Burgers, Brats, and Grilled Chicken Breasts

Posted by johngl

While those ribs featured in the previous post were taking in a long, hot bath, I needed to cook off some hunks of chuck we had in the fridge. I wasn’t cooking these for immediate consumption; these were for a weeknight dinner.

aged chuck burgers

We had these for dinner the following Monday (tonight in fact) and they were enjoyed immensely by both the most glorious spousal unit and the most glorious mother-in-law, so I must have done something right.

But, before I cooked them off, I had to cut up the aged chuck and grind it, season it, form it…

ground up and formed into meat balls

and squish it into nice little patties.

notice the dimples

Notice the little dimples.  This really works to keep the burgers flat when you cook em.

The seasoning I used on these is equal parts garlic powder, kosher salt, ground black pepper, and onion powder and is distributed into the meat prior to forming up the patties.  It isn’t just put on top, it is integral.  We’re trying to create a depth of flavor. It’s a winning seasoning blend.

While the burgers were searing off, I brought a pan of brats to a boil along with a bottle of beer.

boiled in beer

These days, I always parboil brats and Italian sausage in beer prior to grilling. It plumps the sausages and you don’t need to grill them for too long.

It gets kinda foamy and the brats wind up looking a bit anemic…

gray brats

but a little time on the grill fixes that quite quickly.

cooking brats and sausage on the grill

Those are the Italian sausages on the top row and brats on the bottom.

Doing the parboiling bit keeps the meat moist and helps keep the skin from splitting when they are being grilled. It seems that the skin crisps up quicker, too, giving that nice grilled snap when you bite into ’em.

Frequently, I’ll chop up a couple of the Italian sausages and use that meat on a grilled pizza.  It adds an amazingly smoky element to the pies.

Then there is chicken breast marinated in lime juice, tequila, and a secret blend of herbs and spices…

awesome fajita chicken

Actually, this is HEB fajita chicken.  They do that marinade for you, but go ahead and add some tequila — letting it sit awhile —  for that extra-homey touch. It’s great in tacos, fajitas, or sliced up and put on a sandwich with avocado. Just about any way you wanna eat it, its tender, moist, and delicious.

So, if you are ever looking to kill some time and cook a weeks worth of food while you’re at it, fire up that charcoal grill and cook off a bunch of meat.  The brats and sausages heat up wonderfully in the microwave (low setting, longer time) as do the burgers.  With the chicken, you’ll probably want to slice it up and reheat it up like a stir fry: pretty high heat with a little bit of olive oil, then finishing out with a shot of tequila. Don’t “cook” it, just heat it up.

Weeknight dinners are a snap! No thinking required.

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About johngl

A bit of a wildman, John hails from the Midwest: A land of corn, cows, pigs, and a host of other healthfully meaty pursuits.

Born on a dark and stormy night in late Fall, John grew up as the son of a meat cutter. There was always plenty of meat at hand. While not wealthy by any stretch of the imagination, his family certainly ate well. According to his father, that was the whole point.