There are plenty of things that I do in the quest for quality ingredients that others, including The Wife, do not understand. I will go to three or four grocery stores on one trip out because the produce is better here and the meat is better there. I will drive to seedy parts of town to buy authentic ingredients. I will not, however, ground my own meat.
It seems like a lot of effort for a hamburger, you know?
Anyhow, this recipe from Serious Eats called for you to grind your own meat from beef chuck and pork round. For a weeknight dinner, that’s a lot of work. When you can get organic ground meat for $4.19 per pound, it’s a much better proposition.
WHAT WORKED: Wake Robin Farm’s Bailiwick Cheddar. This cheese is so good. This medium cheddar is creamy with just a little bit of sharpness to keep your attention. In the interest of full disclosure, I ate quite a bit during the grating process.
WHAT DIDN’T: The recipe went right to plan. No complaints.
WHAT DID THE WIFE SAY: “I liked my burger. It was good. It was juicy and cheesy. Just like you. And it didn’t have peas.” Sigh.
WILL IT MAKE ANOTHER APPEARANCE: Yes, and I think I’ll do it in the fall with some diced apples.
The Ultimate Cheese-Filled Beef and Pork Burger
Adapted from Serious Eats and author Stephanie Stiavetti
- 3/4 lb. boneless pork top round, or ground organic beef
- 3/4 lb. boneless beef chuck, or ground organic pork
- 1/4 lb. mild cheddar cheese, grated
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. freshly-ground black pepper
- 4 burger buns
- 8 Romaine lettuce leaves
- 2 beefsteak tomatoes, sliced thick
If you decided to grind your own: Trim any sinew or tough connective tissue from pork and beef. Cut the pork and beef into 1-inch cubes and place in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet or two large plates (see note above). Set the plate in the freezer for 15 minutes. Remove from the freezer and place 1/3 of meat in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped but not mushy, 10 to 15 short pulses. Transfer ground meat to large bowl and repeat with remaining two batches.
Add the shredded cheese to the bowl with the meat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Using your hands, gently fold the meat and cheese until well combined. Form the meat into four wide, flat patties about 1 1/2-inches thick. Place the patties on a plate and allow them to sit, covered, for 20 minutes.
Heat a heavy-bottomed non-stick pan over medium flame. Fry the burgers two at a time, if your pan’s size will allow it. Heat the burgers until they are well-browned and crisp on one side, then flip them over and repeat. Once the burgers are done, place them on a bun with lettuce and tomato. Repeat with the remaining burgers. Serve immediately.