Sunday, May 20, 2012


grass fed burger

Conventional ground beef is not only loaded with fat – it’s also from cows that have been force-fed unhealthy grains, antibiotics and hormones.  All of this is so that we can have a tender, juicy burger.  Now that I’ve been enlightened to a better way of eating, my teeth and jaws are having a difficult adjustment.  Grass-fed beef is from cows that have freely grazed on grass, soaking up the Omega 3’s.  They may be happier and healthier, but they’re not as fat, hence their meat is not so tender or juicy. 
There’s no local farmer near us that raises grass-fed cattle, so I’m forced to purchase pre-packaged ground beef from DK Meats, Asheville, NC, sold at our local Harris Teeter.
grass fed beef burgers (4)
Complicating things further, the beef is compressed in a tightly sealed package.  The absolute worst thing you can do to ground beef is to compress it.  Compression makes it tough.  Very tough.  I had my work cut out for me to get a tender, juicy burger.

Through trial and error, I have found a way to get delicious burgers that have great flavor, tenderness and juiciness.  Caramelized onions, balsamic vinegar, parsley, salt, pepper, ketchup, wine and olive oil are the ingredients that work magic on this tough, dry meat.  Now I can enjoy a burger and feel good about it, knowing that it tastes good, and it's good for me.

Juicy Grass-Fed Beef Burgers
Rating:  9.5 out of 10

3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided use
1 medium sweet onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1/8 tsp.+ 3/4 tsp.  fine sea salt or Diamond kosher salt, divided use
tiny pinch + 1/8 tsp. of white pepper, divided use (you can also use black, if preferred) 
2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley
1 Tbsp. ketchup
1 Tbsp. drinking-quality red wine (I used Cabernet Sauvignon) 
1 lb. organic grass-fed ground beef

In 9- or 10-inch skillet, heat 1 Tbsp. oil and onion over medium heat till onions are transparent, about 5 minutes.  Stir in vinegar, 1/8 tsp. salt and tiny pinch of pepper.  Cover and reduce heat to low.  Cook for 35-40 minutes, till onions are reduced and caramelized, checking occasionally and stirring to be sure they are not sticking.   Cool completely.

In rectangular or square pan, combine cooled onions, parsley, ketchup, wine, and remaining 2 Tbsp. oil.  Stir well with fork.  Top mixture with pieces of ground beef.  Sprinkle the beef with the remaining 3/4 tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. of pepper.  Mix lightly but thoroughly with hands or two forks.  Separate into 4 equal pieces, each weighing approximately 4.8 oz. each.  With wet hands, roll each between palms to form a ball, then flatten lightly with fingers to form patties about 1/2 – 3/4” thick.  If desired, sprinkle each lightly with additional salt and pepper before placing on hot grill (450F).  Grill about 3 minutes each side, then transfer to platter to rest 5 minutes.  Burgers should be pink in centers after resting.


Pam said...

It looks juicy and flavorful.

Rita said...

I am saving this great recipe; now I have to find the proper the choice of ingredients.

Janice said...

No one likes a dry hamburger. These look great. I've been searching for recipes using grass fed beef. I'm serving beef a lot more since learning about grass fed beef.