Super Bowl Sunday is a week away and while it's mostly about football, we know it's really about food. If you are planning a menu for the big day but have dismissed the idea of burgers as too boring, think again! Everyone loves a good burger when done right, i.e. juicy, beefy and flavorful. We'll let you in on a little secret — the key is in the blend of meats you use.
There are wonderful variations worth exploring when it comes to selecting which cuts of beef to use for your patties. By adding different cuts you can change the flavor profile of your burger in a myriad of ways.
The key to an extremely juicy burger is to create a grind with an overall protein-to-fat ratio of 70/30 for medium-rare to medium-well and 80/20 for rare. As long as you maintain this ratio, you can experiment to your heart's content.
Some of our favorite grinds include short rib, hangar steak, and sirloin. For a smokey flavor, try adding bacon. Ask us, we are happy to suggest some creative and flavorful combinations.
One of the most famous burgers on the scene these days is from the Charleston, South Carolina restaurant Husk. There, Chef Sean Brock has blended chuck, flank steak and bacon for a mouth-watering — yet not overly fussy — cheeseburger. The recipe is below and a complete showstopper!
Husk's Famous Cheeseburger
Ingredients (makes enough for 10 cheeseburgers)
For the special sauce
For the cheeseburgers
For the sauce:
For the cheeseburgers:
Labor Day is fast approaching and if you're anything like us, your weekend is packed with get-togethers, parties and plenty of opportunities to flex your culinary muscle. If inspiration hasn't struck yet, here is a list of ideas to get you motivated. Whether you're into smoking, grilling or slow-cooking, we've got you covered.
It's a busy week, be sure to call ahead to place your order.
Labor Day Items
And don't forget about our great selection of wine and beer.
We are gearing up for the Spring Holidays at The Organic Butcher. There is still plenty of time to place your orders for lamb, ham, pork, rabbit or briskets. Order online on our new website or call us at 703-790-8300.
Popular seasonal items and recommendations are as follows:
Bone-In Leg of Lamb (7-9 lbs) - $12.99/LB
Boneless Leg of Lamb (5-7 lbs) - $13.99/LB
French Lamb Rack ( 1.5-2 lbs) - $24.99/LB
Lamb Shoulder Roast - $10.99/LB
Lamb Shank (1.5 lb avg.) - $7.99/LB
Boneless Lamb Loin (@1 lb. ea.) - $29.99/LB
FRESH HAMS, SMOKED HAMS AND PORK
Skin-on Fresh Ham / Pork Leg (6-24 lb.) - $6.99/lb.
Nitrate-Free Semi-boneless Spiral Ham (6-8 lb.) - $9.99/lb.
Nitrate-Free Boneless Berkshire Hams (6-8 lb. and 14-17 lb.) $9.99/lb.
Berkshire Frenched Pork Rack - $14.99/lb.
Skin-on Berkshire Pork Belly - $6.99/lb.
RABBIT - $11.99/LB
First Cut BRISKETS for Passover - $8.99/lb.
Seder bones also available
We will have plenty of roasts, seafood, wild game, and fresh produce for side dishes.
Leg of Lamb with Garlic and Rosemary (epicurious)
Makes 8 servings
Ingredients (all available at The Organic Butcher of McLean)
1 (7-9 pound) leg of lamb, fat trimmed to 1/4 inch thick, and lamb tied
4 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon fine sea salt
2 tablespoons chopped local, organic fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup dry red wine or beef broth
Whole grain Dijon mustard (optional)
Pat lamb dry and score fat by making shallow cuts all over with tip of a sharp small knife.
Pound garlic to a paste with sea salt using a mortar and pestle (or mince and mash with a heavy knife) and stir together with rosemary and pepper. Put lamb in a lightly oiled roasting pan, then rub paste all over lamb. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°F. (Optional: Add whole grain Dijon to the crust, and cook at 400 for 20 minutes, then reduce to 350.)
Roast lamb in middle of oven until an instant-read thermometer inserted 2 inches into thickest part of meat (do not touch bone) registers 130°F, 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours. Transfer to a cutting board and let stand 15 to 25 minutes (internal temperature will rise to about 140°F for medium-rare).
Add wine to pan and deglaze by boiling over moderately high heat, stirring and scraping up brown bits, 1 minute. Season pan juices with salt and pepper and serve with lamb.
St. Patrick's Day is right around the corner but there is still time to try your hand at making authentic corned beef for the holiday.
Corned beef is a preparation in which a cut of beef, traditionally the brisket, is cured in a brine solution along with various seasonings, and then slowly simmered until it's tender and flavorful. Although the exact beginnings of corned beef are unknown, it most likely came about when people began preserving meat through salt-curing. Corned beef remains popular in the United Kingdom and countries with British culinary traditions. Contrary to popular belief, corned beef is not considered an Irish national dish, but originates as part of St. Patrick's Day celebrations in Irish-American culture.
The Organic Butcher carries pickling spices for your convenience but you can also make your own. The following is a recipe from Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking and Curing for both the spice mix and home curing.
2 tbsp black peppercorns
2 tbsp mustard seeds
2 tbsp coriander seeds
2 tbsp hot red pepper flakes
2 tbsp allspice berries
1 tbsp ground mace
2 small cinnamon sticks, crushed or broken into pieces
2 to 4 bay leaves, crumbled
2 tbsp whole cloves
1 tbsp ground ginger
Combine peppercorns, mustard seeds and coriander seeds in a small dry pan. Place over medium heat and stir until fragrant, being careful not to burn them; keep lid handy in case seeds pop. Crack peppercorns and seeds in mortar and pestle or with the side of a knife on cutting board.
Combine with other spices, mix. Store in tightly sealed plastic or glass container.
For our pre-made corned beef, we typically brine cure our brisket for 7-10 days flipping the meat every day or so. We do not use curing salts in our preparation but do sell Instacure #1 by the tablespoon for those who prefer it at home.
HOME-CURED CORNED BEEF
1-1/2 cups kosher salt
½ cup sugar
4 teaspoons pink salt or Instacure #1 (sodium nitrite), optional
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 tablespoons pickling spice
1 4-5-pound first cut brisket
1 carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
1 medium onion, peeled and cut in two
1 celery stalk, roughly chopped.
In pot large enough to hold brisket, combine 1 gallon of water with kosher salt, sugar, sodium nitrite (if using), garlic and 2 tablespoons pickling spice. Bring to a simmer, stirring until salt and sugar are dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until chilled.
Place brisket in brine, weighted with a plate to keep it submerged; cover. Refrigerate for 5 days.
Remove brisket from brine and rinse thoroughly. Place in a pot just large enough to hold it. Cover with water and add remaining pickling spice, carrot, onion and celery. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer gently until brisket is fork-tender, about 3 hours, adding water if needed to cover brisket.
Keep warm until ready to serve. Meat can be refrigerated for several days in cooking liquid. Reheat in the liquid or serve chilled. Slice thinly and serve on a sandwich or with additional vegetables simmered until tender in the cooking liquid.
The best way to cook our local Angus or Wagyu Brisket is to smoke it on the Big Green Egg. We've been floored by how tender and delicious our Wagyu Briskets have been turning out lately and while we love our Angus briskets, the Wagyu has taken top honors in the flavor and tenderness departments.
Step 1 - Go to The Organic Butcher and pick up 10-12 LB of whole brisket (also referred to as a Packer-Cut brisket).
Step 2 - Rub with olive oil and a BBQ style rub. We have great seasonings in the shop! Ask one of our knowledgable staff members to help you pair your meat with a rub that suits your menu plan.
Step 3 - Use Big Green Egg Organic Lump Charcoal. If you use woodchips, make sure to pick a milder option like Cherry or Pecan Wood Chips. Heat your Big Green Egg to between 225-275 degrees. With the fat side facing up, smoke for 12 hours or until the temperature at the center of the brisket reaches 190-200 degrees.
Step 4 - Wrap your finished brisket in tin foil and let it sit for 30-45 minutes. You can even place the wrapped brisket in a cooler for a few hours to hold in the heat which lets the brisket continue to cook and tenderize further. When you're ready to eat, un-wrap and slice into the most tender and delicious brisket you've ever had! Enjoy!