This week, in addition to the metric ton of venison in our basement freezer, we were elated to receive a couple of pounds of grass fed 75% ground beef from US Wellness Meats. We are late on the train to join the league of US Wellness Meat supporters (like Primal Palate, Balanced Bites, Everyday Paleo and countless others). We’re fortunate to have wonderful local resources and couldn’t wrap our brains around how meat would fair in the mail. But, hearing wonderful feedback from everyone everywhere in the Paleo world we decided it was high time we check it out.
We struggled to come up with an idea that would give this meat a chance to shine and for us to fully taste the flavor, since we knew it would be part of the This Week in Ground Meat series. Luckily, Stacy came up with a clever idea on the way to work one day.
A little backstory: If there’s one culinary item the DC area should be known for, it perhaps ought to be hamburgers. Really. Alexandria was the first home of Five Guys Burgers and Fries. Elevation Burger first opened in Falls Church. Spike from Top Chef owns Good Stuff Eatery. And then there’s our favorite: Ray’s Hell Burger. Seriously, if you’re in our area, pull into the run down strip mall just on the other side of the ultra modern Clarendon area of Arlington and hit this up! Our favorite is the Fat Joe, a foie gras topped burger with balsamic glaze. It is all seriously good.
So when Stacy considered the high quality of the ground beef US Wellness Meats had sent – the idea to replicate the foie burger struck. Since goose liver isn’t in our freezer, we used what we had on hand – buffalo liver, but feel free to use which ever animal liver you prefer. The result? Magnificent.
The Faux Gras Burger
- Per our friend Nick’s instructions, I sauteed the liver (he recommends calf’s) in duck fat, any solid fat would probably do (I hear beef tallow is the bees knees). Only let the meat cook for a minute or two on each side, as soon as it’s brown flip – the longer you cook the more tough the meat will become. You want it dark pink throughout to serve.
- I added about 1/2 cup red wine (you could also use balsamic vinegar or beef broth) to deglaze the pan. I scraped until the liver bits were released then added 2 cloves of garlic (minced) and a medium sized sweet white onion (diced) to the pan until soft and caramelized and the liquid had reduced to a sauce.
- Serve on a bed of lettuce atop a perfectly moist and unseasoned burger (we grilled ours)!
I honestly don’t know if I can use any other ground beef now. The burgers simply melted in our mouths, they tasted like butter. Hands down, with the utmost sincerity, the best ground beef we’ve ever had. The boys were all begging for more. We’re going to start stalking their website for sales so that we can buy metric tons of this stuff instead of venison. As far as affordable muscle meats go, ground beef is the best bang for your buck – in our estimation.
Joanne Isgro, a big supporter of ours, stepped up to provide us with her chili recipe for our 2nd ground meat meal of the week. I couldn’t resist turning this into an old personal favorite, Chili Mac. Obviously, we opted to forgo the cheese and used spaghetti squash for our noodles… There were no leftovers. Who doesn’t love chili. With noodles?!
And lastly, the Matt submission:
Taco Lettuce Wraps
2 lbs. ground red meat
1 yellow onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 jalapeno, diced
2 Tbsp lard, tallow, or fat of choice
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
- Melt lard in large frying pan
- Saute onion, pepper, and jalapeno for 6 minutes until onions start to turn translucent
- Add meat, garlic and spices and cook until meat is browned
- Serve with salsa and guacamole (do NOT forget this step or Finian will personally come to your house to scold you) on top of a romaine leaf
Unfortunately, this was not a contest. Joanne and I were way out classed by the quality of the liver burgers. Somewhere, Bambi cries and Bessie sings. The hands down winner, as declared by the shrieking and whining when we ran out, US Wellness Faux Gras Burgers!