Not a Plain Old Burger
My meat CSA is a common theme on this blog, and logically so, I suppose. With the CSA sending me 10 pounds of meat a month, I only venture outside of the ready supply in my freezer for special occasions. Most of the time, I’m grilling up some CSA meat.
With all the ink I’ve spilled on my CSA, however, I haven’t spent much time talking about the ground meat. That changes now. Because the ground meat in my CSA is some of the best I’ve ever tasted. The beef is a 75/25 blend. Pretty rich stuff! It is awesome for burgers.
In my quest to explore the outer reaches of barbeque, the burger could be easily forgotten. This should not happen. Burgers are a staple of American outdoor cooking. When prepared well, they are delicious. This weekend I skipped the goat and grilled some burgers.
Even with burgers, though, I must explore. I often go with a mushroom, onion and swiss burger. I grill the mushrooms and onions in my redware before I grill the burgers, and place them on the burgers, topped with cheese, for the last minute or two of the cook. This weekend, for my first burger cook, I experimented with cheddar and jalapeño.
I prepare my beef with Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, garlic salt, and a little cayenne. After I form the patties, I always make a little divot in the middle. This keeps the burgers from fattening up into a ball as they cook. Although I am an avid flipper of steaks, I usually don’t flip my burgers that often. I’ve read in quite a few different places that over-flipping burgers causes them to lose juice, and I tend to agree.
Prior to putting these burgers on the grill I roasted one jalapeño over direct heat until the skin charred on all sides. I allowed the jalapeño to cool a bit, then I skinned it, seeded it, and diced it.
Then I threw the burgers on the grill. I usually go about four minutes on the first side before flipping. I then grill them for another 3 minutes or so, or until the burgers are almost done, before removing them from the heat. I learned this trick with my mushroom and swiss burgers. If you try to dress a grill full of burgers while they are over the flame, your burgers and your hands will end up overcooked. For this cook I plated my burgers, covered them with jalapeños and cheddar cheese, and then put them back on the grill to cook until the cheese melted. Sorry, no picture of the finished product, but they were good!
For my second burger cook of the weekend, I made lamb burgers. I found this recipe on my All Recipes app. As you can see if you follow the link (I’m not going to rehash the entire recipe here), the recipe calls for quite a bit of green stuff – oregano, mint, and cilantro. It would be an expensive recipe if you bought a $4.99 bunch of each at Whole Foods. We happen to have oregano and mint in our garden (the cilantro is coming along) and affordable organic cilantro at the corner bodega, so it wasn’t too bad. I was excited to use a pound of CSA ground lamb.
These lamb burgers were also delicious! I was surprised that the mint, oregano and cilantro were not overpowering. The ground cumin was quite forceful (which I liked), and the red pepper flakes added some subtle heat. We will definitely use this recipe again.
You can see that one burger is smaller than the rest. It was for the little guy. As I reflected on this weekend of burger grilling, I decided that burgers need to be a big part of the rotation as we raise our family. Mrs. Esquire likes them (if they are made with delicious CSA meat), they are relatively affordable, and I can experiment with tastes like jalapeño cheddar and spicy lamb burgers. These recipes are both keepers!