Nothing beats burgers, particularly if they are homemade or gourmet. This trend is not exclusive to our house. According to Steve Kay, editor and publisher of Cattle Buyers’ Weekly, North American consumers are turning to ground beef. He referred to it as “indulgence on the cheap.” With the challenging economic times and tightening of the belt, consumers are choosing gourmet burgers for their splurge, spending up to $15 for a burger. People still want to indulge but are cutting back from white table dining. Kay refers to it as a “burger boom.” In the States many new burger joints are starting up, such as Smashburger or Five Guys. There is also a pairing of micro- breweries with gourmet burgers. As a result, better cuts of beef are being ground to make these burgers. “The gourmet/specialty burger business is exploding,” says Kay.
Making burgers at home, barbecuing them and jazzing up with side dishes is always a hit at our house. Besides, who can resist when the weather is great enough to barbecue at the end of January. I have discovered a recipe that turns out great burgers. In addition to the ground beef, I add rolled oats, seasoning salt, garlic powder, minced onions, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup and a bit of milk. The milk seems to help keep the burgers moist. Some people use eggs but I find the milk works as well. Shredded cheese or barbecue sauce can also be added. The sky is the limit when it comes to toppings, we like fresh tomatoes, cheese slices, lettuce, fried onions and the latest from the little big guy is a fried egg. Place between a great bun, or skip the bun altogether. It is so great you can.