Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Paleo Mustard Burgers Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens

The other night I had a craving for a hamburger- a mushroom, onion and avocado burger specifically.  One of my favorite hamburger recipes is from Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook (1930-2000 Limited Edition) my mom gave me for Christmas a while back.  If you have a version of this cookbook collecting dust on your bookshelf, I suggest giving it another look.  While not all the recipes are healthy paleo ones, it has a lot of information about cooking methods and ingredients that can be useful.  

What I liked about the hamburger recipe as written, was that the burgers were flavorful and juicy.  I've adapted the recipe to be paleo.  I tried finding the original recipe online but couldn't find it to post here. Regardless, here is my adaptation of that recipe that I now call Paleo Mustard Burgers.

Ingredients for the Patties:

1 pound ground beef (I used grass fed)
1 egg 
1 T. Mustard - This is where most of your flavor will come from so choose one with clean ingredients that suits your taste.  I like using stone ground mustard.  
1/8 t. Garlic Powder
1/4 t. Onion Powder
1/4 t. salt (I used kosher)
1/4 t. pepper

For an AIP friendly Version:  Omit the egg and add 1 ounce super finely minced onion.  I've done this and it was super good and just as juicy.  I used my mini-chopper to mince already chopped onion. Add the onion and onion juice to the burger mix along with the mustard (make sure its a AIP clean mustard) and dried spices (don't omit the onion powder).  

Burger Fixings of your Choice:  Here's what I used:
Tomatoes (I had grape tomatoes on hand)
Mixed Greens

The original recipe gives the option for using fresh garlic and onion instead of powdered.  It also used breadcrumbs which absorb the extra moisture from these fresh ingredients.  Many paleo burger recipes I see out there substitute almond flour for the breadcrumbs.   I didn't want to do that.  Sure almonds are paleo, but as I'm trying to lean out, I don't include nuts/nut flours as a part of my everyday food.  So, I opted to reduce the "extra" moisture in the recipe by using the dry spices instead.  

The process couldn't be easier.  It was a warm January afternoon when I made these, so I grilled them.   I turned on my grill to high before making the patties.  If you are actually having a winter this year and outdoor grilling isn't an option, you can broil them, use an indoor grill (George Foreman type), or even cook them in a skillet.

First, beat your egg and mustard with a whisk.  I had just enough stone ground mustard left for this batch.  I then whisked in my remaining dry seasonings.

Next, I mixed in the meat.  I formed the beef mixture into 5 ounce patties.  I could have sworn I took more pictures, but alas, I guess I did not.  The next time I make them I'll take more pictures and add them. 

I decided that it would be a good idea to grill the onions and mushrooms.  After slicing my onion, I put it and my pre-sliced mushrooms into a foil pocket.  Before sealing the foil package, I seasoned them with salt and pepper.

I grilled the burgers for about 7-8 minutes per side.  I flipped the foil packet holding the vegetables when I flipped the patties.  

Here are my finished patties.  

Here is my burger bowl complete with the onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, avocado,  and mixed greens.

For me, no burger is complete without mustard.  There's my burger bowl about a minute after that pretty picture was taken smothered by mustard.  Yum. 

Accessibility and Cost of Ingredients:  You should be able to find all of the ingredients for this recipe at your "big box" grocery store pretty inexpensively depending on your choice of meat quality.  

Preparation and Cooking Time:  It took me about 15 minutes to prepare the patties, vegetables, and heat my grill.  It took me about 16 minutes to grill the patties.  

Clean up:  Because I used my grill, clean up was super easy.  All of my preparation tools went into the dishwasher.  

The Paleo Review:  Thumbs Up!   Big surprise I'm sure.  These burgers have all of the juiciness of the original recipe.  The egg in the recipe helps insure that the patties aren't dense meat pucks and the prepared mustard brings great flavor to every bite. 

Update!  Egg isn't the only ingredient that can bring moisture to the party!  After experimenting with an AIP  (Autoimmune Paleo) protocol,  I wondered if the egg was necessary.  I decided to substitute very finely minced onion for the egg.  I chopped some onion in to about 1/2 pieces measured out 1/4 cup (this weighs 1 1/4 ounces) and put it in my mini chopper and buzzed them until they were very finely minced (almost paste like).  Add the onion and onion juice to the rest of the ingredients (don't omit the onion powder) and I was rewarded with an even better flavored burger with just as much moisture as the version with the egg.  Paleo score!  

Even if you aren't AIP, try it with the onion substitution once.  You'll like it!  

Of course, if you don't like mustard, this isn't the recipe for you.  If you do, give it a try the next time you make burgers.  I haven't tried freezing them yet as I happily ate the remaining patties for my next few meals.  

Blog Note:  I'm sorry for the lack of posts last week.  Monday afternoon I came down with norovirus and it pretty much knocked me out for the rest of the week -there goes a week of vacation time.  I was going to post  link to what norovirus is, but all of the descriptions of the symptoms I found were so polite, and really did not do justice to the horridness of this bug.  Luckily, the symptoms have passed but I'm still quite tired.  Evidently, its going around and its highly contagious,  so wash your hands!  Frequently!  Everywhere!