As a kid, I didn’t know you could buy hamburger patties. I thought all burgers were made like my mom’s: by hand mixing ground beef, oats, eggs, chopped onion, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper.
Later in life, after I started paying attention to such things as the grilling of burgers at social events, I realized most people I knew didn’t make homemade hamburger patties. I also realized I always preferred my mom’s burger over any other. So what was it that made her burger so good?
Well, besides the whole nostalgia-emotional factor, I think a lot of it has to do with the Worcestershire. Worcestershire is what’s known as an “umami enhancer.” Umami, one of our 5 basic tastes, is experienced through “taste receptors that typically respond to glutamates”–you know, like monosodium glutamate, or MSG, that not-so-healthy form of umami?
Anyway, one of the fun things we like to do in the Perkins’ household is think of ways to replace items from the grocery store with food we’re already growing on our farm or other local sources. What from our farm could replace that oh-so-necessary umami flavor in our burgers? Enter BLACK GARLIC.
Many of our farm members know all about black garlic–some may even be addicted to it. Not sure what it is? Black garlic is ordinary garlic that’s gone through a Maillard reaction, or been exposed to specialized temperatures and humidity for an extended period of time. Your ordinary garlic is replaced with a sweet, chewy, umami burst. Not only that, but black garlic–unlike MSG–is really good for you.
Making that homemade burger even better.
For my gluten-free friends, try a lettuce leaf instead of a hamburger bun–we love the crunch!
Scroll down for the recipe. If you’re reading this in your email, click on the blog post link to get to the recipe!
- 2 large eggs
- 2 pounds lean ground beef
- 3 cloves black garlic
- 1/4 cup rolled oats
- 1/4 cup onion, diced
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper
- Preheat grill to 375-400 degrees.
- Whisk eggs in large bowl.
- Break up ground beef into pieces as you add it to eggs.
- Break up black garlic into small pieces as you add to ground beef. Work the black garlic into the ground beef with your hands.
- Sprinkle oats, onion, salt, and pepper on top of beef mixture. Combine with your hands until well-blended.
- Form beef mixture into 12 patties.
- Grill burgers for about 5 minutes on each side. Grill longer for a more well-done burger.
- I make small burgers because I'm feeding big and small people. If you are only feeding adults, consider making 6-8 patties instead of 12.