Burgers from scratch

For some odd reason I recently decided to make up a big ole batch of burgers from scratch. That is, I decided to take some chunks of grass-fed meat and grind them up myself into ground meat which I would then form into delicious discs of hamburgery heaven.

I’m not sure why I decided to do this. It’s not because I don’t trust supermarket ground beef. I don’t trust it but I still eat it anyway. It’s not because I like the idea of eating grass-fed beef. I do, and I certainly eat my share of grass-fed burgers and steaks. It’s not because I like to know where my food is coming from, because, to be honest, I don’t actually care that much. I only care about minimizing sugar and starch. And to some degree, vegetable oils. Beyond that, well, you know, yawn….

I think I did it just for the sheer hell of it. My idea of fun. Go figure.

I think I heard on some show like Top Chef that Richard Blais likes to make his ground beef from a mix of brisket, hangar steak, and short ribs. So I decided to do the same.  I ordered a bunch of those cuts from U.S. Wellness meats, and when they arrived, I sharpened my knives and started chopping.

Here’s a close up of the brisket, looks kinda lean, doesn’t it?

And here’s the hangar steak, more fat there, that’s looking better:

And here’s the short ribs, loads of fat, that’s more like it:

And Sami enjoyed the bones!

Lots of juice left over, I call it dog soup, because its usually the dogs who wind up enjoying it. When there’s beef on the counter, they are usually on their best behavior. Sitting and pretending they are the best doggies in the world. Best doggies in the world who deserve to have a share of that beef up there that smells so good. But when they hear the bowls coming out of the cabinet, well, that’s more than they can take, all sorts of shameless crying and shoving and begging breaks out. They usually get what they want.

Here’s all the meat, all chopped and ready for the grind.

One good thing about doing this  yourself, you can control the fat content. If for some odd reason you are working with lean meat, you can always mix in some beef lard improve the situation.

Unfortunately, when I made this batch, I was using the Cuisinart food processor for the grinding action. It works but not that great. It’s tricky to get it ground up just enough, you know, not too chunky, but also, not a puree. Ground beef is good, puree’d beef, yuck.

Here’s the meat all ground up. I erred a bit on the chunky side.

By now I’ve been working quite a while, this is a bigger job than I expected it to be. Time for some refreshment!

Next time I think I’ll 1) Skip the brisket, and just go with hangar and short rib mix, and 2) Use less meat, this just took too long!, and 3) Get a proper meat grinder attachment for the KitchenAid mixer.


2 Responses to Burgers from scratch

  1. Saw you comment on Dr. Eades blog about what to use for burgers.
    Since you lived in brazil, you probably know this already but I make myself some tapioca puffs when I really crave bread.
    I make sliders with them and it’s out of this world!

    Still enjoying your blog, hope you’re well.

    Hmmm tapioca puffs aye? now I gotta go google “how to make tapioca puffs…”
    And btw, took a quick look, your blog looks pretty cool. I’ll be back to read more for sure!

  2. You should try whisky without the ice….so much better!!! :D

    I do that sometimes, depending on the whiskey and the situation. I know that’s the way you’re “supposed” to enjoy fine scotch, but dammit, I like it on ice!