The Non-Standard Burger

By the title of this post you might think I’ve stumbled, or created for that matter, a burger that is strange and unusual. While that’s not really the case, the fact that you’d be hard pressed to find a medium rare burger around these parts, makes these two burgers an oddity on there own.

I’m not sure where my first medium burger was cooked and then enjoyed, although you can bet it was south of the border where it seems to be a relatively common practice. Simply requiring that a few precautions are taken, I’m not really sure why, in a fresh beef province like Alberta, we don’t see more cooked to order burgers. It’s probably got more to do with legislation and mass manufactured meat, than the availability of good meat.

While you might not think a pink burger is edible, don’t forget that people consuming rare, and medium rare steaks all the time without getting sick. Now, I’m not a meat expert, inspector, or butcher, but from what I gather, bacteria and bugs can potentially enter the equation any time during the processing process. With steaks, the only available space is on the outside and you are surely going to exterminate any nasty when you throw it on some heat. Being ground meat, the outside portion has now become one with the inside. This then increases the chance that any bug will now be inside and out and that you should probably run your burger up to the required 160 degrees before consuming.

Now, while the pictures here might be tempting, you probably shouldn’t run out and get your average pound of meat sitting in the cooler at Safeway. Nor, at this point, do I suggest you eat anything you don’t feel comfortable with. The trick in my mind is buying quality meat and grinding it fresh. This reduces the chance of contamination and makes a pink burger a viable option. Remember; fresh meat..freshly ground. Now go make friends with a butcher!

Deciding to stray from the normal condiments, burger one was toasted and then sandwiched between a bottom and top bun coated in peanut butter. This may sound odd, but the creaminess of PB works quite well with meat, and growing up in a toasted bacon and PB sandwich household, this was dreamy. With a healthy amount of beef fat in the pan, I fried an egg for burger two. The runny yolk soaked into the bun nicely and added another level of richness. While I could easily play with some additional toppings, these two medium rare burgers did the trick and conquered a craving. Now only a few weeks until my San Francisco trip, and more of these pink treats!

7 thoughts on “The Non-Standard Burger

  1. I am both intrigued and slightly frightened of the idea of slathering my hamburger bun with peanut butter. As a kid, I watched my brother devour PB & pepperoni sandwiches, and I thought they were the grossest things ever, but I never did try one. I think I’ll have to give it a shot! And for the record, I’ve never had a medium rare burger before in my life. I’ve just never been offered them by a restaurant that I could trust not to poison me. Making them at home seems like a much safer option.

  2. I made a bison burger last week that I topped with bacon and a fried egg. The bacon & egg added the fat – and flavor – that the bison meat was lacking.

  3. Mel – A safer option indeed. Do try the PB. I had some amazing bacon on hand, but forgot all about it until it was too late. Otherwise that would have been included…although I probably would have ground the bacon in the patty.

    JP – Sounds like a great combination to me!

  4. Just another post that reminds us all why peanut butter really is a super food. 🙂 Great post Chris!

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  6. I think I missed something – did you grind this yourself, or buy it ground? If purchased ground, where did you do so that you trust?

    There’s not many things that annoy me more than people wanting the shit cooked out of their meats. None of my in-laws will eat anything with even a blush of pink. My mother-in-law’s goes on the grill a half hour before everyone else’s. I try to be open minded about it, but it still seems wrong.

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