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Old 10-10-2009, 01:13 AM   #1
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Chopped Steak

While with my kids in Olympia, Wa., not far from the Capitol Building, we stopped to get a bite at an unassuming little restaurant whose name I dearly wish I could recall. I ordered a hamburger (their burgers are all half-pounders) and some cole slaw. The patty came with standard lettuce and tomato, pickles and onions, on a freshly made bun. I was prepared to eat a regular tasting burger. I was suprised when the waitress asked me how well done I wanted my burger though. Well, I took my first bite and was in shock. I could have sworn that I was eating a high-quality steak, cooked perfectly medium rare. It had that great flame-grilled flavor, coupled with a slightly iron/metalic flavor that comes with good beef.

To make this story short, I loved it and set out to recreate it at home. I purchased a small top sirloin and a lean chuck steak, and cubed them up. I then through them into the food processor and pulsed the unit about twelve times, as suggested by Alton Brown. I lightly seasoned the meat patty while pan frying it to a medium rare. My wife loved hers, though she said it was not quite as tender as the one from the restaurant. Mine was the same. I think maybe I need to process it more. Mine was a bit juicier though, but not as flavorful. They must have had access to better beef. This was still much better than ordinary hamburger, and if I were to fire up the grill, it would be better still.

Any suggestions on how I can improve my chopped steak would be appreciated.

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North

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Old 10-10-2009, 08:47 AM   #2
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>>improvements

use a meat grinder vs the food processor.

yeah, it more of a pain, but it does produce results. I have the old fashioned cast iron, 3 generations old, hand cranked, clip on the table edge, multiple size cutting disks, type.

in my experimenting, double ground on the big disk produces a good texture. that applies to my "gadget" - yours may vary....

it tastes fresher, takes seasonings better (nope, can't explain that either...)

you get to pick your cut, fat content, age fact.....
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Old 10-10-2009, 08:54 AM   #3
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That's what I was thinking. I was surprised when I saw the episode with AB using a food processor. I think the texture is better using a grinder. It seems that the processor "slices" the meat into itty bitty bits whereas the grinder has more of an "itty bitty chunk" type of texture. Not sure if I am describing it well...
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Old 10-10-2009, 10:29 AM   #4
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Also, with a grinder you get uniformity; with a food processor it's fairly impossible to get everything at the exact same texture - you more than likely end up with little bits + partial puree.
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Old 10-10-2009, 11:44 AM   #5
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When we still had our boy to cook for, I used to buy a whole sirloin tip when the were on sale. I'd cut a couple of slices for Swiss Steak and such, then grind the rest for chopped steaks. I used the meat grinder on my electric mixer, but before I got that, I used the old hand crank type, which worked just fine. It just took a little more "elbow".
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Old 10-10-2009, 07:41 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone. I will certainly try it with my meat grinder instead of the food processor.

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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