Extra lean ground beef is a great lean protein option however it can dry out very quickly when cooking leaving your burger tasting like shoe leather. Here’s a reader QnA that addresses the ‘leather’ issue.
Q: You always talk about eating lean meats as a central part of your diet. That’s fine as I don’t mind chicken breasts but I’d rather eat leather than a burger made from extra lean ground beef. Do you have any suggestions for making it more palatable??
Mike: I sure do. You’re right. Burgers made with 97% lean ground beef can be pretty nasty. When cooking with extra lean ground beef the biggest factor you need to account for is moisture – because you won’t have any.
Here is what I use all the time. We can add moisture back to the burger by mixing in finely diced onions and red bell peppers and then boost the flavor with Worcestershire sauce – because when you remove the fat you also remove flavor.
Here’s what you need:
- 2lbs extra lean ground beef
- 1 Medium Onion
- ½ Red Bell Pepper
- Worcestershire Sauce
Dice the onion and pepper up as small as possible. Mix them together in a bowl with the ground beef, fresh cracked pepper, and a splash of Worcestershire sauce (~1TBSP if your not comfortable splashing).
Form the mixture into burgers and cook using your favorite burger cooking modality (grill, george foreman grill, broiler, etc)
Very simple. Very tasty.
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