Happy Labor Day! I hope this day that essentially marks the end of summer break will last forever and ever!! This past summer seemed way too short, but we made sure to squeeze in our annual summer vacation. Part of our vacation was spent hiking in the beautiful mountains of West Virginia, which, by the way, is a stargazers dream come true. It is the location of one of the darkest skies in the United States: Spruce Knob in Monongahela National Forest. Spruce Knob is also the highest peak in the state at 4,863 feet. During our stay, the weather was a little iffy, so we didn’t get to hike up to Spruce Knob itself or do any stargazing (which is OK by me because I’m not sure I want to be stuck at the top of a mountain–in Bear Country–when it’s pitch black). We highly recommend visiting Blackwater Falls State Park, near Davis, West Virginia, which is surrounded by some truly pleasant hiking trails. One of the trails was like walking through a rhododendron fantasy land. The rhododendrons were not in bloom, but it was still an unforgettable experience. Now I know why the rhododendron is West Virginia’s state flower!
Back to the kitchen–or the grill, I should say. I’ve got a ground beef recipe for you that results in super tasty cutlets or burgers–perfect for a Labor Day picnic. I’ve also made tasty pan-fried meatballs with this recipe. This versatile recipe is terrific especially if you do not have the kind of fatty ground beef (20%-30%) needed for regular burgers. I have not tried the recipe on ground beef that has less than 12% fat, but my guess is that it would still hold up to leaner beef.
[Step-by-step instructions with photos follow the printable recipe below.]
Grilled Ground Beef Cutlets: Step-by-Step Instructions
Place the ground beef in a large bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients, including dried herbs (or try Chinese Five Spice Powder as I did–Mmmmm), salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder, grated Parmesan cheese, egg, and water.
Let me not forget that you should add some panko or bread crumbs.
Mix it all up with your hands and form patties. This recipe makes 6 large patties, though this time around, I made 7 slightly smaller patties. If you want to make meatballs, you probably could squeeze 20 out of this recipe.
Preheat a gas grill on high. Turn off the middle burner and reduce the outer burners to medium.
Grill 5 minutes per side and the burgers are done. You might think that is a little too long for burgers, but I would prefer to be on the safe side since there is egg in the recipe. Because of the other ingredients, these cutlets are tasty and still juicy. Serve the cutlets (with or without a bun) with a nice coleslaw, potato salad, pickles, and garden tomatoes.
Have a restful Labor Day!