From Butcher to Burger

Yesterday I took my afternoon client out for some CBI (community based instruction). After going to the bank, we went to the grocery store where we worked on pushing around the grocery cart and putting items on the conveyer belt at checkout. It was a great trip and he did so great with following directions when pushing the cart around. I was able to get all my grocery shopping done for my brownie, burger, and lemon bar experiments that are coming up in the next couple weeks in preparation for the Underground Market.

The most important thing that I wanted to try was grinding my own meat and how successful it would go. When I was at Whole Foods in Santa Cruz, I asked them how they make their ground meat. They told me that they take the trimmings from the other cuts and then grind it. Since this was not what I was looking for, I bought a two pound cut of chuck roast, which I ground up today.

You start with your cut of meat. You can grind beef, chicken, turkey, pork, lamb, etc. Any kind of meat. With chicken you want to add the skin to give some fat to the mixture. You want to use pork and lamb shoulders because those cuts have enough fat without requiring any extra. For turkey use the legs which are fatty, dark meat. After choosing your cut of meat, cut it into chucks about a 1/2 inch to one inch pieces.

After cutting the meat, put it in the freezer for about fifteen minutes. This was a nice amount of time for me to get a load of laundry in and start making one of my condiments: a braised garlic and balsamic vinegar spread. You want your meat to be quite cold but not freezing yet. This was will make it easier to grind in a food processor. I have yet to purchase the meat grinding attachment for my kitchen aid mixer.

I pulsed mine for about forty-five seconds to a minute. I left mine fairly course with some chunks so I could have a burger that I could still form together but was loose. I didn’t want a tightly packed hockey puck of meat to bite into. I had to my two pounds in four separate batches due to the size of my 2 cup food processor.

A beautiful mound of ground meat. I took about six ounces of this for my burger then I put the rest in a tupperware container and into the freezer. I plan on making another kind of burger tomorrow. But on to today’s burger. I mixed about six ounces, freshly ground pepper and salt, chili powder, and worcestshire sauce. I heated up a cast iron skillet on medium-high and let it heat for three to four minutes. Then I put the patty down and let it cook for about four minutes until flipping it. After flipping I added a chunk of brie and let it melt on top while the bottom cooked for another two minutes. I toasted a francese bun, spread the garlic and balsamic mixture and added a couple slices of granny smith apples.

I braised garlic with olive oil and 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar for about forty-five minutes until the balsamic vinegar had reduced a thicker texture. I then blended this in the food processor to spread onto the burger. The creamy rich tang of the brie mixed nicely with the pungent sweetness of the balsamic vinegar and the granny smith provided a sour, sweet crunch. Overall an excellent combination.


4 responses to “From Butcher to Burger

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