It is important to say something on the topic of meat. I am positive that if the last two foods on this earth were a pile of worms and a pile of conventionally grown beef (fed genetically engineered food, kept in small quarters in poo up to their knees, injected with insane amounts of antibiotics, killed in a horrific and terrifying way only to have their remains tossed into a container with thousands of other dead cows, and then pumped full of color and filling, AND THEN packaged in plastic and sold as “farm fresh”) I would take the worms fu shuh. No question.
I say that to really get your appetite brewing. No, actually I say that because there are some people in my life who have claimed that meat is meat and death is death and it is bad to eat it no matter what. I would like to be respectful of those who have that opinion, but also explain how, to me, it is not the same.
I happen to believe that animals are not our equals. I don’t see any freakin’ cows flying to the moon, if you know what I’m sayin’. Jumping over the moon YES, but that is very different than rocket shipping up there and hanging out for a spell, point A. Point B, remember how in Avatar the girl killed that animal and then prayed over it to thank it for its sacrifice? That perfectly illustrates point B, which is respect. Although death is death, the way in which something dies is an extension of their life and if their life has been full of sun and grass and roaming and gentleness, why not give them a respectful exit? There is a book called Chefs On The Farm about an organic farm in Washington state and their practices. In one part of the book the man is talking about how he kills a goat. Very often they have chefs and students out to their farm to help and to cook and to experience organic farming. They watch everything, but not the killing. He says that more than anything he does not want the goat to feel fear. He takes a goat out to the field alone, no students, no one but he and the goat. He chooses the field because the goat has always been happy there. He kills him quickly, quietly, and peacefully. Respectfully. I am grateful to the animals that give their lives to sustain us. Every time I go to the freezer and take a cut of meat from ONE cow that we have purchased I am grateful. Every time I make a nourishing bone broth for my husband and baby boy I am grateful. These animals are grass-fed and finished; they roam freely, they live peacefully, they are local, free of hormones, antibiotics, filling, and FEAR.
That said, let’s make some burgers.
If you can purchase a cow locally and you have a large enough freezer, I highly recommend going that route. If you can’t find pastured, grass-fed and finished beef near you I bet your local health food store stocks frozen meats. If you have a Trader Joes, they have a ground beef that is grass-fed.
Burgers really aren’t hard to make. Measuring out ingredients is not at all necessary, mostly I just throw in a bit of this, and a bit of that. Because I know that some people out there don’t cook at all, I’ve measured out my ingredients here for you. (A couple of years ago I would have needed the measurements myself, so I completely understand if you do.)
Easy Amazing Burgers:
1lb grass-fed ground beef
1/2 onion chopped
1/2tsp garlic powder
1 large clove garlic minced
1/2tsp sea salt
pepper to taste
1 pastured egg*
3oz goats milk feta
grass-fed cheddar cheese
veganaise (we use this when I don’t make aioli since it’s difficult to find canola-free mayo)
Mix all ingredients in a bowl with your hands until combined. Form into whatever size burgers you wish and grill! Top with desired toppings; I like to add the cheddar, avocado, mayo, and mustard. In fact, I always toast my burger bun, and I sometimes even butter it before I add everything else. I’m going for the gold pretty much every time I eat. (The last two times I made these burgers I actually just cooked them on a piping hot cast iron skillet and BAM, they were amazing.
*In case you don’t know, pastured chickens produce entirely different eggs than “free range” chickens. Pastured chickens roam freely outside and have access to bugs and worms and SUN. Free range is a marketing scheme aimed at making you THINK you are choosing healthy eggs. Free range basically means that the chickens aren’t in cages alone. They are in large buildings living in their own poop and barely able to move around and they never see the sun. They actually have to feed these chickens red dye pellets in their feed to ensure their yolks are not grey. Do you know what that lack of color means? Lack of nutrients. And also the entire cholesterol study was debunked long ago. You do not need to worry about cholesterol.
Okay! One more thing, for the buns, because I have not yet mastered a proper gluten-free burger bun, I used Udi’s brand from Trader Joes. I have since discovered that Rudi’s is a healthier option, for now.
Oh, and make sure to have some kitchen towels on hand. I know a burger is good when my face is covered in it.
Happy summertime eats!