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Whenever I make food in bulk, I always try to make sure the dish checks a several boxes:
The food has got to be at least as delicious as when first prepared once reheated (or just served again in the case of cold dishes).
It has to line up with dietary goals for myself and my family (this generally means it is not processed and made from fresh ingredients).
It needs to be budget friendly. This generally means, I’m looking towards ground beef, turkey, dark chicken meat, and stews or soups for main dishes.
For many years, I was trapped in the chicken, rice, and broccoli food vortex. This is the stereotypical bodybuilding diet that is devoid of much in the way of healthy fats and flavor. Never again. Taste is king and you can get that while aligning with your other goals.
One of the most simple and delicious bulk meals I like to make - that everyone loves - are hamburgers (with or without a traditional bun). If you don’t eat red meat, then this isn’t the recipe for you. But if you do, here is the best way to make the most delicious burger.
I like to read recipes and tend to try to learn from trained chefs and brilliantly creative home cooks, alike. Recently, I learned from a chef that putting other ingredients into ground beef for a loaded-style burger is really frowned upon by the upper echelons of the culinary world. Personally, I like burgers with stuff packed in the meat! But, I kept reading because this chef claimed that all you need for the perfect burger patty is a fatty ground beef (85/15 or 80/20) and a lot of salt.
Hey, if he was correct, then all I was saving was preparation time and money.
Not only does this simple approach cut down on preparation time, but it also reduces the cost per burger significantly - given the other ingredients you are not having to buy and the encouragement to enjoy a ground beef with higher fat content.
The Perfect Burger (in Bulk)
3-lbs ground beef (the fattier the better)
Sea salt to taste
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
Form each patty into LOOSELY packed patties. I can’t emphasize how important it is to pack them loosely. If they are packed too tight, each burger patty ends up feeling like you are eating a dry hockey puck.
Then generously season one side of the burger with salt and pepper. Throw them seasoning side down on a skillet or grill and season the other side before letting them cook for 4-5 minutes (or however long you need to get the desired level of doneness).
Let the burgers rest for about 5-minutes and then plate them up however you like! They may be so delicious and juicy that you don’t find the need to add much of anything at all to the top.
The last step in this is equally as important as the preparation - it’s the storage of the leftover burgers. After taking whatever is being eaten for that meal, immediately place the leftovers in airtight storage containers. I really like this style because when you reheat, the moisture stays in the container and helps keeps the meat juicy and fresh tasting.
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