What do you do when you are in northern Canada in the middle of February...
... fire up the grill of course. Because nothing. Nothing, beats barbecuing in the snow.
It technically could be considered the middle of winter here but you wouldn't really know it. Well, except for the snow. And the winter boots by the back door. And the blade on the quad. But other than that, today could of been a spring day here. Global warming Mother Nature has blessed us this year. For now anyways.
I am fortunate enough to be taking a mini holiday with Little while Mister is away on business. Little's maternal set of worlds greatest grandparents have a beautiful lakefront hideaway that is just as magical in the winter months as it is in the summer. We have settled in for the week and after big truck, Zamboni, quad & bobcat rides... this mama gets to do some daytime cooking. And at the lake - no matter what the month - that means it's time to fire up the grill.
We haven't consumed much ground beef around our house this past while. Loooong while actually. And sixtyone45 is a meat loving family. My dad cut it for years. I, in turn, wrapped it for years. But now? The ground stuff? Well, I have my concerns. Maybe not 1998 Oprah & the Texas cattlemen level, but nonetheless, concerns. There seems to be a disproportionate number of ground beef recalls compared to any other consumable. For this grill & meat loving family, not cool.
There is a lot of information out there, and the math nerd in me will tell you, statistically....the odds are the ground beef in your freezer right now is probably safe. BUT. (and it's a big one but I'm working on it) BUT, the meat loving, food loving recently-informed-localvore in me will tell you to think about sourcing some local beef and just asking your meat guy/lady to grind it for you. Or better yet, grind it yourself. I invested in a grinder not too long ago (it is now on the "grinders" shelf in my pantry next to spice, coffee, & cute mortar) and it's so easy. Here are the detailed instructions...
Buy meat. Put meat AND the machine in your freezer for 20 minutes. Take it out. Grind it. Cook it. Eat it.
These burgers were very big and very juicy. No filler here. Just meat, some tomato paste, fresh basil, garlic (you can see the Italian theme emerging) salt, pepper etc. Oh and bacon. (I don't need a reason for bacon) The key is in how you cook them. You need to bring the grill to high. Put the burgers on and don't touch them. Don't poke. Don't press. Nothing. Just leave them be. Turn the heat down and again...no poking or pressing. After about 8 minutes, flip. Repeat. And serve.
Back to the mini vacay now. And who knows, if this February winter gets any rougher....
.... you may see ice cream here next week.
Southern Italian Inspired Burgers with Carmelized Onions & Mushrooms 2lbs Lean Ground Beef (consider grinding your own 80/20) 1lb Ground pork 3 slices of thick cut bacon 2 Tbsp minced garlic 2 Tbsp milk 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese 2 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped 2 Tbsp tomato paste 2 tsp salt 2 tsp pepper
Caramelized Onions 1 Onion, sliced thinly into rings 1 Tbsp butter 1 Tbsp Olive Oil 1 Tbsp white balsamic vinegar Few pinches of salt
1. If caramelizing onions, start this first. Thinly slice a yellow onion and add to small frying pan with butter, olive oil, balsamic & salt. Fry them on low, stirring occasionally.
2. For the burgers, gently mix all of the ingredients together. Do not over mix. Form the meat into 8, 6 oz patties. Make a small thumb indentation in the middle of each burger.
3. Turn the grill onto med-high and grill patties about 8 minutes per side or until firm to touch. avoid over handling the burgers. No piercing! No pressing!
4. Top on a toasted bun with the grilled onions, mushrooms & favorite toppings.