We often watch “Cook’s Country” on television. Their forte is taking well known or classic recipes and try to make them better. One episode they wanted to recreate the classic greasy spoon, roadside restaurant fried burger that was popular in the late 50’s and early 60’s with people taking long car trips. The interesting part of the recipe was that they ground their own beef with a food processor and it was something we wanted to try. Now, my wife had tried it a couple of times and it wasn’t really that good. The biggest problem was she was using “petite sirloin”. WAY TOO LEAN and there is too much gristle and other connective tissue left on that cut and the meat was still to chunky. So, I wanted to try it again, this time using a piece of boneless chuck.
Starting with a nice piece of boneless chuck.
Cut them into about 1 inch cubes
The cubes go into the freezer for about 10 minutes just to give the chunks a slight firmness. Other wise, when they get run through the food processor, they might just turn to mush.
I ran the meat through the processor twice. I first used the slicing attachment.
Then the meat meets the real chopper blade.
I did a couple of batches.
By golly !! Dang if that at least doesn’t look like ground beef!!
Nothing like nice bright pink beef !!
Now, because the meat is actually small bits and pieces and not long fibers like real ground meat, there is a lot less cohesion and because I do not pack my burgers very tight, these would probably not do well out on the grill. I only want to have to touch these once when I flip them so the don’t fall apart. Do you see the dimple in the middle of each burger? That’s so when they cook, they don’t expand up and end up like meatballs.
Some tater tots done on the waffle iron. Mmmmmm, crispy !
There are a whole bunch of websites/blogs that show what can and cannot be cooked on a waffle iron and tater tots was a good one.
Lightly toasted bun with a little lettuce and some thousand island style condiment. Another burger tip, toasted buns provide a little buffer so the juices of the burger don’t make the bun soggy as fast.
Despite all of the food nazi warnings about under cooked ground beef, I still LOVE my burgers PINK. An interesting thing about grinding the meat this way is that because the bits and pieces are small, I think the burger can be cooked a little more closer to medium and it would still be good because there is not a lot of bite resistance. It doesn’t fall apart like a sloppy joe but it has a good chew.