If you indulge in only one cut of grass-fed beef, let it be ground beef. There are many reasons why, but it all begins with the ruminant’s diet. To learn more about the basics of grass-fed beef, go to eat wild.com, it’s all there!
What we’re interested in here, however, is flavor, and you’re going to find it in this most simple of all recipes, “Basic Grass-fed Burger.” Since the flavor of the meat is so wonderful, we rarely embellish it. Last night we did add caramelized onions for fun. Here’s Mark Bittman’s recipe, “The Basic Burger,” from How to Cook Everything which I refer to for everything:
The Basic Burger
1½ pounds Kinderhook Farm grass-fed ground beef
1 teaspoon salt, plus more if you’re pan-grilling (entirely optional, we didn’t use salt)
You want to handle the meat as little as possible to avoid compressing it; shape it lightly into 4 burgers, about 4 to 5 inches across, sprinkling with salt as you do so. Start a charcoal or wood fire or preheat a gas grill; if you’re cooking on a stove top, preheat a large, heavy skillet (cast iron is best) over medium-high heat for 3 or 4 minutes; sprinkle its surface with coarse salt.
The fire should be quite hot; you should barely be able to hold your hand 3 or 4 inches over the rack. Put the burgers on the rack and grill about 3 minutes per side for very rare, and another minute per side for each increasing stage of doness, but no more than 10 minutes total unless you like hockey pucks. Timing on the stove top is exactly the same.
Serve on buns, toast, or hard rolls, garnished as you like.
That’s it! We served ours with baked potatoes and steamed cauliflower tossed with capers and minced garlic that had simmered in olive oil. Then we topped it off with a serving of ice cream, not homemade, that’s in the future when we finally have our family milk cow. We have her name, “Bluebell,” but we haven’t found her yet. She will be easy to handle so she’ll be a joy to milk, she’ll calve in the spring so we’ll have fresh milk all throughout the summer and then we’ll let her dry up during the coldest months. Her calf will nurse her part of the time…..that’s a future post!