The Meat of the Matter: Kosher Meat Tips from Naf Hanau, Grow and Behold Foods
Naftali Hanau grew up around the corner from the kosher butcher, and has loved meat from a young age. He eventually learned shechita and founded our favorite kosher meat company, Grow and Behold Foods, which sells delicious OU Glatt kosher pastured meat to customers all over the USA. Naf joins us here at JOY of KOSHER with Jamie Geller every month to break down various cuts of meat, serve up his secret recipes and answer your "meaty" questions. Post comments below, or contact Naf directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
-------------------------A Q&A WITH NAF HANAU-------------------------
Q: What’s the secret to making really great burgers at home?
A: Really great meat! And very little else.
Here at Grow and Behold, we are purists. We prefer a burger that is just meat, rather than one filled with seasonings, eggs, breadcrumbs, etc. Let the juiciness and flavor of the meat really shine. When you’ve got meat as tasty as ours, raised on pasture with no hormones or antibiotics, you really don’t need much else.
One thing we do like to do is combine different meats – mix up Ground Lamb + Beef for a more intense flavor, or use Meatball Mix (half Beef + half Rose Veal) for a lighter burger. For extra seasonings, pay attention to the sauce and the toppings (more on that later).
To make your own patties, make sure meat is fully defrosted. Break each pound of meat into 3 or 4 patties, depending on your preferred size. Smaller patties are easier to handle, but cook more quickly, so pay attention if you want them on the rarer side. Handle the meat lightly. Overworking, squishing and forming will make a dense, chewy burger. Leaving the edges a bit ragged gives you lots of nooks and crannies for that great umami flavor of seared meat to build and build.
You might also consider kibbeh or meat cigars. Take a small handful in your palm and close your fingers around it gently to make an oblong shape. These will cook up in no time and can be tucked into pita with a riot of fresh salads and sauces for a very delicious alternative to traditional burgers.
The Grow and Behold grass fed beef is so flavorful you don't want to overpower it with too many spices. This dish shows off the meat.
Grilling and Basting
Slather with sauce, during cooking and after. Once your patties have seared on one side, flip them and paint with BBQ sauce. After the other side has seared, flip and transfer to a cool portion of the grill so the inside can continue to cook (if desired), and paint second side with BBQ sauce. Serve with additional sauce on the side.
BBQ SAUCE FOR BURGERS (VINEGAR-BASED)
We like a vinegar-based BBQ sauce that is not too sweet. Our homemade sauce combines red wine vinegar, ketchup, mustard, brown sugar, and tamarind paste – but when we can’t make our own, we love Mendel’s Kansas City BBQ Sauce.
There aren’t many things you won’t find on burgers these days. Here are some of our favorites:
- Caramelized onions
- Leftover smoked meat (brisket, back ribs, etc.) and/or beef bacon
- Lacto-fermented kimchi (from ADAMAH Farm) and pickles (like Bubbe's)
- Mayo, ketchup, mustard, lettuce (they are part of the burger cannon for a reason!)
- And if you want to indulge in your inner chef, a fried egg and arugula
- Homemade date ketchup
This flavorful condiment is perfect on burgers or with other meat.
The great thing about smoking ribs instead of grilling them is that the slow cooking prevents the meat from shrinking. You’re left with very tender, evenly cooked meat that stretches the length of the bone.
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