Sometimes, just sometimes, I crave a meaty juicy burger, ala Shake Shack, but meat these days is scary. So scary. For those of you who like to believe that the journey of a piece of meat is from the styrofoam wrapper in the meat isle, onto your grill then into your mouth, read no further, but if you're like me, and still sometimes think that Freddy is in your closet, then read on. Feed lots. Cows, that you eat, stand up to their knees in their own you know what. Not colorful party balloons. Yum! E-Coli! Some antibiotics will make it all better. Not quite. Then, after slaughter, all that delicious ground meat, which is often so polluted that they "clean" it with ammonia, is pooled into giant vats and processed along with the meat from hundreds of different cows. They do that with milk, too. Cringe. Now I understand why people are vegetarians. Meat can be gross and scary!
But it doesn't have to be. If you buy meat from a reliable farm, where the cows are grass-fed and are given sunlight and exercise, then meat can be good again. Not to mention healthy for you and not so bad for the environment. Do these places exist? When I go to Pennsylvania, I see with mine own eyes cows grazing in pastures. Its out there! I promise. Talk to the beef farmer at your farmer's market where accountability does exist.
So the grass-fed burger: I started out with frying some bacon from Tamarack Hollow Farm where the pigs, as Joel Salatin puts it, "are allowed to be pigs." Set the bacon aside. Then in the bacon fat I fried chopped onions. I mixed that in with the grass-fed ground meat from New York Beef, plus some soy sauce and salt and pepper, formed my patties and it was onto the grill. I topped my burger with some goat cheddar cheese from Patches of Star Dairy and slapped it on a bun. Some fried potatoes from Garden of Eden and some arugula from Migliorelli Farm, and I had my burger fix. It was damn good and grassy and it didn't leave me feeling like I was digesting a brick. Burgers are good again.
*Every ingredient in this post (aside for seasoning) is from local produce I got from my CSA share or from the Union Square Farmer's Market.