The weather was glorious on Sunday, so we decided it would be a shame not to grill something. atara tossed out the idea of hamburgers, and I admit that I was rather tepid toward the suggestion at first. I countered the offer, saying that I would be amenable to burgers if we could buy a nice cut of meat and grind our own hamburger. To my surprise, she agreed.
When we were out for our usual Sunday shopping trip, we picked up a nice, 400g rib-eye with some good marbling in it. It was not the cheapest cut of meat they had, but we thought it looked like it would make some good burgers.
We both freely admit to being lazy, and we are not ones to wantonly throw around money without a good reason, so one might reasonably ask if there is enough of a difference between the much cheaper, frozen patties versus ones that we ground and pressed ourselves to warrant the difference in price. One might also reasonably ask if the cut of meat makes enough difference to justify spending money for a rig-eye versus a round steak.
The answer to both questions is, "Hell, yes!"
Notwithstanding the fact that these burgers were juicy and melt-in-your-mouth tender, the ability to season the meat all the way through rather than just a bit of seasoning on the outside had a profound effect on the flavour. Was it worth the added effort of cutting, grinding and clean-up? Yes, to the extent that it let us control the fat content, and gave us the option of cooking to medium rare if we chose. It also gave us the choice of using a premium cut of meat rather than whatever scraps were used in the store's ground meat.
I don't know if I would want to spend the whole effort of grinding and cleanup every time we make burgers, but I am thinking that I am about done with prepackaged frozen patties. When I was chatting with a friend about it over coffee this afternoon, he mentioned that they buy extra-lean hamburger and mix it with equal amounts of ground pork when they make burgers at home. The weather this week suggests that burgers might be in our near future, so maybe I'll give that a try for our next round.