Sunday, June 13, 2010

Hamburger Patties & Meatballs - Wheat Meat

2 1/2 c Moderately packed ground gluten (see Basic Wheat Meat recipe)
2 Eggs
2 Tbls Beef Soup Base
2 Tbls White flour
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 c chopped onion (or 2 1/2 Tbls dried onion)
1/4 c BBQ sauce (Opt. - for hamburger patties only)

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. (Only use BBQ sauce if you are making hamburgers)

For Meatballs
Form meatballs a little smaller than a walnut. The mixture will be quite moist (add another egg if it is too dry). Place meatballs on a paper plate 5 at a time and over with plastic wrap. Microwave just until set. DO NOT OVERCOOK! Meatballs should be soft still but the eggs should be set. It only takes about 20 seconds, depending on your microwave.

To cook in conventional oven, add 2 TBLS oil to the misture and bake meatballs on a cookie sheet at 300 until just set. Serve immediately or freeze for later.

Simply add the warm meatballs to your already cooked spaghetti and serve.

For Hamburger Patties
Make as above but add BBQ sauce to recipe and form hamburger patties rather than meatballs.

Place hamburger patties on a greased cookie sheet and bake until just set. You can serve immediately with all the fixins or freeze until later.

To reheat you can thaw and then throw them on the grill just like a regular hamburger. Remember though, you are only reheating, not cooking them. If desired, brush with more BBQ sauce while grilling.

Ground Hamburger - Wheat Meat

2 1/2 c moderately packed ground gluten (see Basic Wheat Meat recipe)
2 Tbls Beef Soup Base
2 Tbls Vegetable Oil
2 Tbls white flour
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 Large eggs
1/4 c Finely minced onion (or 2 1/2 Tbls dried onion)

Grinding Raw Gluten
When you have finished making your basic wheat meat (raw gluten), form the gluten dough into balls about the size of an orange. Place on greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 for about 45 minutes. Balls will puff up considerably and brown like rolls. They will be a tough, leathery texture. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

When cool, tear balls into pieces and put through a meat grinder. When ground it has the appearance of ground beef. You can use a food processor instead of a meat grinder, but the texture will not be quite the same.

In a bowl mix 2 1/2 cups of your ground "meat" and all of the above ingredients. Then press onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 300 for 15-20 minutes, just until the eggs are set. DO NOT OVERCOOK! It should not seem cooked but rather it should just seem set. If you do over cook it will become hard and unchewable. If this happens you can sometimes place the "meat" in a plastic bag for a few minutes to restore the texture.

Cool the cooked "meat" and then tear into pieces to resemble cooked hamburger. Add to your recipe just before serving. It does not need to be cooked further and if you add it to your recipe too early, it will absorb too much liquid and the meat like texture is lost.

Basic Wheat Meat

10 c Flour*
5 c Cold water (approximate)

*Use wheat flour for beef and other red meats; white flour for chicken, shrimp, or other light meats.

Combine flour and water in mixer. Using dough hook, knead for 5 minutes. It should be the consistency of bread dough.

Cover bowl with plastic wrap or a towel to keep the dough from drying out and let rest in the fridge for a minimum of 20 minutes. If desired it can be covered with cool water and left in the fridge overnight.

After the dough has rested, divide into 1/4ths and work with one portion at a time, keeping the remainder covered as you work. Place a piece of the dough in a strainer which is placed in a large bowl of cold water. While keeping the dough immersed at all times, stretch and compress the dough to wash out the bran and starch. The volume of the dough will diminish considerably during this process but keep your dough in one lump. In a few minutes of working your dough, it will begin to resemble over chewed bubblegum in texture. Kind of like pulling apart a well chewed piece of Hubba Bubba :)

Rinse the now rubbery glob of gluten in a fresh bowl of clean water and leave it under water while you repeat the process with the remaining 3 pieces of dough. This is a picture of all my dough completely washed.

You should NOT throw out the water you used to wash your dough. Instead, pour it into a gallon+ pitcher and place in the fridge overnight. If it is allowed to sit it will divide into 3 distinct layers. The top layer of clear water can then be poured off and used to water houseplants, pets, or used to mix your powdered milk, or make bread with it, etc. In this picture you can see mine has not yet completely separated.

The second layer is starch. It can be used to thicken gravies, stews, sauces, etc. Just use 4-7 Tbls of raw starch for every 2 cups of liquid in your recipe. Be aware, however, that the starch will only remain good for about 2 days in your fridge. To store it longer, place in the freezer.

The final layer is bran. Rinse the bran using a strainer and cheese cloth. It will stay good, when well rinsed, 4-6 days in the fridge. To keep it longer you need to freeze it or powder it. I used it immediately to make bran muffins, but you can also use bran to make bran flakes for cold cereal.

So, in your bowl with clean water, you now have your raw wheat meat, or gluten, which can be used to make ground beef, roasts, chicken chunks, shrimp, etc. depending on how you prepare it. Look for other recipe posts of mine to find more recipes for the preparation of specific meats.