Red meat gets a reprieve

Finally, a scientific study that suggests hamburgers may not be that bad after all.  The conclusions, published in the journal Circulation, found that there was no causal link between red meat and heart disease. This fantastic news comes to us from very smart people at Harvard so it has to be right. The study suggested that it is sodium and chemical preservatives that contribute to heart issues, not the meat itself. So, bacon, ham and sausage are still culprits. And red meat is still a suspect in some colon crimes so, it’s not off the hook yet.  But at least you can eat a hamburger to your heart’s content.

I can say, after a juicy half pound of  due diligence of my own, that a hamburger tastes just as deliciously bad for you as it did before the latest study.

Here’s my version, made with grass-fed Lincoln Red beef from the farm we support as CSA members. Yes, it does have bacon on it, but it is our favourite artisanal bacon made without nitrates. These are best cooked on the barbecue (seared and then moved to indirect heat to cook through) although I sometimes fry them in a pan and finish in the oven (350 F).

I will have to stop calling this burger the Heart Stopper (at least until another study comes out).

The burger formerly known as the Heart Stopper

Serves 4. All measurements are approximate.

2 lbs good quality ground beef

1 egg

3 cloves garlic, finely minced

1/4 cup dark beer (this is optional, but remember, the rest is for you)

1/3 to 1/2 cup bread crumbs

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

A few drops Tabasco or other hot sauce

Salt and pepper

Four large rolls

For topping:

Shredded Cheddar cheese

Romaine lettuce.

Almost crisp bacon

Sliced dill pickle

Sautéed onions

Sliced tomato

Grainy mustard

Mix beef, egg, 1/3 cup of bread crumbs, garlic, Dijon, beer (if using) Worcestershire and Tabasco sauces well. Season with salt and pepper. Add more bread crumbs if the mixture seems too wet. Form into four large patties. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.

Heat one half of grill to medium high. When hot, sear the burgers for two minutes on each side (flipping carefully) and then move to indirect heat, close lid and cook until an instant read thermometer reads an internal temperature of 160 F. Place a little cheese on top of each burger for the last minute or so of cooking.  Tip: place a piece of romaine lettuce on the bottom half of the roll and the burger juices won’t make the bread soggy.

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