For my first post of the New Year, I thought I would talk about my first day out of the New Year at the Patriots-Dolphins game. On Halloween I found how much better beef, seafood, vegetables, cheese, and breads taste when they're not tainted with hormones, antibiotics, pasteurization, msg, or other by-products of mass production. The food tastes better from local farms, it's better for you, and the farms use more sustainable techniques preserving agricultural resources for future use. I also like knowing where my food comes from and that I am supporting businesses in my own backyard. It costs a little more, but it's worth it in the long run. Speaking of long runs, before I watched Julian Edelman run 94 yards for the longest punt return in Patriots history, I stocked up on some more local ingredients for my tailgate with my good friend Rob. My menu consisted of grass-fed beef from Pineland Farms Natural Meats in Fort Fairfield, Maine, Maple Smoked Cheddar Cheese from Grafton Village Cheeses in Vermont, and Leatherlips Beer from the Haverhill Brewery in Haverhill, MA. Whole Foods is a good place to get items from local farms when farmers markets aren't open, and that's where I went this time. I still recommend going to your local farmers market whenever possible. I added a few of my favorite ingredients to my grass-fed beef to make my favorite tailgate burgers. Here is the recipe:
2 pounds of local grass-fed beef
1 packet of Lipton Onion Soup Mix
1 tablespoon of Red Pepper
1/4 cup of worcestershire sauce
Maple Smoked Cheddar Cheese
6 whole wheat hamburger buns
Grill burgers on charcoal grill for two minutes or so on each side for medium rare. Add cheese and place on toasted wheat buns.
Best burgers I've made, although for my tastes, next time I'll double up on the worcestershire and the red pepper. The picture below doesn't do the burgers justice. Trust me, they're the best. The juicy, fresh flavor of the beef combined with sweet Maple cheddar compliments the kick of the worcestershire and red pepper, and the zest of the onion soup mix. Delicious.
As for the beer, Leatherlips had a great label, but it was a little too hoppy for my tastes. Beer is a little different animal for me as I tend to like my Bud Lights over the microbrews. There are great local beers however, like Shipyard from Maine, and Wachusett Beer from Westminster, MA. Both these breweries make great IPAs, and as I mentioned in my last blog, I love the Pumpkinhead Ale from Shipyard.