Burgers, Meatballs & Meatloaf… No Fillers Needed!

Clients are often surprised when I tell them that no breadcrumbs, day-old bread or crushed cereal are needed to make burgers, or meatballs or meatloaf.

If you have any doubt, try this little experiment:

Take some grass fed beef (either buy it already ground and use the fattier, 85% lean, or, even better, grind your own using one part chunk and one part short ribs) and place it in a bowl.   Using a very lean meat will indeed result in a rather dry burger…

Add nothing to the ground meat.

Divide it into thirds.

Shape the first into a patty and see what happens.

It stays as is.

Then, shape the other into several small balls.

Then, stuff the last third into a rectangular glass baking dish.

Pan fry the first two shapes (still adding nothing) in a cast iron skillet, flipping once, halfway through, and bake the loaf shape in the oven.

When all three are cooked, check them out and see if they don’t look exactly the way you pictured each to be.

For purposes of this description only, I avoided the suggestion to add any seasonings or spices whatsoever just to illustrate how easy it is and how unnecessary it would be to add those fillers that are all too commonly used.

Those fillers are good for one thing only:  to create more portions.

If you have one pound of meat and six dinner guests, those burgers would be quite small. Yet if you added bread crumbs, eggs, Heinz Ketsup and Lipton Onion Soup mix, you could make more burgers using less meat and be far more cost effective.

Except you’d be poisoning your dinner guests with dairy, gluten, corn syrup and copious amounts of salt.

Add your choice of dried salt-free spices and go to town with fresh herbs, and rest assured no one is going to miss the filler aspect when they’ve got more than their fair share of flavor, taste and texture!