Buying a side of grass-fed beef is the most economical way for the Primal cook to get their hands on a large quantity of meat – often for less than the cost of comparable quantities of “regular” beef purchased through your local grocery store. And you’ll have flavorful, healthy, ethically and sustainably raised meat. The only thing I could argue is better is successfully hunting wild game (something for another post). There is, however, a bit of a trade-off. Anyone who has bought a side of beef can tell you that you’ll end up with a lot of burger. Yes, you get a nice assortment of steaks, roasts, ribs, and other tidbits. But out of the total hanging weight of the animal, burger will make up the largest single “cut” you end up with in the freezer (as much as 40% of the take-home weight).
So, with all of that burger, you need to have an arsenal of recipes that will hold the interest of your fiercest critics (the family) and keep variety in your meal planning while using up every package of this “budget” cut. You also need to always be on the lookout for new recipes…or working to develop new ones. And every once in a while, when working out a new recipe, you might stumble onto something that receives, on the very first try, the response of, “Wow! This is awesome!” Just such a thing happened here. A big thanks to Karen for making this while I was running around with the kids – she did great working off of the quarter-sheet of paper full of ingredients and disconnected half-instructions scribbled all over it that I left her with!
- 2 winter squash¹
- 1 lb grass-fed ground beef
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1 tbsp minced carrot tops (yes, you can eat them!) Substitute fresh parsley if you don’t have carrot tops.
- 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
- 1/4~1/3 cup finely chopped yellow onion
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp ground white pepper
- 1 tsp prepared ground mustard (mix with just enough water to form a paste so it doesn’t clump)
Get the oven warming up to 350 degrees. Split the squash lengthwise, and scrape out all of the seeds and stringy stuff. Place them cut face down (opposite of how they are pictured here) on a baking sheet and place in the pre-heated oven. Cook them for 35 to 45 minutes, until they are just starting to turn tender but would not normally be considered “done” quite yet.
Meanwhile, brown the burger in a pan over medium heat. Depending on how lean it is, you may drain some of the fat off when it is done (leave some, however, to keep things moist). Turn off the heat and add in the almond flour, onion, celery, carrot tops, garlic, and spices.
When the squash is ready (remember, not “done,” but almost tender), take it out of the oven. Leave the oven on – you’ll need it in another minute. Fill the hollow cavities of the squash with the ground meat mixture. As you can see here, it’s OK if things are heaping a bit.
If you notice that the burger looks to be drying out a bit much and the squash isn’t quite cooked yet, then drop a little (1/2 tsp or so) bacon fat on top of each (you should keep a small crock or container of it in the fridge for just such occasions) and cover them with some aluminum foil to finish. Then, next time, adjust your cooking times a little to cook the squash longer before pulling from the oven to stuff with the burger. These also make great leftovers re-heated for a couple of minutes in the microwave – which would make for a good lunch or post-workout meal.