For Christmas, my CEO (a Red Sox fan, but an otherwise lovely person) got me oil and vinegar from F. Oliver’s in Canandaigua. This boutique foodie haven infuses its own olive oils and balsamic vinegars in small batches. It has since grown to a location in Rochester and is opening a storefront in Ithaca. My present was a bottle of chipotle oil and dark chocolate balsamic vinegar, the latter of which is guaranteed to make ground beef taste like steak when mixed together and grilled.
It wasn’t too far off.
The vinegar reacts with the beef and the reaction of the acid creates a rich beef flavor that resembles a steak. With a slice of onion and a glop of mayonnaise, tonight’s dinner entered the territory of “damn good burger.”
What worked: The vinegar. It totally changed the 90/10 ground beef I picked up at Wegmans.
What didn’t: Nothing. Everything worked out okay.
Will it make another appearance: Probably. I can’t see how this quick fix for dinner wouldn’t happen again.
- 3/4 lb. ground beef (I used 90/10 lean, this would be the lowest fat I would consider)
- 3 tbsp. dark chocolate balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- Two rolls (I went with whole wheat)
- 1 slice of red onion and a large spoonful of mayonnaise, optional
Mix the beef and vinegar by hand in a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Preheat the grill on high until it reaches 400 to 500 degrees. Just before grilling, add salt to the meat and combine. Divide the meat into two even portions and roll each one into a ball. Gently press each one with your hands into mounds.
Cook on medium heat three minutes each side for medium rare or five minutes each side for medium. Served on a roll with onion, mayo, ketchup or whatever you would like.
Note: I opted to go sans cheese so I could taste the flavor of the meat and vinegar, but a nice sharp cheddar would work well.