May is National Hamburger Month
Julie Garden-Robinson, Food and Nutrition Specialist
NDSU Extension Service
Whenever I do research
for this column, I get a little hungry for whatever my subject happens
to be. This week was no different.
As soon as I arrived
home after gathering my information, I informed my family the evening
menu was “cook’s choice” – and we were going out
for burgers. They didn’t argue.
My juicy mushroom
and Swiss burger tasted especially good that evening. I had just read
about the interesting history of hamburgers and reacquainted myself with
some nutrition facts about beef.
May, National Hamburger
Month and Beef Month, is a good time to try a few questions from the Kansas
1. How did the hamburger
get its name?
a. From the Baltic
provinces of Russia in the Middle Ages where rowdy, nomadic tribes
of Tartary developed a fondness for raw beef, known today as steak
b. From the German trading partners of the Tartars who lived in Hamburg;
they developed a taste for raw beef fried with onions, called Hamburg
c. From German immigrants who brought “Hamburg Steak”
to the US in the 17 and 1800s.
d. All of the above.
2. What sandwiches
are America’s favorite, with 86 percent of the population ordering
them in the last year?
3. In 1888, an English
doctor prescribed three hamburger meals a day as a cure for various
ailments. His name is remembered today as the name of a seasoned ground
beef patty served with gravy.
4. How many quarter-pound
hamburgers come from the ground beef of a 1,000 pound steer (from just
the normal beef ground into ground beef)?
The answers are: 1)
d. all of the above; 2) hamburgers or cheeseburgers; 3) Salisbury; and
4) almost 1,000 quarter-pound burgers.
Hamburgers are not
only an American favorite, but beef is also a nutrient-dense food. With
just 10 percent of the daily recommended calories, a 3-ounce serving of
beef provides 42 percent of the daily recommendation for protein, 40 percent
of B-12, 35 percent of zinc, 25 percent of selenium and 13 percent of
Are you hungry for
a burger now? Here are some tips to make tasty and safe burgers:
- Thaw beef slowly
and completely in the refrigerator, never on the counter. Thawing in
the refrigerator preserves the safety and quality of beef by helping
prevent bacterial growth and moisture loss. Plus, if the meat is not
fully thawed, it may look “done” on the outside but may
not be fully cooked.
- Gently shape into
patties, being careful not to over-handle.
- Wash hands and
utensils thoroughly with hot, soapy water after handling meat.
- Grill 12 to 15
minutes, turning once. Don’t press or flatten as this can result
in moisture loss. Measure the final temperature with a food thermometer.
Ground beef should reach 160 degrees.
- Don’t cross-contaminate.
Place cooked burgers on a clean serving plate.
This recipe was adapted
from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Board. For information and recipes
featuring beef, visit their Web site: http://www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com/
1-1/2 lbs lean ground
2 tsp sweet paprika
2 tsp dried thyme leaves, crushed
1-1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp ground red pepper
6 hamburger buns, split
6 leaves Romaine lettuce
6 tomato slices
1/4 cup prepared light creamy ranch dressing
2 Tbsp canned French fried onions
Combine all spices
in an airtight container and shake to blend.
Shape ground beef
into six patties. Press 3/4 teaspoon of the spice mix evenly into both
sides of each patty. Store remaining spice mix in airtight container
for future use. Grill to a final internal temperature of 160 degrees
F. Line bottom of each bun with lettuce and tomato. Top with burger
and spoon ranch dressing evenly over burgers. Sprinkle with French fried
onions and close sandwiches.
Makes 6 servings.
Each serving has 440 calories, 26 grams of fat, 25 grams carbohydrate
and 25 percent of the daily iron recommendation.
Julie Garden-Robinson, (701) 231-7187, email@example.com
Editor: Rich Mattern, (701) 231-6136, firstname.lastname@example.org