Umm…yes, it has been over a year since I last posted. Why you ask? Well between running an insurance agency, helping my husband get our microbrewery going, working out, raising three dogs and cooking quick healthy meals, I just wasn’t thinking about taking pictures of my food before it was eaten.
It is time for a new chapter since so many of my friends and family ask me for my recipes, I decided to kickstart this blog again. This will definitely not be your traditional food blog with step-by-step, perfectly staged photos of every stage of the meal, but instead it will include fairly easy, healthy (most of the time) and delicious food. You will also find pictures of our three dogs also featured on Instagram – @giacolonegsp recipes featuring beer (our own, GSP Craft Brewing) and other miscellaneous information I might be inclined to share. The photos will hopefully be good, but there might be an iPhone photo thrown in on occasion when I need to capture something quickly.
I hope you will enjoy this new chapter in my blog and look for more changes to come including a new look very soon.
We are kicking things off with freshly ground burgers for the Fourth of July, which I quite cleverly called “Freedom Burgers”.
My husband and I went to Atlanta earlier this year on a business trip and discovered, much to our surprise, they had some of the most amazing hamburgers either of us had ever tasted. It turns out that most of the restaurants grind their own custom burger blend. The result was burgers that were juicy, charred and amazingly full of flavor without being greasy. Since then, I have been doing research into what makes a good burger blend. Of course, there are as many opinions on the subject as their are blend variations.
I was off to a good start as I have an excellent Lem Meat Grinder that up until now has simply been collecting dust in my pantry. Next up, the decision on the meats and ratios. I selected Chuck which is what most people think of when they think burger. It has a good lean-to-fat ratio and has good, although not distinctive flavor.
With chuck as my base, I wanted to amp up the flavor and I knew I wanted to use Short Rib, as it was commonly featured in those tasty Atlanta burgers. Short Rib has a high degree of marbling so the fat-to-lean ratio is quite high and it has an amazing rich and nutty flavor, often described as umami.
To balance the flavors I wanted a cut of beef with more of a grassy flavor and a little lower fat ratio. My choice was skirt steak which has that great grassy, gamey flavor.
Now that I had the players, it simply came down to cubing the meat into about one inch chunks and running it through the grinder twice. The first time through on the coarse grind you end up with a pretty chunky grind, but the magic happens on the second pass when it magically comes out in well marbled and blended hamburger “strings”.
Considering the fact that the temperatures are in the 90s here in Washington right now, the choice to barbecue was obvious. That meant that I would need my patties to be big enough to char on the outside and still remain moist on the inside. After more research, I determined that the perfect weight for my patty was 6 ounces. I weighed out each patty, very gently formed it into a patty and then simply seasoned generously with salt and pepper. After a short stint on each side on the grill and a topping of cheddar cheese, I undoubtedly ate the best burger of my life!
- 3 lbs boneless chuck roast
- 1 1/2 lbs short ribs (bone in)
- 1 lb. skirt steak
Cut meat off bone, but do not remove any fat. Cut into 1 inch chunks. Run through meat grinder with the coarse plate and then again with the fine plate.
Gently form into 6 ounce patties. If barbecuing, be sure to put a slight indent into one side to keep burger flat. Season generously with salt and pepper on both sides. Cook about 3 minutes over medium high heat on each side until desired doneness is reached.
- Do not overhandle the burger when forming patties as they will become tough.
- Cooking times will vary based on your barbecue.