Smoky will be offering his talents, techniques and secrets discovered over the last 150 years, or so. He will be to the point, pull no punches and if you suffer through the process, you will become a much better outdoor cook, turning out masterpiece meals for friends and family alike.
He continues our education with the truly American food - Hambugers & Hotdogs! . . . . . take notes!
So, with no further adieu, we turn the mike to Smoky. You're on Smoky . . . . .
More affronts to good taste have been committed in the name of hamburger than in the name of art. "Hamburger" is as wantonly applied to the rubbery disk of mis-begotten menagerie meat and adulterants served in fast food houses as is to an aptly appointed artwork of a master griller working with premium ingredients. A thick ration of heavy, aged ground beef, masterfully grilled, and sheathed in generous slices of dense, fresh bread is magnificent, unadorned. With a little horseradish, piquant mustard and romaine lettuce, it can traumatize a rabid vegetarian.
When Leonardo set out to paint Mona, he didn't use wax crayons. Ground beef is pigment which can be used to create a Mona Lisa or an obscenity. If you plan to do a Mona, choose your pigment carefully. Select meat specifically for hamburgers. Proper meat for hamburger is freshly ground heavy, aged, lean beef. "Extra lean" lacks enough fat for flavor and texture and falls apart on the grill; "regular grind" fades away to become a mere memory of itself. It also causes flame-ups.
Select a nice chuck roast and, if you do not grind your own, have the butcher trim and grind it for you. Then you know the flavor, freshness and meat/fat ratio to expect. Several other cuts are tasty, but chuck is my favorite for hamburgers. Sirloin, rump and round will also work. If it has a bone, save it for stock. If the butcher is unable or unwilling to custom grind and time is short, choose the freshest (pale red) package of ground lean meat. Find another meat market before you buy again.
A meat grinder or grinding attachment on your mixer or food processor is a worthwhile investment for your kitchen. It puts you in control of quality, and, with ground meat, freshness is essential to quality. It also means that your ground meat is not going through a grinder which has just run a ton of meat of questionable character.
Personally, I never buy ground meat, but grind, at home, the meat I use. You can also trim roasts and grind the small pieces to save and cook later. The ability to grind other foods makes the grinder a handy kitchen implement. Get the sausage stuffer attachment, also. Think of brats, Italian, kielbasa, chorizo and other tasty stuffed items. Among other uses, it stuffs manicotti.
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Smoky's 5th basic position for really great barbecue'n.
'According to Smoky' is (c) by C. Clark Hale
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