If you’re a fourth-generation ground beef purveyor, one thing remains certain: You will sell many, many great burgers in your lifetime — burgers you ground and shaped yourself. You’ve probably also heard the recent news about ground beef: The situation is dire. If you want to be a hero, you can devote your life to ensuring that the ground beef patty lives on proudly as a staple of American cuisine, instead of sinking to the bottom of the “don’t buy from the supermarket meat case” list. (See also: soggy greenish tuna steak.)
Enter Schweid & Sons, a family-owned company since the turn of the century, currently out to vanquish the general lack of knowledge associated with buying burgers at the supermarket. Admit it: You don’t know what’s in there, and that gets increasingly less cool with each recall. If you can’t make it to the butcher, keep an eye out for these. Executive VP Jamie Schweid knows his ground beef.
“There’s no mass-marketed premium burger out there,” says Schweid. “There’s organic and grass-fed, but there’s not anything premium in the meat case, regarding cuts of beef. It’s all chuck and sirloin, and you don’t know exactly what you’re getting.”
Not that there’s anything wrong with chuck and sirloin — chuck contains a good dose of oleic acid, which provides the extra-beefy flavor you expect from a burger. But break into a Schweid & Sons patty, whether it’s spiked with brisket, exclusively grass-fed or made with certified Angus, and it’s exactly what you want to see: uniform throughout and light pink from well-incorporated fat (not that red tint that indicates it’s been chemically treated on the outside and will most certainly be brown and oxidized inside). Also neat: the paper sleeve around the package that looks like butcher paper and shows the cuts of beef that went into the burgers. Even neater: the blazing sawed-in-half grill that serves as the backdrop for their website.
Peruse the site’s highly innovative, burger-centric aesthetic — the design alone should convince you beyond a shadow of doubt that this company is dedicated to ending the scourge of the crappy supermarket burger — then fire up the barbecue and give these 18 recipes a spin. It’s Labor Day weekend. Can you think of a better time to bring your A-game? Why don’t you fire up a batch of homemade buns while you’re at it?