Today’s home burger test is a Private Selection (Kroger) brand frozen Angus Burger. 1/3 pound patties, 6 to a package, retail price of 5.99 today with a Fred Meyer loyalty card. As I spewed the other day, Fred Meyer is our local outlet of the Kroger Company, where house brands are made and/or distributed by their subsidiary Inter-American Brands.
The box (pictured) calls the burgers “100% Angus Beef Chuck Patties.” The ingredients panel states: “Contains Beef,” with no other additives listed than simply that. That’s encouraging. There was, I think a couple of choices in the same line, one box touted “Bacon and Cheese Beef Patties,” I didn’t examine the box closely, but from the photo, it looked like the bacon and cheese was mixed into the beef patty. That’s far too much of a commitment for me. The new Federal regulation on country of origin labeling showed me that this is a product of USA, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, and Australia. Note that there is no “or” in that list.
Further Federal regulations shows that this product was made at USDA registered plant 425B, and Googling that reveals that “Kenosha Beef International, through its business unit, Birchwood Foods, is one of the largest US processors of raw, frozen, and pre-cooked ground beef and pork products for the quick-service restaurant industry. Birchwood Foods’ manufacturing facilities in Georgia, Indiana, Ohio, and Wisconsin primarily serve the midwestern US, although it distributes products to restaurant and foodservice customers throughout the nation.”
Further examination tells us that Birchwood is 75 years old, and still in family hands. That’s usually an encouraging sign for me. Birchwood is in the contract manufacturing business, so if you have a burger idea and a few million bucks to launch it, I am sure they would be more than happy to assist you with formulation and manufacturing.
The instructions on the box were straightforward, place patties in a pre-heated pan and cook until juices come through, flip, and cook until “done.” Well, that’s vague. I generally home-fry burgers in a cast-iron skillet, lightly oiled (EVOO), and with Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning (I lived in New Orleans for five years, what can I say, our household uses Tony Chachere’s on everything (it’s really nice on cottage cheese!). (Think of it as a jazzed-up seasoned salt).
So I cooked them as instructed, it took ten minutes at medium heat til the “juices came through”, and then I flipped them for four minutes to keep them to a medium rare. (I failed at that part). I didn’t weigh these before or after cooking, but they didn’t leave much in the pan, even though they suffered some diameter shrinkage.
As it was “generic” day, I loaded them onto Fred Meyer brand Sesame Buns, dressed with mustard, onion, and dill pickle, and the result was quite enjoyable. Certainly better than any of the “Angus” fast food offerings out there. Of course, it didn’t come with fries or a huge-ass cola, but I kept up no-name day by washing them down with “Dr. K,” Kroger’s Dr Pepper knock-off, which is good enough, at half the price.
Side dishes today? An old episode of Perry Mason and a scratch-off ticket. What a life I lead! So what do you think, does it look like the picture on the box? Yeah, me neither.