It is barbecue season at last. The sun is just barely warm enough to merit an open slider and a heaping pile of fiery coals, and the bustle of the season has not yet set in.
We had our first this week. I drove to Foxboro on Saturday morning to do the pick-up at Lawton's Family Farm for my raw milk coop (the closest source of good, grass-fed milk) and to my delight discovered that my farmer had a secret stash of beef as well. She reached into the freezer and handed out 15 pounds of hamburger meat from one of the grass-fed Ayrshires she had slaughtered in the fall right there on the property. I packed it into the coolers around my 36 milk jugs, thanked her heartily, and drove off home to share the good news.
Before the hour was out, Alex had rounded up a crowd of hungry family and friends. He fired up the grille; I baked rolls and sliced Real Pickles from a jar I picked up at Phoenix Fruits in Orleans the other day. The Massachusetts company pickles the old-fashioned way—using lactic acid fermentation rather than vinegar. The distinctly flavored pickles are raw (unpasteurized) and contain little more than cucumbers, water, sea salt, and dill and are said to have a host of health benefits, like greater nutrient content and so-called "good" enzymes.
With the pickles sliced, rolls warm, and burgers hot, I crumbled up a wedge of Great Hill blue cheese. As the sun hit the horizon, we settled across the deck and sat down to dig in. The beef was thickly ground and juicy, the pickles tangy, and the cheese moldy perfection: a wonderful start to the season.
Foxboro grass fed beef burgers with Great Hill blue and raw New England pickles
Mix one pound ground beef with one small chopped onion, 2 tablespoons Worchestershire, 1 egg, and salt and pepper to taste. Form by hand into four quarter pound patties; grille rare.
Slice one organic dill pickle thinly.
Slip a homemade roll underneath the burger and top with pickles and an ounce of Great Hill Blue Cheese. Let melt, and open wide.