Beef Heart Burgers and No-Bake Potato Buns

Hearty Burger

Beef Heart Burgers: a new twist on an old standby.

This menu makes me think of 50s early rock, especially rockabilly. So there’s a punky Spotify playlist for your prep and noshing. Eddie Cochran had a too-short life, but a powerful influence in music. Many music historians credit him for the birth of punk rock by way of his tune, “Somethin’ Else.” Punk is in-your-face and the main course is too—so let’s get to the “heart” of the matter and have somethin’ else for supper.

The prevailing advice is: eat more organ meats. It’s where the great stuff is. But most people are put off by offal. I have my limits, but I also have the motivation to expand those limits since I know how good these foods are for robust health. Plus I have my DH (darling husband) for inspiration because there aren’t any pieces/parts this Cajun hasn’t tried, and he enjoys them all.

First up: heart. I picked up some grassfed/grass-finished beef heart, kidney and liver from Brookshire Farm (Abbeville, LA) at the Lafayette Hub City Market and decided that as ground meat, heart would be simple to incorporate into a dish. With my cheap but effective grinder, it was easy to add this often-forgotten, nutrient-packed meat into my burgers.

Ground Beef Heart

Ground Beef Heart

I wasn’t as intimidated by the raw meat as I thought I’d be. Bless them, the folks at Brookshire Farm sliced the heart prior to packaging, and I didn’t have to deal with a whole organ. I combined four ounces of the ground heart with three-quarters of a pound of ground, grassfed beef.

I wanted a real burger to eat out of hand, and I didn’t want to use a long list of ingredients. Plus I wanted something that I could make on the stove in under 30 minutes. The result is a potato cake that works well and tastes great. I purposely didn’t season the “buns” with anything other than salt, since burger buns are plain. The key to this hack is using only a tiny bit of oil in the pan so the bun wouldn’t be greasy on the fingers. You could use sweet potatoes instead of white, though I’m not sure if they hold together as well.

Potato Buns

Potato Buns

Then I assembled the burgers with garden tomato slices, lettuce, and some fresh goat cheese flavored with herbs and garlic. Along with the burgers I served grilled pattypan squash and melon and cucumber salad—light, refreshing, and no awful offal.

Pattypan Squash Ready for the Grill

Pattypan Squash Ready for the Grill

Melon and Cucumber

Melon and Cucumber

Finally leave to the scientists to figure out the best way to hold a loaded burger so all the goodies stay inside the bun. Here’s a graphic of how to do it:

burger hold

How to Hold a Burger

Hearty Burger
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Beef Burgers with Heart
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 
Grassfed beef heart contributes delicious flavor to nutrient dense beef burgers.
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 259 kcal
Ingredients
  • 3/4 lb. ground beef grassfed or best you can afford
  • 1/4 lb. beef heart ground
  • salt
  • 1/4 cup soft goat cheese optional
  • 4 lettuce leaves optional
  • 4 slices ripe tomato optional
Instructions
  1. Cut beef heart into 1-inch chunks while partially frozen (this makes grinding easier). Grind into a medium bowl. You can also reduce the heart pieces in a food processor. Pulse in very short bursts, checking every two pulses for consistency. Scrape down the processor bowl between pulses. Do not over process.
    Ground Beef Heart
  2. Add ground beef and with two forks toss together with ground heart combining the two. Form into 4-ounce patties.
  3. To cook on the stove: heat cast iron or other skillet on medium high heat until hot. Sprinkle surface of skillet with generous dusting of salt. Add patties and cook for two minutes. Turn the patties over and cook for two minutes. Turn patties again and cook for two minutes. Check temperature with instant read thermometer, inserting the tip of the thermometer horizontally through the patties: 125 degrees for medium rare, 130 for medium and 135 to 140 for medium well. Continue cooking until desired temperature is reached. Serve with toppings of your choice.
Recipe Notes
Nutrition Facts
Beef Burgers with Heart
Amount Per Serving
Calories 259 Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 17g 26%
Saturated Fat 8g 40%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 7g
Cholesterol 100mg 33%
Sodium 139mg 6%
Potassium 395mg 11%
Total Carbohydrates 1g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0.3g 1%
Sugars 1g
Protein 24g 48%
Vitamin A 7%
Vitamin C 6%
Calcium 4%
Iron 19%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Potato Buns
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No-Bake Potato Buns
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
25 mins
 
Easy-to-make, no-bake potato buns for your favorite burger or sandwich—four ingredients, no grains. Sweet potatoes can be used, too, for a paleo alternative.
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 75 kcal
Ingredients
  • 4 medium red-skinned potatoes peeled
  • 1 tbsp tapioca starch
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ghee or other fat
Instructions
  1. Using the large holes on a box grater, shred potatoes. On a clean kitchen towel, place a large handful of shredded potatoes and wring out as much liquid as possible. Remove from towel and add to a large mixing bowl. Squeeze liquid from remaining potatoes in batches as needed.
    Red-skinned potato and shreds - GheeWhizz.com
  2. Sprinkle with tapioca starch and salt. Toss to mix thoroughly. Heat 12-inch skillet on medium heat. Add 1/4 tsp. ghee or oil to skillet, spreading it evenly over the surface with a basting brush. Using a half-cup measure, scoop up potato mixture and place in the skillet. With a spatula smooth the round into a 3-3 1/2-inch circle about 1/3-inch high. Continue with remaining potato mixture. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Turn potato cakes over and cook on that side for 5 minutes, covered. Remove cover, turn cakes over and cook for 2 minutes, uncovered or until spotty, golden brown. Turn again and cook for 2 minutes more, uncovered. Remove to cooling rack. Cakes can be reheated briefly in dry skillet over medium heat if making ahead of time.
Recipe Notes
Nutrition Facts
No-Bake Potato Buns
Amount Per Serving
Calories 75 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3g 5%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 1mg 0%
Sodium 158mg 7%
Potassium 1mg 0%
Total Carbohydrates 10g 3%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Protein 1g 2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Pattypan Squash Ready for the Grill
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Grilled Pattypan Squash
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
15 mins
 
Known in Cajun country as ciblème, this vegetable is also called scallop or custard squash. Meaty enough to hold their shape on the grill or in a grill pan, this vegetable is perfect at a summertime cookout.
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 29 kcal
Ingredients
  • 2 pattypan squash ends removed, sliced crossways and then horizontally in 1/2-inch slices
  • 2 tsp organic olive oil
  • salt, pepper, and seasonings of your choice
  • 1 tbsp fresh herbs such as thyme, oregano, and/or rosemary
Instructions
  1. Toss squash slices with olive oil, seasonings and herbs. Cook on grill or grill pan 5-6 minutes per side until browned and cooked to your liking. Cut off a taste to check for doneness.
    Ciblème or Pattypan Squash
Recipe Notes
Nutrition Facts
Grilled Pattypan Squash
Amount Per Serving
Calories 29 Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 3%
Saturated Fat 0.02g 0%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.04g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.01g
Sodium 5mg 0%
Potassium 147mg 4%
Total Carbohydrates 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 1g
Protein 1g 2%
Vitamin C 16%
Calcium 1%
Iron 1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Melon and Cucumber
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Melon Cucumber Salad
Prep Time
10 mins
Total Time
10 mins
 
Refreshing melon and cucumber salad tossed with lime make a super summer salad.
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 31 kcal
Ingredients
  • 1 cantalope peeled, seeded and cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 1 cucumber cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 1 lime zest removed and juiced
  • 2 tsp raw honey optional
Instructions
  1. Combine melon and cucumber in a bowl. Mix together lime juice and zest and honey until combined. Pour over melon and cucumber. Serve chilled.
Recipe Notes
Nutrition Facts
Melon Cucumber Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 31 Calories from Fat 2
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0.2g 0%
Saturated Fat 0.03g 0%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.04g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.002g
Sodium 9mg 0%
Potassium 202mg 6%
Total Carbohydrates 7g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 6g
Protein 1g 2%
Vitamin A 35%
Vitamin C 33%
Calcium 1%
Iron 1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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