Monday, 3 December 2012
When I was a child, one of my least favourite things to eat would be ground beef, or beef mince as it is called over here. I hated it mixed into things . . . I hated it as meatloaf . . . and I hated it as burgers. I would do anything to avoid eating it and often could be found hiding it under my plate, or the dining room carpet, or even the heating vents (when nobody was looking). I think I was the only person who could eat meat and macaroni without eating the meat. At the end of the meal, the side of my plate would be lined with bits of ground beef that I had managed to fish out of every nook and cranny . . .
I just didn't like the way it felt in my mouth. My thrifty mother always bought the cheapest ground beef she could find and it was full of gristle and bone. All my teeth had to do was touch one small piece of that nasty stuff and my gag reflex kicked in . . . not very pleasant at all, to say the least.
As an adult I have now learned to enjoy minced beef. Well, as burgers and in meatloaf at any rate. I am still not totally fond of it mixed into things . . . I think it is a texture thing. Of course I always buy the best quality I can afford. We don't eat a lot of meat, so when I do . . . I like it to be the good stuff.
I was talking to my sister on the computer yesterday and I mentioned these burgers that Todd and I had at A&W in Halifax last summer the day we flew home to the UK. Prime Rib Burgers. Best burger I have ever eaten. Seriously.
These are mighty tasty burgers too, and while they are not made from ground Prime Rib . . . they are filled with a rich hint of Stilton Blue cheese. I like to pan fry them along with some onions to lay over top, like a sweet and buttery onion blanket. We get some lovely cheese rolls down at our local shops, and so I normally toast a couple of them as well. If you toast them in the same pan you have cooked your meat in they get all crispy and flavourful with the meat drippings. Be sure to use a higher fat content beef. Here is when lean beef is not a good thing. Lean beef creates a tough and dry burger. You want a beef with minimum 16% fat, if not higher.
Top Tip: If you grind it yourself you can make sure there's no nasty stuff in there!! (And save a bit of money as well!)
I know that in these health conscious days we might be tempted to use extra lean grounb beef to make our burgers, but the truth is all you will end up with is a dry and tasteless burger. You need to use ground beef with at least 16% to 20% fat content in order to have a tasty and moist burger. Not a problem if it is a once in a while treat, but not highly recommended for every day. These burgers are moist and delicious with a subtle flavour of blue stilton.
1 pound ground beef (minimum fat content, 16 to 20%)
1 TBS good Dijon mustard
2 fat cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
2 spring onions, trimmed and finely chopped
2 ounces Blue Stilton, crumbled (I prefer Cropwell Bishop)
1 large egg
1 TBS water
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Toasted cheese rolls, relish, mustard, sliced tomato, lettuce, fried onions etc.
Place all the ingredients into a large bowl. Use your hands to mix well together, but only until just mixed. Over-working the meat will create a tough burger. Shape into flat patties about 1/2 inch thick, and slightly larger than the buns you are going to be using. (Make an indentation in the middle of each. This helps them to keep their shape when grilling.) Cover ahd chill until you are ready to cook them. Alternately you may freeze them. Wrap separately and place in a freezer bag.
Heat up your barbeque or oven grill, and oil the grates. Place the burgers on the oiled grate or on your grill pan and cook for about 5 minutes per side. You may also pan grill them in a pan in a bit of butter. (That's what I did today coz, it's winter!)Serve on toasted cheese rolls, along with your choice of condiments.
Note - Make sure you don't press down on your burgers whilst they are cooking. This might sear them, but it also makes a tough burger as you are pressing all the juices and flavours out of them! Let them brown naturally!