We aren't a plant based eating family.
To my knowledge we have never eaten any type of meatless meat. I once tried to make black bean burgers and couldn't get them to not stick in the pan, and that is the extent of my vegetarian cooking knowledge
I had been hearing about the Beyond Burger and the rave reviews so when I found it was sold at our local Sprouts grocery store I decided our family should give it a try. I also decided to not tell our teens it wasn't the usual burger I prepare so I could get their 100% real opinion of the Beyond Meat burger! Keep reading for those results!
I'd also like to apologize for the quality of the photos. I decided to take the photos last minute and it was late after a really long day. Thank y'all for being kind and understanding! I'll do better next time!
Our local Sprouts carried Beyond Meat products including ground "meat", the burger patties, and sausage. All of this was frozen. The burger patties come 2 to a pack so it wasn't economical for me to buy the premade burger patties for a family of 4 (who eat 2+ burgers each) so I decided to buy the ground "meat" to save a little money. As you can see in the photo the burger patties are almost sold out so extremely popular at our local store.
You can go to the Beyond Meat website to find a retailer in your area that carries the product.
UPON OPENING THE PACKAGE
Before I start, I think its funny that this needs to be a headline, but believe me, if you are new to meatless products, you need to read this!
I opened the Beyond Meat ground "meat" and placed in a bowl. My initial reaction was the smell and raw texture are nothing like real meat. It sort of resembled patté and honestly I had to push back the mental thoughts of "this isn't even meat" thoughts and move quickly to the preparing process! If you are used to working with plant based meat it probably won't even phase you, but I'm assuming if you are plant based you've already tried Beyond Meat and aren't even reading this!
PREPARING THE "MEAT"
I added fresh garlic, salt and pepper, and an herb seasoning blend to the Beyond Meat ground "meat" as well as small bits of butter. The meat appeared to be a little dry so my thoughts were to add the butter for extra fat and moisture. I mixed the "meat" with my hands and immediatly noticed the "meat" started breaking into more of a ground chuck texture. What first appeared dry wasn't as dry once I stared forming the patties. In order for the "meat" to stay in a burger form, I had to make the patties thicker and pack them in really well.
To be fair to the product: As I was working with the "meat" I became aware that possibly the ground "meat" product wasn't designed to make into burger patties. Possibly the Beyond Meat premade burger patties were prepared in a different way to look and taste like an actual burger and the ground product was made to break apart and be used for things like taco meat, spaghetti meat, etc.
I melted 1/4 stick of butter in a medium skillet, added some fresh garlic and let that melt down. I then added the Beyond Meat patties I had made out of the ground "meat". The patties stayed together well when I put them in the pan, however the top of the patty did crack a bit during the cooking process, but not enough for the entire patty to fall apart.
I cooked the patties for 3 minutes on each side over medium heat.
The patties did stick a little when I went to flip it. I had to use a metal spatula to sort of scrape the bottom of the burger off the skillet.
I added cheddar to the top of the patties during the last minute of cooking and then placed the finished burgers in the microwave while I finished cooking.
Out of 2lbs of Beyond Meat ground "meat" I was able to make 12 burgers.
BUILDING THE BURGER
We placed the cheddar burgers on a bun with onion, tomato, and a version of the Big Mac special sauce (equal parts of ketchup and ranch mixed together with a few teaspoons of dill relish)
DID WE FOOL THE KIDS??
My teens Zion and Elle both ate two burgers without saying a single thing. When we told them it wasn't real ground beef but rather a plant based meat from Beyond Burger, they both asked several times "Are you serious??". They couldn't believe it wasn't real beef and said it taste exactly like the normal burgers I make. FOOLED!
DID WE FOOL OURSELVES??
Both Nandor and knew it wasn't real ground beef. He ate 6 burger patties (no bun) and said he liked them. He did say he could tell it wasn't real beef, but the flavor was really good.
I could have possibly set myself up for failure because the initial smell and texture turned me off. While eating it, I will say it didn't taste like it smelled...thankfully! I only ate one burger and I wasn't a big fan.
The crispy bits of the "meat" that broke off in the pan and were on the side of the burger were the best to me. So once again to be fair to the product, quite possibly the ground "meat" isn't designed to be made in burger patty form.
WILL I TRY AGAIN??
I'm honestly on the fence. I would really like to prepare the ground "meat" in more of a taco meat fashion to see how it tastes. And I'm willing to try the burger form of Beyond Meat as well as the sausage. So I guess the answer is, yes I will try it again, but I probably won't prepare it in the same way and I may even let Nandor do the cooking this time!
Have you Beyond Meat yet?? I'd love to hear what you thought!