If the recipe looks familiar, that’s because I’ve shared it before – as part of 4th Of July – Keeping it Simple. So why am I sharing it again – and so soon! Well, let me tell you a little story . . .
It’s the 4th of July – so hubby and I rose at the crack of dawn and hurried on down to our neighborhood market. We usually do our grocery shopping on Saturdays – which would have meant getting all the “fresh” stuff for our barbecue nearly a week early. We wanted the produce fixings fresh, the buns fresh and most of all, the skirt steak fresh.
As we were wandering about the market, I noticed a display for Sutter Homes Wine – Build a Better Burger contest. Hum, I’ve never entered a contest before. I’ve never been brave enough to enter a recipe contest. Me? I’m just a home cook, nothing special. We all have talents within us, we just need to let them out.
The hardest part of the entry form to complete was the very first question “what inspired you to create this recipe?” Really? It’s a burger. Just how much inspiration do you need to come up with a burger recipe? And then I went to their website, to read last year’s winning recipe and those that were runners-up. Wow – these people are creative! Last year’s winning recipe was “Chipotle Bacon Maple Jam Burger with Pear, Spinach and Hazelnut Salad”. I froze, in awe. Granted, that’s a mouthful, but wow – what a mouthful. No way could I compete against recipes like that. There it was again – fear of rejection, fear of humiliation, fear of not measuring up. Just do it. Who cares about the outcome – just do it! And so I did it. That said, I don’t expect anything to come of my simple little entry. But then again, I didn’t enter to win. I entered to conquer my fears and insecurities. I entered because I’m no body special, and that’s okay – I’m special enough for me. As I see it, hitting the “submit” button made me a winner. And that’s triumph enough.
The inspiration answer: Growing up in a cow town, fresh ground meat was abundant. The best burger joint in town wasn’t a “restaurant” at all but rather a space inside a butcher shop with few tables, a grill set up and a deep fryer. You could come in, have a burger for lunch and pick up a roast for dinner. What made those burgers so good was that the meat was fresh – as in it was part of a side of beef that morning. It was this quest for the perfect “fresh” ground meat the lead to the creation of my awesome skirt steak burgers.
Skirt steak or Flap Meat is perfect for “grinding” in the food processor. The meat is tender, making it easy to grind, with just the right amount of fat to lean ratio to produce a succulent, flavorful burger that is out of this world. I love to use sharp Cheddar Cheese to top these burgers. Sargento makes a decent “thin” sliced Cheddar the will melt more easily than a thick slice of cheese. Grated Cheddar is also good.
Ingredients – Fresh “Ground” Burgers:
4 lbs Flap Meat, well marbled
4 Teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
2 Teaspoons Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
Ingredients – Grilled “Extras”:
8 Thick slices of Red Onion
2 Avocado, sliced into fourths (Optional)
8 Thin Bamboo Skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes
8 Kaiser rolls or other hearty buns
Ingredients – Toppings
8 Thin Slices Sharp Cheddar Cheese (optional)
8 Green Leaf Lettuce
8 Slices Beef Steak Tomatoes
TO MAKE GOURMET BURGER: Cut flap meat into manageable “chunks”. Using a food processor fitted with a chopping blade, add half of the flap meat, rapidly pulse until the consistency of ground beef, 1-2 minutes. Remove meat to a bowl and season with salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce. DO NOT MIX.
Repeat with remaining flap meat, place in processor bowl on top of seasonings.
Use hands to mix seasonings in well into the meat. Form meat into a large ball, then quarter the ball for even distribution. Form each quarter into a hamburger patty. If meat is cold, let it come to room temperature before grilling. Cook as you would any fresh hamburger, turning once.
DO AHEAD: Prepare a platter with lettuce leaves, sliced tomatoes and small ramekins or bowls with mustard, mayonnaise and/or Ketchup.
Prepare grill for hamburgers. Brush grill with a little olive oil to prevent burgers from sticking.
While grill is heating, thread 1 slice of onion each bamboo skewer (looks like a lollipop), and brush with olive oil to prevent sticking.
TO GRILL THE STEAK BURGERS: Place onions on grill along side burgers, turned as necessary to prevent onion from burning. Brush avocado wedges with olive oil to prevent sticking. Place avocado slices on the warming rack of grill, turn as needed to prevent burning.
When burgers are cooked through, transfer to a platter, top with cheese (if desired) and tent loosely. Allow to rest 5 minutes to retain juices. Remove onions and avocados, CAREFULLY remove from skewers then set on platter with other condiments.
Brush buns lightly with olive oil. Grill buns, cut side down, until golden, 2-3 minutes. Plate buns & call everyone to build their burgers.
Happy Grilling Everyone!