Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Bifteck Hache a la Lyonnaise - Ground Beef with Onions and Herbs


Leave it to Julia Child to make ground beef sound special! Or maybe it's just the French language. But since my introduction to this dish was from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, I'll give Julia the credit.

My trip to the Hollywood Farmers Market over the weekend was different than most. I was not zoned in on vegetables. My mission was to check out raw milk and grass fed beef. With all the scares and concerns out there, I really wanted to do some research and see what my doable options were. The opinions and concerns out there are all very real on various levels. I personally think its a crime shame that eating healthy (ie: organic, grass fed, free range, etc etc) is so expensive. I still don't understand how pesticides, antibiotics, hormones and such can be less expensive than growing the product the way it's meant to be....as is.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg. I'll leave it at that.

I found some wonderful pasture-grazed ground beef for about $5.00 lb. (the price will be going up by $2.00 per pound later this month). I splurged and bought some.


As I continued to wander around the market, my mind was trying to decide what to do with it. Of course spaghetti and meatballs came to mind...as did sweet and sour meatballs, and a number of other common menus. None sounded right. I didn't want to hide the flavor of the beef....I felt it needed to shine, center stage in order for me to really taste the difference.

Luckily, in a moment of silliness, when I got home I decided to check Mastering the Art of French Cooking, As I opened the book, I thought "surely the French don't eat something as mundane as ground beef!"

Oooooh, how wrong I was.

This delicious patty would make an amazing hamburger! (what do you think of them apples?) Simple, few ingredients and lots of butter. Seems to be a huge theme in MtAoFC. I don't know why I never realized this before but...Julia Child was the queen of butter. Paula Deen has nothing on her!

Ground Beef with Onions and Herbs
(Bifteck Hache a la Lyonnaise)
Printable Version

1/4 cup minced yellow onion (I used what I had...white)
7-8 TB butter, divided
1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp thyme (I used savory)
1 egg
1/2 flour
1 TB oil
1/2 cup beef stock, beef bouillon, dry white wine, dry white vermouth, red wine or 1/4 cup water (I used dry white vermouth)

In a heavy skillet, melt 2 TB butter. Cook the onions in the butter until tender but not browned, about 10 minutes.

In a medium bowl, mix together the onions, beef, 2 TB softened butter, salt, pepper, thyme and egg. Mix until thoroughly blended. Form the mixture into 6 patties, about 3/4 inch thick.

At this point you can cover them and place in the refrigerator until ready to cook.

Just before sauteing, lightly coat each patty in flour, shaking off any excess flour.


Over medium-high heat, melt 1 TB butter along with the oil. When the foam from the butter begins to subside (this indicates that the pan is hot enough to sear the meat) saute the patties for 2-3 minutes per side or more, depending on how you like your meat, rare, medium, well done.


Mine were on the well done side but the searing was perfect!

Remove and keep warm while making the sauce.

Pour the fat out of the skillet. add in the liquid of your choice and rapidly boil down until it has reduce to an almost syrupy consistency, scraping up the delicious nuggets from the bottom of the pan.

Remove from heat and gently stir in 2 - 3 TB of butter, 1/2 TB at a time. Pour over the patties.


So good. So simple. And as far as the beef goes? Well, it has a fuller flavor...a bit richer. But then again, this was ground top sirloin. I'm not saying that none of the generic ground beef isn't. I've heard chefs say that often times, ground beef is made from left over bits of chuck. This farm happens to make theirs with sirloin...and nothing else. No bits and pieces of leftover anything.

Honestly, I shouldn't complain too much about the cost. I mean, I spend more for my favored rib-eye steaks. But beef in this household is not cooked as often as chicken. Ground beef even less. Next time I decide to buy ground beef, I will think twice when at the supermarket. If it was a staple....I don't think I'd be able to afford to do so.

Reliving this recipe is making my stomach growl. Wish I had some leftovers but those were quickly consumed the next day....


BON APPETIT! 

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