We usually make several different types of burgers during the summertime. I like being outside during the warmer sunny evenings at the grill with a brew in hand and it is easy to prep with fresh ingredients and a salad on the side especially after a long day of work, or weekend day out and about. After hearing via Twitter (follow Kristin Thompson on Twitter here) that SeaBreeze Farm was going to be offering up some of their beef at the Wallingford Farmer’s Market we were both pretty excited. We’ve been eating and enjoying a variety of things from SeaBreeze farm for a few years now including their milk, whole chickens, toulous sausages, terrines and smoked meats (Jamon Fume this past weekend was awesome!). Knowing that their beef supply was likely to be limited Robin headed over on Wednesday evening (the Market is open from 3-7pm) to pick up some beef along with a few other items to make some fresh burgers.
As I’ve mentioned previously we usually make our burger’s using a variation of Jamie Oliver’s Botham Burger, which we think rivals pretty much any burger recipe out there since the recipe still preserves the natural meat flavors that make a grilled burger so delicious yet it adds a nice kick with the coriander and cumin. We usually grind the meat fresh, although this time SeaBreeze did that for us. During the patty-making we noticed a few interesting things regarding the ground beef. One, the deep dark color of the meat. This meat had no trace of the red color you are accustomed to using, this ground beef was a milk chocolate color with flecks of white fat textured evenly throughout. [Unfortunately we didn’t get the name of cut of meat that was used to prep this 1lb slab of ground beef, but its was beautifully different than the any of the organic or grass fed beef shoulder we buy from A and J, Whole Foods, or other sources]. Also I should note the texture of meat was quite dense, almost like ground buffalo meat (which we also tend to really enjoy). We mixed the burger ingredients (2 chopped red onions, 1 tsp dijon, handful of bread crumbs, 1 tbsp crushed coriander, a pinch of crushed cumin seed, salt and fresh black pepper), with some chopped up chunks of Seabreeze bacon to add a bit of smokey saltiness to the burger. I noted, we did NOT add any egg, something we usually do, and forgot for some reason. Nevertheless the patties held together perfectly on the grill!
I grilled them to Medium-Medium Rare (anything longer is disrespectful to both the farmer and the cow, in my view)…and we served them on grilled buns from Macrina, with a a slice of heirloom tomato, lettuce, and some shavings of smoked provolone from Estrella Family Creamery. Robin made some purple potato salad (c/o Olson Farm’s potatoes), and I prepared a cheesy onion gratin using some local (the stand’s name passes my memory) red spring onions. This LOCAL burger was right up my alley. It contained all the flavors that I love about grilled food, but in a focused intense manner. First of all, the addition of SeaBreeze bacon to the burger mix added a great saltiness and potent smokiness that complimented the earthy, herbal, rustic meat flavor perfectly. In spite of the fact that we added to and enhanced the burger recipe by adding other spices/flavors we were absolutely shocked at how different the flavor and texture of the burger was as compared to other burger’s we’ve made recently. This meat is pure, in that it has the land pressed right into it, and you can honestly taste and feel that difference. We’ll definitely be buying more beef from SeaBreeze in the near future, as it is available. I’d love to try some other cuts of meat, as I’d imagine one would get an even more organic flavor profile from a grilled steak from this farm that continues to deliver the goods.
Vashon Island, WA, USA