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Celebrate National Cheeseburger Day on Sunday

Certified Angus Beef brand encourages all to keep grilling year round

SUBMITTED PHOTOS: CERTIFIED ANGUS BEEF  - The Juicy Lucy Burger moves the cheese from the top of the burger to the inside of the patty.

School is back in session, tailgating has begun. Are you getting the hint that summer is drawing to a close?

Not so fast, friends. At least we can savor one of the favorite flavors of summer through the rainy season. The folks at Certified Angus Beef brand encourage us to keep grilling and celebrate National Cheeseburger Day this Sunday, Sept. 18.

The Certified Angus Beef brand was founded in 1978, when getting a fine steak at home or at a restaurant wasn’t always easy. The organization’s founders — a group of Angus beef ranchers and Dr. Bob VanStavern, a meat scientist from Ohio State University — believed they could deliver better-quality meat, and laid out 10 quality standards. The eventual result was the Certified Angus Beef brand, “the first premium brand of beef,” according to Certified Angus Beef’s website. Today, you can buy Certified Angus Beef at local restaurants and grocery stores.

Locally, we have even more options. My brother and his wife, Tom and Julie Smith of Hillsboro, have been raving about The Meating Place, located at 6495 N.W. Cornelius Pass Road in Hillsboro, where they buy beef. The Meating Place is a butcher shop and deli, which offers Angus beef raised in the Pacific Northwest that is grass-fed and grain-finished, which means the cows eat grass most of their life, but ingest grains before they are slaughtered. You can buy quarters, halves or whole beef and have it custom butchered to your preferences. Or, buy smaller quantities of red meats, poultry, fresh sausage and smoked meats.

A whole beef weighs about 700 pounds, halves about 350 pounds. The meat is dry-aged two weeks or longer in the meat locker before the butcher contacts you for cutting instructions. Do you want rib eyes, tenderloins, roasts, stew meat and hamburger? You can have them all.

After butchering, you lose about 30-40 percent of the hanging weight. If you purchased a half beef, you could expect to take home 210-230 pounds of boneless meat.

The ground beef they offer is 85 or 90 percent lean ground beef, formed into 1/3 pound patties. You can also request custom blends.

Tom and Julie enjoy eating lunch at The Meating Place Café in Hillsboro when they pick up their meat order. Choose from elk burgers or ground chuck burgers, breakfast burritos or a variety of sandwiches made of house-smoked meats. Learn more online at meatingplacepdx.com or call 503-533-0624.

A quick review of Tri-County Farms’ website (tricountyfarms.org) led me to Soggy Feet Enterprises, a cattle ranch on Sauvie Island owned by Kyle and Amanda Hoyt. The couple’s small hay operation has grown into a multifaceted enterprise, with the goal of providing customers with fresh, quality products.

“We work towards farming practices that promote happy, healthy animals and in turn, happy, healthy customers,” they write on their website, soggyfeetenterprises.com.

They guarantee their beef has no additives or chemicals, no byproducts, hormones, or cows are not fed antibiotics. The beef is USDA-certified grass fed and finished.

“Despite the name, our cattle don’t have wet hooves, but graze the lush pastures of the upper Willamette Valley,” the website reads. “Lush grasses grow all spring and summer providing highly nutritious feed without any chemicals or synthetic fertilizers. Just the recipe cows were designed to thrive on — grass!”

For the few short months the pastures don’t produce enough, they feed the cattle grass and clover haylage, which is made from the same crops as other hay but has a higher moisture content.

The Hoyts call their ground beef “grassburger.” Made of Angus grass-fed cattle, naturally raised and hormone free, they put their reputation behind it, claiming it is “the best ground beef you will eat.”

For more information, call 503-522-7168 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Wherever you buy your meat, the Certified Angus Beef brand experts recommend a lean-to-fat ratio of 80/20 for flavorful burgers, though other ratios, such as 85/15 or 90/10 are available. Choose the fat content that best suits your needs.

These experts also have a few tips on how to cook a great burger:

  • Gently and quickly shape ground beef into 3/4-inch-thick discs.

  • Indent the center of the patty to prevent “burger bulge” while cooking.

  • Do not press or flatten the burger with the spatula. You’ll squeeze out the flavorful juices.

  • Check doneness with an instant-read thermometer placed horizontally in the center of the burger. When it reads 160 F, the burgers are cooked. Checking color is not a reliable way to check temperature, so use a thermometer.

    Toppings, seasonings and buns can spice up the everyday American cheeseburger. To inspire you, Certified Angus Beef offers a few unusual recipes. Let them be the launching pad for your own inventions.

    Bon Appetit! Make eating an adventure!

    Juicy Lucy Burger

    Serves 4

    1 1/2 pounds Certified Angus Beef ground beef, 80/20 blend ideal

    6 slices American or cheddar cheese

    3 cloves fresh garlic, finely chopped

    1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

    1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

    1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

    Canola cooking spray

    4 buns

    Grill pan or cast iron pan (optional)

    Cut each cheese slice evenly into 4 squares; arrange in 4 stacks with 6 slices each.

    In a large mixing bowl, combine ground beef, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper; mix by hand.

    Form beef mixture into 8 thin patties on a large sheet pan. With your thumb, press an indented well in the center of 4 patties, and put the portioned cheese in the wells. Encase the cheese with the remaining four patties, hand forming your burger to a uniform shape with sealed edges. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before grilling.

    Spray burgers with a light coat of cooking spray. Grill or pan sear over high heat for 3 minutes per side. Transfer to cool side of grill or 375 F oven to finish cooking to an internal doneness of 160 F (5-8 minutes). Remove from grill and rest at least 3 minutes for cheese to set.

    The Black and Blue Burger stars Angus beef, crumbed blue cheese, portabella mushrooms and red onion.

    Black and Blue Burger

    Serves 4

    1 pound Certified Angus Beef ground chuck

    4 crusty burger buns, sliced in half

    4 leaves green leaf lettuce

    1 tomato, sliced

    4 portabella mushrooms, grilled

    4 slices red onion, grilled

    4 ounces crumbled blue cheese

    4 tablespoons whole grain mustard

    Salt and blackening spice to taste

    Preheat grill. Portion chuck into four patties.

    Season burgers with salt and blackening spice, grill to an internal temperature of 160 F. Build sandwich by layering the lettuce, tomato, burger, portabella, onion and blue cheese. Spread the top of the bun with mustard.

    The Southwestern Gambler features poblano peppers, Monterey jack cheese and hot sauce.

    Southwestern Gambler

    Serves 6

    2 pounds Certified Angus Beef ground beef, 80/20 blend

    1 poblano pepper, seeded and diced (2/3 cup)

    4 ounces grated Monterey jack cheese

    2 tablespoons hot sauce, like Cholula or Tapatio brands

    1 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt

    1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

    6 burger buns

    By hand, combine ground beef, poblano, cheese, hot sauce, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Form into six patties and grill over medium heat until internal temperature is 160 F.

    Suggested toppings: avocado, grilled peppers, red onion, hot sauce, queso fresco, tortilla chips.

    (Recipes from Certified Angus Beef brand.)

    Randall welcomes your food questions and research suggestions. She can be reached at 503-636-1281 ext. 100 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Follow her on Twitter @barbrandallfood.