Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Best Stovetop Hamburgers with Homemade Ketchup (GAPS-legal)

Everyone in my household loves hamburgers. When we started on the GAPS diet about seven months ago, we switched to eating bunless burgers. My favorite way to cook burgers is on the stovetop in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet. A few months ago, I stumbled upon a trick to make burgers even tastier: fry them in a mixture of butter and oil!  These burgers are so delicious that we do not miss the bun at all!

I know many people like to add spices or even some minced onion to their hamburger meat, but I like to keep it simple with just salt and pepper.  The flavor of the beef really shines in this recipe.

Best Bunless Burgers:
  • one pound ground beef, preferably grassfed
  • 1.5 tsp Celtic sea salt
  • pinch of freshly ground pepper
  • 1-2 Tb butter, chopped into pieces
  • 1-2 Tb sunflower oil (or other oil with a high smoke point, such as refined coconut oil)
  • splatter screen (optional)
  • cheddar cheese, sliced thinly
  • homemade mayonnaise
  • lactofermented pickles (we use Bubbies)
  • homemade ketchup (recipe follows)
  1. Using your hands, mix the salt and pepper into the ground beef. 
  2. Divide the meat into four equal portions and pat into patties that are about 1/2 to 3/4-inch thick. I also pull a bit off each patty to make a couple miniature burgers for my 4-year-old daughter.
  3. Heat a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat.  The skillet is ready when you can sprinkle a couple water droplets in and they immediately sizzle and evaporate. Try not to overheat the skillet as you don't want to burn the oil and butter.
  4. Drizzle about 1Tb of oil into the pan and sprinkle around about 1 Tb of butter. The butter will very quickly melt, so be ready to add your burgers.
  5. Place your burger patties into the oil/butter mixture.  If you have a splatter screen, cover the skillet to reduce the mess on the stove. Resist the urge to move the patties around, and just let them cook for about 3-4 minutes. 
  6. Flip the burgers, and feel free to add a bit more butter and oil if needed. Carefully top the burgers with the sliced cheddar cheese. Cover once again with the splatter screen and cook some more (about 2 more minutes for a medium-rare burger or longer if you like your burgers more well done). If you are making any miniature burgers for the kids, only cook the second side for about 1 minute.
  7. Remove burgers from heat, and let them rest for a few minutes to allow the juices to settle back into the meat.  If you eat them right away, you'll lose most of the juice on your plate.
  8. Top the burgers with a smear of homemade mayonnaise and serve them with homemade ketchup, a side salad, and perhaps some sliced avocado. If you feel the need for something to replace the typical french fries, try some pork rinds.
Why make homemade ketchup?
Store-bought ketchup is loaded with sugar and is not a nourishing food. Making homemade ketchup is very easy, and it tastes great! Once you get used to eating homemade ketchup, you'll find store-bought ketchup to be overly sweet with a very one-dimensional flavor. I based my recipe on the one in Nourishing Traditions, but have made it GAPS-legal by using honey instead of maple syrup. Since this ketchup has whey in it, it is also a great way to add some probiotics to your diet.

Homemade Ketchup:
  • 1 & 1/4 cups BPA-free tomato paste (from glass jars, such as Bionaturae brand)
  • 1/8 cup whey 
  • 1.5 tsp Celtic sea salt
  • 1/8 to 1/4 cup raw honey
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 2 small (or 1 large) cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce*
  1. Add all ingredients to a 2-cup glass jar. Stir well to combine. 
  2. Ensure that the top of the ketchup is at least 1-inch below the top of the jar. 
  3. Using a clean cloth or paper towel, wipe the top of the jar above the ketchup clean.  Put lid on jar and leave at room temperature for 2-3 days; then transfer to the refrigerator.
*Don't worry: the fish sauce does not make this ketchup taste fishy! I use store-bought fish sauce, but if you are on GAPS you need to make sure it does not have added sugar.  You could also make your own using the recipe in Nourishing Traditions.

This post is part of Fight Back Friday at Food Renegade, Pennywise Platter at The Nourishing Gourmet, and Monday Mania at The Healthy Home Economist!


    Laura said...

    We love stove top burgers! And ever since we started getting grassfed beef, its so delicious having a tasty burger with some pink in the middle. I like to sprinkle a little garlic pepper on the patties along with the salt and pepper. Makes great leftovers for my work lunches too!

    Megan said...

    I made a variation of this last night -- I have yet to make my own condiments but can't wait to try! Anyway, they were delicious! I made little sliders too for easy leftovers.

    cmomgo said...

    You can also mix shredded cheese into the meat and cook it.

    Sarah Smith said...

    Megan - glad you liked them!
    Cmomgo - what a delicious idea!

    Raj @ Flip Cookbook said...

    Ouu.. great recipe! I wonder what the mixture of oil and butter does to give it the awesome flavor. :) Thanks for sharing that little extra tid-bit! You should share this recipe at the blog party I'm hosting for this week's Sugar Free Sunday!

    Sarah Smith said...

    It's all in the butter! Butter makes everything taste better!

    hellaD said...

    Thanks for sharing this recipe with the Grain-Free Tuesdays bloghop. Wow, so simple yet I am drooling just thinking about it. I can't wait to try and I know my man will be thrilled to tears probably :)

    Raj @ Flip Cookbook said...

    @Sarah - I agree -- butter does make everything taste better. Thanks for sharing at Sugar Free Sunday. See you at next week's sugar-free potluck!

    Stephanie said...

    Sarah, You mention pork rinds instead of fries. Do I need to find some pastured pork rinds or will any pork rind still be okay to eat?

    Sarah Smith said...

    Pastured pork is of course better. I settle for some that are not the big brands, but rather made by a smaller company.