Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Fresh Ground Burgers or How to Make a Simple BBQ as Time Consuming and Difficult as Possible!

Have you every noticed that everyone is more hungry than usual after they have been swimming or even playing in the pool for an hour or more? And, they are also more tired than usual, and maybe even a little cranky? I have! At our recent pool party, I wanted to make sure that no one got too hungry or too tired, so we planned the party accordingly!

When the Gramma's were planning our family Birthday/4th/BBQ, we decided to make everything very simple and as easy for everyone involved as possible. Our contribution to the pool party, besides the pool, were the burgers and their condiments. In my opinion, when you need 14 burgers for a group of hungry people, the thing to do is go to Costco and buy a bag of their already formed and frozen burger patties. But, oh no! Not at our house! That would be too easy and my dear hubby will never settle for "too easy." No, he went to the store, twice, bought this meat...

Five pounds of tri-tip loin

He cut it into strips

He put the Food Grinder on the KitchenAid mixer...
(we already had this because he loves to grind fresh meat)

...and then the grinding began. This process is not for the faint of heart! I was standing about five feet away and I was splattered with what I will call "juices" from the meat! A small hunk also landed on my upper arm! And that's not saying anything about the clean kitchen floors, counters and cupboards!

And that was only for the first "coarse" grind!

He then put it through for the "fine hamburger" grind!

Ready to chill thoroughly in the refrigerator for a couple hours!
He divided the meat in two parts; 3 pounds for Blue Ribbon Burgers and 2 pounds for Best Burger's Ever! This is where I got involved; I provided the recipes! I found these recipes for Blue Ribbon Burgers and Best Burgers Ever years ago at Recipezaar. We have made both of these recipes for BBQ's before and they were excellent! Both of these burgers have a flavorful mixture that is placed in the center of each burger that gives them a real flavor enhancement.

This is a picture of the blue cheese center that was mixed together, formed into logs and then put in the refrigerator to firm up. It was then taken out of the refrigerator and cut into slices and placed between two pieces of meat and sealed together. The burger on the top left is a completed burger and the meat on the right is the top for the bottom burger (did I confuse you yet?) The Best Burgers ever had a spicy butter round that was placed between the two patties just like the photo above. The burgers were really good and everyone enjoyed them.

I guess my point of this story is; why go to Costco for a bag of convenient pre-formed frozen burger patties that can be put on the grill frozen with very little work involved, when you can spend hours going through all of the steps I have detailed here, not including all the time spent mopping and cleaning up, instead? 
In his defense, he was a cook in the Army 20+ years ago and he still enjoys cooking and doing these types of projects. He's great for big productions because he still thinks in "big and large quantities" when it comes to preparing food! And the best part is that he cleans up really well after himself and me! And they were a lot better than any burger you could ever buy a Costco!

 They were very, very good!

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