Thursday, March 13, 2014

Unbelievably Delicious Burger Meat vs. Plain Ol' Ground Beef!!

Calling all beef purists!! If you think 100% pure, unadulterated, ground beef is good stuff, you're 100% wrong!  Click here to learn how to transmogrify your plain ol' ground beef into delicious, mouth-watering burger meat!

For some reason unbeknownst to me, there seems to be a fad perpetuated by beef purists wherein ground beef is made into hamburger patties without the addition of ANYTHING, then cooked and eaten while said purist claims that the typically dry, often tasteless beef is the best that could be bought and should never have "fillers" added to it -- lest the purity of the beefy flavor be compromised.  

Ahem. This elitist and snobbish fad is complete bullshit that is based on the faulty logic that so-called "fillers" are detrimental to the flavor and texture of ground beef and should, therefore, not be added.

We've all been to a shitty diner trying to be the upscale eatery that we know it isn't.  We've all seen what looks to be an awesome, 100% pure beef burger on the menu, only to be disappointed by a dry, crumbly, relatively-tasteless hamburger that seems to fall apart every time you go to bite into it.  We've all sat there with growing regret, having paid the price for a high-quality hamburger, only to be served a less-than-impressive, loosely-held-together pile of disappointment on a bun. Our eyes have all drifted longingly over to the lovely steak that your date ordered instead of getting a hamburger... <sigh>.  We've all resigned ourselves to choking down that over-priced 100% beef because both our pride and our wallets made us do so!


THIS is burger meat, NOT ground beef! should realign your perceptions of 100% pure beef and the use of "fillers" by making a bigass batch of burger meat so good it might blow the tastebuds off the back of your tongue!

Here's why!
Once it is ground up, it's impossible to tell by looking at the grade of beef or the number of animals from which the batch originated!
Regardless of what grade of beef you buy, be it Black Angus or utility-grade meat, ground beef is exactly that.... beef that has been ground up.  Most packages of pre-ground meat come from multiple animals, sometimes containing meat from an entire herd! The ONLY way to guarantee the the meat is from one animal is to buy un-ground chuck or sirloin and grind it yourself (or have your butcher do it).  Sure, you can spend a fortune on ground beef from cows raised in special conditions, be they grass-fed, organic, or free range.   Just know that these terms are not well-regulated by the FDA, meaning your definition of free range may differ significantly from the farm where the beef was raised.  I would like to challenge anyone to a blind taste-test to see if they could truly determine which grade of beef was which.  In my opinion, spending the extra money for "specialty beef" is a needless waste.

80/20 v 90/10

First of all, if you're trying to be health-conscious, then why the hell are you eating ground beef at all?!
Go to the produce section and get yourself some celery w/ a meat-to-fat ratio of 100:0!! 
For the record, there 453.59 grams in one (1) pound of ground beef, regardless of the amount of fat in it.
So, in 1 lb of 80/20 beef, there are approx 90.7 grams of fat -- roughly 3 ounces, that's it.
In 90/10 beef, you'll get only 45ish grams of fat -- just 1.5 ounces of fat in the whole pound!
If your typical burger weighs 1/2 lb, then an 80/20 burger would only have 1.5 oz fat in it, and 90/10 only 0.75 ounces.   By comparison, your typical hot dog is only 2 ounces and contains nearly half an ounce of fat!  BUT, you say, comparing hamburgers and hot dogs is like comparing oranges and apples!
True, but the point is that 80/20 meat is not that much more "fatty" than 90/10.
Comparatively, most hot dogs and sausages are somewhere between 75/25 and 65/35!
Regardless of the fat content -- if you are at all concerned about the negligible difference in fat between 80/20 and 90/10 because of health reasons, you should NOT be eating ground beef anyway!

I'm fat, sassy, AND delicious!!
The biggest reason NOT to get the 90/10 lean ground beef is because it makes your burgers come out dry.
That is not the adjective you think of when you're jonesin' for a burger.  Naw, you want a bigass, juicy, burger, roight?! Right! So, just go with the 80/20, or conduct your own tests to see which ratio you like better!  You'll see! :)
In fact, my bro conducted this experiment for this chick he used to date and she pretty much had to wash down the dry-ass 90/10 burger w/ a bigass mug of STFU! ;)  Kudos, bro!

But... Fillers?!?  Really??  Yes! Really! Well, kinda...

If, by "fillers", you mean: eggs, bread crumbs, black pepper, kosher salt, garlic, onion and beef boullion, then yeah... fillers.  :)  These are normal ingredients, not saw dust and/or floor sweepings!
The egg and bread crumbs serve as the mortar that gives the burger the ability to hold itself together without getting all crumbly, while the rest of the ingredients impart flavor to the meat! 
Sure, beef itself tastes great, but why NOT add some deliciousness if you've got the chance, roight?!
So, get your shit together! Let's make some ground beef into burger meat!

As always when we prep meat, get 3x more than you think you will need!
This will allow you do to all the work at once and then freeze the burger for ease-of-use later!
For the ultimate burger meat, consider a ratio of meat such as this:
70% gr beef, 15% ground pork, 15% ground other (Italian sausage, lamb, venison, bison, bear, etc!)
Adding other meats imparts a greater depth of flavor and texture to the burger!

This was roughly 10.5 lbs acquired on mark-down for quick-sale at Sam's Club for a damn good deal!
Toss it all into a bigass pot and then punch a fist into it to make a well in the middle!

Into the depression go 1 egg & 1/2 of a generous handful of bread crumbs per 2.5 lbs of meat!
So, for ~10 lbs, you'll need 4 eggs and 2 big handfuls of bread crumbs, plus a health amount of each of the rest of the ingredients shown above! 

What are ya waitin' for?! Get to mixin'!
Work the seasonings and whatnot into the meat until it is fairly homogeneous.
Did you add enough salt?  Pepper??  There's only one way to find out!

Grab a lump and cook it up!

Damn! It sure looks good, but the only way to know for sure is to test it!
Sample and resample the meat like this until you've got the seasonings the way you like them!

Once you've got the meat flavored just right, it's time to bag-n-tag it!

Nuh-uh!  This burger isn't for mangy mutts!

Flatten them out so they will stack nicely in the freezer and thaw quicker than large, non-flat lumps!

Try to get as much air out of there to avoid potential freezer burn!

Yeah, now that's lookin' like some well-prepped burger!

You'll really appreciate the time and effort you put into this when you come home from a long day at work and the last thing you want to do is put a lot of effort into cooking!

Burger meat prepped like this can be used for a million different entrees!
Chili? Tacos? Nachos? Pizza? Spaghetti/Mostaccioli? Loose meat sandwiches? Shepherd's Pie?
Those are just the first few ideas I could come up with!

When you are ready, all you have to do is thaw it out and cook it up!
I made the batch above from the little bit left over after bagging up the rest!
I put this burger on a pizza w/ some bacon, sauteed onions & peppers!  Damn, it came out awesome!
If you've never made ground beef into burger, I highly recommend you at least give it a try!
You'll never want to eat plain ol' ground beef again! 

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