Tips for grilling great veggie burgers and mock brisket recipe

Heyya Peeps,

Yesterday, a Facebook friend asked, “Do you have any suggestions on how to cook a veggie burger patty and keep it moist off the grill?”

FYI – A veggie burger is a hamburger-style patty that does not contain meat. The patty of a veggie burger may be made, for example, from vegetables, textured vegetable protein (soy meat), legumes, nuts, dairy products, mushrooms, wheat, or eggs. In places such as India where vegetarianism is widespread, McDonald’s and KFC serve veggie burgers. In Sweden, they call it the “McGarden”.

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Volume 1: Issue 6


The “Amazing Meals Made Easy” system for the busy food lover!

Week of March 11, 2012

Hello Peeps! Well, one of my favorite foodie holidays is coming up…St. Patrick’s Day! Bring on the corned beef and cabbage, baby! Speaking of which, we have a great slow-cooker Corned Beef & Cabbage recipe for you this week. A little splash of cider vinegar really brings out the flavor of that brisket!

That said, and as much as I love my corned beef, it’s a toss-up as to which recipe was the biggest party in my mouth this week, that Skirt Steak Taco Salad with Fire Roasted Steak Salsa is pretty amazing, too. If you’ve never experimented with skirt-steak before…are you in for a treat! It’s my favorite cut of beef.

A heads up…my fellow menu planner, and foodie extraordinaire, Terry Ramsey, spent some time at his computer this week, and re-designed the format we use for your weekly grocery lists. We think you’re really going to like the new look!

Oh, and that reminds me, please remember, when you make a hautemealz.com recipe that really fires your rockets, please shoot us an email, or post on the blog, or the Facebook page and let us know so we can work it back into the menu rotation. Otherwise, it might be a long time before you see it again!

Couple of other things to keep an eye out for, this week…

So, this week, in your hautemealz.com menus, you’re going to find several recipes that use chicken meat from pre-cooked deli chickens. If you haven’t cut up a lot of chickens at this point in your culinary history, make sure to visit the blog and watch a short video on how easy it is to carve a whole roast chicken.

For the Skirt Steak Taco Salad recipe make sure to check out our instructional blog post, How to slice Skirt Steak…it could be the difference between chewing on a beef-flavored tire, and savoring a buttery, melt-in-your-mouth-tender slice of steak!

Have a delicious week!

The hautemealz.com team

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Brisket is a cut of meat from the breast or lower chest of beef. The brisket muscles include the superficial and deep pectorals. As cattle do not have collar bones, these muscles support about 60% of the body weight of standing/moving cattle. This requires a significant amount of connective tissue, so the resultingly tough meat must be cooked correctly to tenderize the connective tissue.

Popular methods in the Southern United States include rubbing with a spice rub or marinating the meat, then cooking slowly over indirect heat from charcoal or wood. This is a form of smoking the meat. Additional basting of the meat is often done during the cooking process. This normally tough cut of meat, due to the collagen fibers that make up the significant connective tissue in the cut, is tenderized when the collagen gelatinizes, resulting in more tender brisket, despite the fact that the cut is usually cooked well beyond what would normally be considered “well done”.

Slow-smoked brisket is a signature dish for our barbecue team, and Pit Master Chris Renner, in particular, has a special touch for turning the tough muscle into smoky beef perfection. Chris’s brisket recipe (and many more of our bbq and grilling specialties) are available in the team’s cookbook, MEAT FIRE GOOD.)  If you’re a hautemealz.com subscriber, contact us to get you member discount on this, or any of our titles.

In traditional Jewish cooking, brisket is most often braised as a pot roast, especially as a holiday main course, usually served at Rosh Hashannah, Passover, and Shabbat. In Hong Kong, it is cooked with spices over low heat until tender, and is commonly served with noodles in soup or curry. It is a common cut of meat for use in Vietnamese phở soup, as well.

Brisket is also the most popular cut for corned beef, though the term comes not from the grain corn, but from the treatment of the meat with “corns” of salt.

In the U.S. and Canada, consumption of corned beef is often associated with the Saint Patrick’s Day favorite, Corned Beef & Cabbage. Corned beef is not considered an Irish national dish, and the connection with Saint Patrick’s Day specifically originates as part of Irish-American culture, and is often part of their celebrations in North America.[13] In Ireland, the closest traditional dish is bacon and cabbage (more akin to Canadian style bacon or ham). Corned beef and cabbage became popular in the U.S. after Irish immigrants in the northeast used corned beef instead of pork in the dish. This substitution was likely due to the low cost of corned beef in the U.S.

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Perry’s Favorite Corned Beef Sandwich

Serves 4

1 whole baguette, soft
16 ounces leftover corned beef, warm
8 ounces Swiss cheese, deli sliced
4 Tbs horseradish mustard

Preheat your oven to 200f.

Bring corned beef broth (reserved from the slow cooker) to steaming on the stovetop, or in the microwave. Remove from heat and add the chopped or sliced corned beef, allow beef to warm in broth for about 10 minutes.

Slice baguette into 4 equal sections (halve, and then halve again), then slice each section horizontally, like a sandwich. Smear the bottom half of each section with horseradish mustard, and arrange corned beef on bottom half of sandwich, dividing meat evenly between the sections.

Arrange cheese to cover the meat, the close up your sandwiches.

The next two steps are the KEY to the awesomeness…

 1 – Wrap each sandwich tightly in foil.

 2 – Place sandwiches in warm over UPSIDE DOWN and allow to rest 10 minutes.

Unwrap and serve as is, or with kosher dill pickle spears.

Note: To “rueben-ize” this baby, replace the horseradish mustard with thousand-island dressing, and add 1/4 cup (warmed & well drained) sauerkraut to each sandwich, just before wrapping in foil.

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E-mail: perry@hautemealz.com
PO Box 21, Wilsonville Oregon, 97062

Copyright 2012, Perry P. Perkins


Making the perfect hamburger patty

grind your own hamburger

Grinding meat at home is not only easier than most people think, it also makes the moistest and most flavorful burgers.

Manual meat grinders (about $30) are available at kitchen-supply stores, and grinder attachments (about $50) for standing mixers work very well. Electric and industrial grinders run anywhere from $100 to several thousand, and are really only a consideration if you’re planning to grind a LOT of meat on a regular basis, or if you’re co-oping it with a group of like-minded foodies.

The way to guarantee a great burger is to use the proper cuts of meat, with a good amount of fat; to season it before grinding it, and to combine all the ingredients with a light hand– making sure to NOT overwork the mixture.

You’ll want fresh-ground: 50% sirloin, 25% brisket, 25% chuck. For four 6-ounce burgers, buy 1  1/2 pounds of meat, total (so, 1/2 pound of each).

grind your own hamburger

The combination of sirloin, brisket, and chuck make for a flavorful and succulent burger. If you don’t have a grinder, ask your butcher or meat department of your grocery store to grind the meat for you (that’s why they’re there, after allsee Andrew Zimmern’s advice in the video, below). You’ll want the three cuts of beef ground all together, first through a large die and then through a small die, alternating quantities of each meat through the grinder so they’re well mixed.

grind your own hamburgerTrim any excess fat or sinew from the meat, leaving about 1/4 inch of fat. Cut all the meat into 1-inch pieces and put in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

Set up a grinder with the 3/8-inch die. Fill a large bowl three-quarters full with ice water, and put a bowl on top of the ice for catching the ground meat.

kitchenaid meat grinderGrind the meat, alternating pieces of sirloin, brisket, and chuck. Run a piece of plastic wrap or parchment through the grinder to pass all the meat through.

Use about a foot or so of plastic wrap and feed it through the grinder, holding on to the end to ensure it’s traveling the length of the auger (you should feel it tugging as it moves towards the blade). kitchenaid meat grinder

The plastic wrap will push the meat through the blade and die, but the blade won’t cut the wrap.

Change the die to the smaller one and run the meat through again.

Now, once you’ve ground the meat, follow the directions in this fun video clip to insure you get the most from the awesome mess of meat!

And, here’s what Andrew Zimmern has to say, about visiting your local butcher (don’t worry, nothing “bizarre” in the video! lol)


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