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Beef and Black Bean Burger Experiment

Beef and Black Bean Burger Experiment

Don’t freak out! I am not trying to wean myself off meat. I was trying to find a way to stretch the meat and save some money. Beef and bean burritos are great, so I thought I would try mixing beans with my meat for burgers. The plan was to use black beans and ground turkey since it cheaper than beef, but when I went to the store they were out of ground turkey, so I tried it with beef.

I tried using 2/3 beans 1/3 meat, but that was too mushy, so I added more meat making it half and half. That felt right, and I chilled it for a while to make it as firm as possible. I was able to make patties. The plan was to grill them, and that’s what I started to do, but the weather and the fire didn’t cooperate, so I brought them in and cooked them in the iron skillet. Turns out, that was a blessing in disguise. When they were done they were just crumbly enough that the grill would have been a disaster.

I think the crumbliness could be fixed by adding and egg or maybe a spoonful of bacon grease. I probably won’t be trying it myself, though. I wasn’t that impressed with them. My boyfriend liked them, and they weren’t bad at all, but they in no way satisfy a burger craving. So, at this point, if I want to save money, I’ll just eat burgers less often and really enjoy them when I do.

Here is how I did it. Just remember, like most substitute foods, this is good as long as you don’t try to think of it as the real thing.

2 cups Black beans (cooked)
2 cup Ground beef
1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
½ cup Oats
1 ½ tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbs Maple syrup
4 large cloves fresh garlic

Drain beans, reserving a little liquid. Put everything except the meat in the food processor until smooth. You can add a tiny bit of the bean liquid if needed. Place in a large bowl with the meat and mix together with your hands. Chill the mixture. Form patties, cook for about 7 minutes on each side.

4th of July Alternatives

4th of July Alternatives

Some of you have mentioned wanting to do something different for the 4th of July. I make a couple of things from time to time that are a refreshing twist on hamburgers and hotdogs, but not so different that they’ll completely freak out your guests.

Stuffed Burgers

Instead of a plain old burger, I like to make a three layered creation. Form three patties (they can be thinner than usual). Put some onion, garlic, and cheese in between the patties. Pinch the meat together on the sides. Roll in crushed SunChips. These will take longer to cook than regular burgers, but they are wonderful!

Giant Pigs in a Blanket

Smoked sausage
Pie crust

Lay the sausage in the center of the pie crust. Cut long slices of cheese and place along side the sausage. Wrap and cook until the crust is done.

Your meat should be “ready to eat” when you buy it. If not, you’ll need to cook it first. You don’t have to use smoked sausage. This would be good with bratwurst or any kind of sausage that you like. I haven’t tried this on a grill. I think you would need to put it in a dish or on a tray of some sort and close the grill lid to make it work that way.

I would love to hear your ideas and favorite 4th of July recipes!