Monday, June 20, 2011

Lucky Dog Ranch burger

Ciabatta bun, organic red leaf lettuce, Lucky Dog Ranch burger, orange tomato and scallion relish, fresh basil mayonnaise. Washed down with a Luc Pirlet Minervois, a great hamburger wine from Southern France.

These hamburgers come from cattle who roam around on pastures, living a tranquil life, munching on grass and finished on brewer's grain mix. They never even imagine those nightmare feed lots that you can smell miles before you pass them on the highway. Unstressed cattle taste better, apparently, and this meat gives weight to this claim.

Annette said, "This tastes like the beef we used to get in the market when I was little". That was a farmers' market in France, where the meat was fresh ground while you wait. The taste is complex, a bit gamy perhaps.  Rich and complex, with flavors going well beyond what you'd expect from a mere beef patty.

The goal with this burger was to let the meat shine. No Bordelaise sauce, no mushrooms. Only a light relish, a dab of freshly prepared basil mayonnaise and a thin ciabbata baked only hours earlier. Eschewing the umami-rich decadence of my last burgers, these tasted garden fresh, the grassy flavor of the lettuce mingling well with the complex, grass-fed note from the beef and the sweet-sour tang of the relish. If ever a burger could be deemed health food, this rendition should easily qualify.

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