I used to hate hamburger, and ground beef in all its forms. Factory beef makes terrible hamburgers, in my opinion. But that all changed when I switched to grassfed ground beef, and found that I loved it.
As one of my favorite grassfed ranchers once said, “These are hamburger times, not steak times.” Many people think hamburger is boring and uninteresting. Yet many cultures celebrate traditional ground meat dishes, and often prefer them to more expensive cuts.
The beauty of ground grassfed meat is that you can do so much with it. You can add all kinds of ingredients, and the variety is limited only by your imagination and research ability. I have found that traditional ground meat flavor combinations can make the plain hamburger into a delicious, nutritious, delight.
Traditional Ground Meat Delights
I first learned of the value that other cultures give ground meat mixtures when I went to an ethnic restaurant with a friend who wanted to introduce me to his native cuisine. There were many grilled items, and I asked him what he liked best. I thought it might be the lamb kebabs, or the marinated chicken kebabs. Instead, he enthusiastically recommended the ground meat kebabs, which he said were the best thing on the menu. I took his recommendation, and was astonished by how flavorful and good they were.
Many cultures have their own unique traditional ways of preparing ground grassfed meat. The meat is almost always mixed with other ingredients. In Germany, the meat could be mixed with eggs, breadcrumbs, cream, and a little nutmeg. In Poland, a ground onion might be mixed into the meat, with some bread that was soaked in milk, squeezed dry, and incorporated into the burger.
Armenians could mix finely chopped parsley and onions into the meat, along with various spices. In India, curry spices and other ingredients could be mixed into the meat. The combinations are endless.
Turning Grassfed Hamburger into a Delicious Masterpiece
The key to having a flavorful variety in burgers is to mix other ingredients into the meat.
I have tried traditional flavor combinations with grassfed ground beef, grassfed ground bison, grassfed ground lamb, and pastured ground pork. I have used olive oil, all kinds of minced vegetables, eggs, egg yolks, toasted sesame oil, milk, cream, fish sauce, and a huge variety of spices from all over the world. By using traditional flavor combinations as a guide, I have come up with a variety of wonderful burgers that are very distinct in their taste and flavors. The ground meat recipes I have published in Tender Grassfed Barbecue include:
- Great Plains Cherry Bison Burger
- Balkan Burger
- Transylvanian Garlic Burger
- Cinnamon Burger
- Curry Burger, and
- Cajun Burger, to name a few. They are all different, yet delicious.
My upcoming cookbook will include many new recipes for grassfed ground meat, including this one that I have already shared on the Internet:
Ground grassfed meat need never be boring, and can be delicious in so many ways!
This post is part of Fat Tuesday blog carnival.
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