Range-Fed Ground Beef Patty for a World Cup Lunch

I had a hankering for meat today, something that doesn’t happen too often. So on the way home from my morning walk, I stopped at Kenny’s Carnicería, our local meat market in La Cruz, Mexico, and bought a half kilo of ground beef. Kenny’s meat is from cattle which graze on the fields outside of town until their time is up. Their only food is grass and they are uncontaminated by antibiotics or growth hormones.

After a number of years of being a pescatarian (a person who does not eat meat except for fish — it’s a real word), I’ve arrived at a point where I only eat meat from animals that have had a reasonably natural existence. (The same can not be said for the poultry and pork for sale in the stores here, so they never appear on my plate or on this blog.)

To completely change the subject, the highlight of my life most recently has been watching the World Cup on TV. Today’s match between Italy and Paraguay, the former being last year’s World Cup champion, and the latter being a very worthy opponent, has left me hungry. Maybe it was watching all these manly men run up and down the playing field chasing the soccer ball that left me hankering for red meat. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that I have managed to eat coconut ice cream for lunch or breakfast for two days running. In any case, I needed meat.

My lunch was wonderful:

Four ounces of ground beef mixed with a teaspoon of minced chipotle chile in adobo sauce, a tablespoon of minced shallot and a tablespoon of olive oil (to add moisture) and formed into a patty which was sauteed in olive oil.

Accompaniments: a simple slaw of thinly sliced red cabbage, grated carrot and pepinas (pumpkin seeds), and dressed with a  squeeze of lime juice and a splash of olive oil; verdolagas (purslane) sautéed with shallots and garlic; and sliced tomato.


In between:



The ground beef from Kenny’s is so lean that oil needs to be added to the pan. This is typical of range-fed beef which lack marbling, i.e., fat. I worked a full tablespoon of olive oil into the meat before it was cooked, which resulted in a moist patty. Maybe I’m on to something here.

Another trick for cooking a moist hamburger patty —  don’t press the patty with the spatula as it cooks. All this does is  press out the juices. I don’t know why all the hamburger cooks of the world think this is the way to cook hamburgers.

Verdolagas, known as purslane in the English speaking world, has the distinction of having one of the highest, if not the highest, content of omega-3 fatty acids of all vegetables. The succulent leaves can be added raw to salads, or cooked in soups and stews. Purslane is considered a weed in much of the world, and might even be growing in your side-walk cracks or backyard. Verdolagas are found in almost every Mexican grocery store.

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16 thoughts on “Range-Fed Ground Beef Patty for a World Cup Lunch

  1. Although we raise Angus, the vast majority of our ‘red’ meat is venison and wild pork. These animals compete with our cattle for the pastures we tirelessly plant and nuture for the Angus which are our livelihood. We are not terribly sympathetic to the deer since we see huge ‘herds’ mowing our fields at dusk and dawn since the neighbors don’t take care of their fields as well. We belong to a wildlife conservancy and with no natural predators any more, we are allowed to harvest a couple of does each year by law. We also get plenty of wild pigs which I am sure you have heard of that are destructive and dangerous. Both are 100% organic! LOL. When we get a hankering for ‘red’ meat, it is often venison which is 99.9% lean and juicy. I made stuffed cabbage the other day with some and plan to use your recipe with the venison!!!!!

    Thanks again for all the hard work you put into this interesting blog. It is one of the most friendly and informative I have run across.

    1. You are fortunate to have a variety of healthy meat available. No range-free pork available here, and the deer are almost hunted out of existence. I never see them in the mountains. Thank you for the compliments.

  2. I’m so glad you have access to range fed beef for when the urge stirs you! That purslane looks good too. I wonder what it’s oxalate content might be – I’m on a low-oxalate diet. Another delicious looking meal!

    1. Hi Sandra Lee,

      I haven’t been able to find a chart showing oxalate acid levels for different vegetables. Purslane may be one of the more uncommon vegetables, so may not be on a chart, anyway. Let me know if you find info on it.

      1. Hi there, IMO, the best place to find out information on oxalate content is http://www.lowoxalate.net

        There’s a great deal of incorrect info on oxalate content on the web. This is the only reliable source I’ve found. Plus there’s even more information on the Yahoo Trying Low Oxalates group that Susan from the above website hosts.

        Another great, reliable resource is the Low Oxalate Cookbook by the Vulvar Pain Foundation, which is available on Amazon or from the Foundation itself.

        I think you’re right though, purslane probably isn’t on there!

    1. Thanks, Candace. It’s on Calle Sierra, downhill and around the corner from Philo’s. Usually the cuts are tougher, since the beef are range-fed, but ground meat (carne molida) and tenderloin (loma) are good. I also buy beef liver (higado) from Kenny’s.

  3. Vicki in GA

    I’m so enjoying your recipes and photos.
    I like your style.

    Grass fed beef is so expensive in the USA, but I do like it and buy it (hush hush) from local ranchers. The FDA is in everyone’s business, so grass fed beef can’t be advertised unless it has been inspected from slaughter to packaging. I grew up on a ranch and we were raised on raw milk and grass fed beef. Amazingly, I’m strong, healthy, and my immune system is good.

    1. Thanks for the compliment, Vicki. I’m glad you are enjoying the blog.

      When we lived in Oregon, we raised our own beef and bought milk around the bend from us. We also had a huge vegetable garden and orchard. The closer you can eat to the origins of the food, without feed lots and middle men in between, the better, fresher and healthier the food.

  4. Lorin Johnson

    We also eat very lean grass fed beef. In fact, we have all but the eye of the round ground. We add salsa to ours. Normally we use the salsa Mexicana or cruda that I can each fall, but fresh works just fine in Mexico and a couple days lost in the fridge doesn’t hurt. We do strain it with a plastic Mexican strainer. It adds a depth of flavor that is not really detectable as salsa.

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