like us, we could eat them a few times a week because they are just that good. In this post I'm going explain my do's and don't that will help you create a great tasting grass-fed burger. Your supper on a Tuesday night will have them asking, "What are we celebrating?" And you'll say, "Tuesday, silly."
1.) PLAN YOUR MEAL.....AT LEAST AN HOUR OR TWO AHEAD. Are you going to have this for lunch or for supper? If you grew up on a farm like I did, it was breakfast, dinner, supper. Oh wait. No. It was breakfast at 7:00, mid morning coffee break, dinner at noon, afternoon lunch break with coffee, supper around 7:00, then one more coffee before bed. In this case we will call dinner, supper. Now because you are a planner and have thought a thing or two about what to feed your family, go ahead a pull that ground beef out of the freezer. If you're really on top of it, place it in the fridge a day or two before to begin thawing. If your's like me, take the beef out of the freezer a few hours before meal time and place it in a big bowl hot water. I was a believer in thawing my beef in cold water until my husband challenged my method. I wanted to prove my husband wrong, so I put it to the test. My findings: Cold water was thrown all over my cold water thawing theory. Using hot water to thaw meat is quicker than using cold water. Also using a large bowl of hot water will help quicken the process. 2.) DO NOT DEFROST YOUR GROUND BEEF IN THE MICROWAVE. I am against zapping pretty much anything in the microwave except my cold coffee and even that ends up tasting differently. A microwave will change the texture and the taste of your beef. Grass-fed beef is slowly grown. It takes approximately 23 months to raise a cow from birth to butcher. Then it is dry aged for 2-3 weeks. Raising grass-fed beef takes a lot of time, effort, care, and grass to get a great tasting quality product, so treat it carefully. Plan a little ahead and be patient The end result will be well worth it.
3.) DON'T OVERWORK YOUR HAMBURGER. Put your thawed ground beef into a large mixing bowl. This particular beef is extra lean. So to ensure a good juicy burger, I add 1/4 cup melted coconut oil to two pounds of beef and gently massage it in. Now gently create round balls and gently press them into patties,
Next, place a thumb print in the center of each patty so the hamburger will not raise in the middle during cooking. Try to refrain from working out all the day's stresses out on your hamburger. Over working your grass-fed beef will create a tough burger. It's kind of like us: When we feel overworked, we get tough, tired and emotional, In reality, you just want some free time to unwind with a good back rub, or a soak in the tub, I can't help you with that, but I can help you relax while cooking by providing some stress releasing massage music for you. Actually youtube did, but here ya go...
4.) USE THE STOVE TOP. We're not firing up the grill here for this recipe. This is a school night type burger. Three boys just walked through the door and they're starving and total chaos has ensued, and you just want to get something on the table. It's that kind of hamburger. So I heat up a cast iron skillet to med-high, coat it with oil, gerenously season my meat, and when it's nice and hot, I throw them on. I'll leave them on med high for around five to six minutes. I flip them once, add cheese, cover with a lid, and turn down the heat to low. 5.) DON"T OVERCOOK. Too many people overcook their meat sacrificing it's flavor. Even though the recommended temp is 160 degrees, we like to take them off the heat when the meat thermometer reads 145-150.
GOLDILOCKS AND THE THREE BUNS
6.) LOVE YOUR BUNS. You've just created a beautiful, hot, juicy, tender beef masterpiece in less than ten minutes. What sets a good burger from a GREAT burger, is the bun. Love is in the details and this detail is a good quality bun. Look for something other than a plain ole' white bun. I like a brioche bun. Goldilocks would have chosen a brioche bun: A brioche is not too hard, nor too soft. It's just right. A great bun will create a life changing burger experience. While your burger is cooking, heat up another skillet, butter and garlic salt your bun, and slightly toast it just enough to melt the butter and crisp the edges. Now place that warm juicy burger in between a soft warm buttered bun and you'll be in heaven. That my friend, are my do's and don'ts on how to create a great tasting grass-fed burger. You may never fire up the grill again. At least not until summer.
Happy Grass-Fed Eating
THE TEN CONDIMENTS
our family favorites
1) syracha mayo
2) crisp green apples with melted gouda
3) raspberry chipotle sause
4) basil pesto with tomato and monteray jack cheese
6) peanut butter
9) sauted onions and mushrooms