Friday, July 01, 2005

Where's the Beef?

I never claimed to be a vegetarian, although I do live a mostly vegetarian lifestyle. I hardly ever cook meat (save for that once-a-year chicken soup, seafood, and summer hot dogs on the grill). In restaurants, I usually order vegetarian or fish, and when I am at someone's house, I opt for the non-meat option, unless it's too tempting like during Thanksgiving.

That's all changed recently. At my last prenatal appointment, I was diagnosed as anemic. I now have to take two iron pills each day and my doctor told me that if I start craving red meat, now would be a good time to start eating it. Red meat (i.e., steaks, ground beef, and burgers) has never really appealed to me. I prefer spicy sausages, kielbasa, or hot dogs to the more recognizable slab of steak. That said, I always wondered if, when I became pregnant, I would start craving red meat and would I actually give in to the cravings.

Well, a couple weeks ago, we went out for dinner with a friend who after 14 years of vegetarianism, recently decided to break the habit with a bacon cheese burger. If he can do it with no guilt, heck, why can't I? We went to R. F. O'Sullivan's in Somerville, which is famous for their 1/2 lb burgers. The smell of grilled meat mixed with onion rings and thick, hand-cut fries was tantalizing as we waited 1/2 hour for our table. Once we ordered (I ordered the Paddy-O-Melt, which is a burger slathered in melted cheddar cheese and sauted onions), it was another 40 minutes or so until we were served. They claim that they cook each burger to order and because they are 2" thick, they take a long time to cook. Once the food arrived, I wondered how I was going to fit this monstrosity in my mouth. I had to remove the burger, cut it in half horizontally so it would fit in my mouth. It was good, but I wasn't blown away like my friend was. He actually compared eating his burger to sex to the chagrin of his wife who was sitting next to him. I did manage to completely clean my plate and I did not take an iron pill that evening.

Even though the 1/2 lb burger didn't blow my mind, a new seed of curiosity had been planted in my head. If I bought my own ground beef, I could add all sorts of ingredients to it to make a really tasty, juicy burger. So, the next weekend, I did just that:

  • 1 lb 80% lean ground beef

  • Worcestershire sauce

  • Tobasco sauce

  • 1/3 packet Lipton's onion soup mix

  • garlic powder

  • 4 bakery buns

  • lettuce

  • big, ripe, red tomato

  • vidalia onion

  • thinly sliced smoked Gouda cheese (or any other cheese you prefer)

  • ketchup, mustard, and relish

Light the grill (we use charcoal, not gas). Mix the first 5 ingredients in a bowl, then form into patties. Note that I have not listed measurements - use your instincts. Grill burgers to your liking, but do not, under any circumstances press on them or they will release all of the tasty juices. Add cheese just before removing. Grill buns to get them nice and crisp. Assemble burgers with all the fixings and serve with Meghan's Mom's Pasta Salad.

Now, these burgers were pretty darn amazing and I'm starting to wonder if how long this red meat thing is going to last beyond pregnancy...


Blogger Ben Brophy said...

I thought you might enjoy knowing about the 20 hamburgers you must eat before you die.

None in Massachusetts, sadly.

4:35 PM  

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