Best Steakhouse Burgers

For those who have always wanted to try making burgers from scratch (from steaks), but don’t have a meat grinder, this is the recipe and technique for you. Not to mention, these are absolutely, hands-down the best burgers I have ever made. We will never go back to buying pre-ground meat again to make burgers. With this technique, you know exactly when your meat was ground, and have absolute control over the fat content.

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This comes from the latest issue of Cooks Illustrated, their July/ August issue. There are a lot more explanations provided in the issue that I am not adding to the below, but I think I am hitting all the high points. A couple of items to note are:

1) I cannot find “Sirloin Steak Tips, or Flap Meat” by me, so I use Chuck Steaks (see pic below, not to be confused with Chuck Roast) for the meat. This steak choice came recommended from another great source for grilling, http://www.amazingribs.com.

Chuck steaks being trimmed

Chuck steaks being trimmed

2) For well done burgers, ATK recommends adding a Panade. This is 1 slice of white bread torn into pieces mixed with 2 tablespoons of milk. Let combine for 5 minutes, then mash it to a paste with a fork. Add to the meat right when adding S&P, right before forming the patties. I added the Panade the first couple of times as my wife likes her burgers well-done. The next couple of times I didn’t as we had people over with a gluten restriction. I couldn’t tell the difference with or without it. I am skipping that from now on.

3) The first time I made these, I again stuck to the recipe and added 4 tablespoons of butter. In our opinion, and personal taste, this is WAY too much butter. I highly recommend cutting it in half to 2 tablespoons. The 4 tbsp reminded me of the “Butter Burgers” they serve in Wisconsin, where when your burger comes off the grill, they throw a huge slab of butter on top then add the top bun. First, it is a heart attack waiting to happen, but the extreme butter flavor overpowers the meat.

4) For the food processor, I use a Kitchen Aid 7-cup processor, and it handles the semi-frozen meat with absolutely no problem. I think any decent processor will work for this recipe.

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Meat and butter cubed and going into the freezer

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After the food processor, just prior to forming patties

Best Steakhouse Burgers

Ingredients

1.5 pounds sirloin steak tips (or chuck steak), trimmed and cut into ½-inch chunks

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into ¼-inch pieces (recommend just 2 tbsp)

Kosher salt and pepper

Vegetable oil for grill grate

OPTION – Panade – 1 slice of white bread and 2 tbsp milk

Directions

Freeze Meat: Place beef chunks and butter on large plate or rimmed baking sheet in single layer. Freeze until meat is very firm and starting to harden around edges, but still pliable, about 35 minutes.

Grind Meat: Place one-quarter of meat and one-quarter of butter pieces in food processor and pulse until finely ground into rice-grain-size pieces (about 1/32 inch), 15 to 20 pluses, stopping and redistributing meat around bowl as necessary to ensure beef is evenly ground. Transfer meat to baking sheet. Repeat grinding with remaining meat and butter in 3 batches. Spread mixture over sheet and inspect carefully, discarding any long strands of gristle or large chunks of hard meat, fat, or butter.

Form Patties: Sprinkle 1 teaspoon pepper and ¾ teaspoon salt over meat and gently toss with fork to combine (if adding a Panade, do it here when you toss the S&P in). Divide meat into 4 balls. Toss each between your hands until uniformly but lightly packed. Gently flatten into patties ¾ inch thick and about 4 ½ inches in diameter. Using your thumb, make 1-inch-wide by 1/4-inch-deep depression in center of each patty. Transfer patties to platter and freeze for 30-45 minutes.

Cook Patties: For a gas grill, turn all burners to high, cover, and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes. Leave all burners on high. Clean and oil cooking grates. Season 1 side of patties liberally with salt and pepper. Using spatula, flip patties and season other side. Grill patties without moving them until browned and meat releases easily from grill, 4 to 7 minutes. Flip patties and continue to grill until browned on second side and meat registers 120 to 125 for medium-rare or 130 to 135 degrees for medium, 4 to 7 minutes longer.

Transfer burgers to plate and let rest for 5 minutes. Transfer burgers to buns and serve with toppings.

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Also, as this is the season for grilling, if you are experiencing any issues with your Weber Grill, or need to get a hold of hard to find parts, please go to http://www.qualitygrillparts.com/

Chipotle Chicken Kabobs with an Avocado Cream Sauce

This recipe came from one of my favorite food blogs to read, Annie’s Eats. She has so many great recipes, this being one of my favorites, and I can say we have tried quite a few of them.

It is a simple meal to put together, and besides a little bit of marinating time for the chicken, it whips together pretty fast on a grill due to the small pieces of chicken. And whatever you do, do not forego the Avocado Cream Sauce! It is super easy and super delicious! We make this sauce pretty much anytime we make Mexican food now, whether fajitas, quesadillas, tacos, etc. It is my wife’s favorite dip.

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Dip

The oh-so-good dip!

Plate

We generally serve the chicken with a cilantro-lime rice, but it would be good with refried beans as well.

Enjoy!

Chipotle Chicken Kebabs with an Avocado Cream Sauce

Chicken

Juice of 1 lime

¼ cup canola oil

½ tsp kosher salt

1/8 tsp chili powder

1/8 tsp paprika

¼ tsp cumin

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

1 clove garlic, minced

1 ½ tsp light brown sugar

1 ½ tsp minced chipotle in adobo (seeds removed)

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces

Avocado Cream Sauce

1 avocado

½ cup nonfat Greek yogurt

1 clove garlic, minced

Juice of 1 lime

Directions

Whisk together all Chicken ingredients minus chicken. Put marinade in a ziplock bag along with the chicken for at least 30 minutes prior to grilling, flipping halfway.

Heat grill to medium, medium high heat. Thread chicken on to skewers (throwing away any remaining marinade). Cook kebabs on the grill, turning every few minutes until chicken temperature reaches 160 F.

Meanwhile, make the avocado sauce. Split the avocado in half and remove the pit. Scoop out the flesh and add to the bowl of a food processor along with the yogurt, garlic, and lime juice. Process until the sauce is smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.

Recipe from Annie’s Eats

Basil Lime Shrimp

Another easy, very few ingredients recipe that is well worth it. The flavors of this dish come together incredibly, and can be accompanied with any number of side dishes. If you like shrimp, you will love this recipe.

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And so truth in lending here, as I will always be completely honest with you on any recipes I post. To me, the recipe as printed below was perfect as is. To my wife on the other hand, she thought it was a touch to sweet, and asked the me to cut down the honey to one tsp the next time I make it. I will, and see how it is. The odd thing here is, my wife has the biggest sweet tooth I have ever come across, by far. And me personally, I am not a sweets guy. I am pretty sure it is not a full moon out tonight, but I could be wrong.

Another note is, I did not prepare mine on a grill as the recipe calls for, but however used a grill pan on the stove. Turned out great, and I am sure would be awesome on a grill as well.  

Basil-Lime Shrimp

Ingredients

½ cup basil leaves

Juice of 1 lime

½ cup olive oil

2 tsp honey

1 small garlic clove

1 pound peeled, deveined shrimp

Directions

In a blender, process the first 5 ingredients until smooth. Add the shrimp and marinade in a large resealable bag, mixing until the shrimp is evenly coated.

Marinate the shrimp for at least 30 minutes, add to skewers, and grill over medium low heat until pink and cooked through, approximately 2 minutes per side.  

Recipe from  Consumption Curiosity