gourmet cheeseburger fries on a wood board

It’s March! Let the Burger Madness Begin!

Millions of people across the country know that when the calendar flips over to March, that can mean only one thing—NCAA March Madness. Not everyone is into basketball like some of us on the Panorama Organic team, but that doesn’t mean you can’t join in the March excitement. 

For people who would rather think about food instead of (or in addition to!) sports, we offer up Panorama Organic’s March Burger Madness. Our brackets are filled out and all we need for you to do is vote for your favorite burgers. Each time you vote, you enter our drawing for ten pounds of delicious and healthy Panorama Organic grass-fed ground beef. One lucky winner will be announced at the end of March, along with the winning burger as determined by our followers.

The process is simple. Visit our Instagram and Facebook pages beginning March 7 to see the brackets. The first two weeks we’ll be featuring our burger recipes along with cooking tips for making the best burgers ever. Then the voting will begin. You can pick your favorites in each bracket and the winners will advance from the Good Eatin’ Eight to the Fabulous Four to the Best Burger Ever championship round. 

To make it even more fun, we encourage you to make the burgers and post your photos using the hashtag #MarchBurgerMadness. Use the coupon code BURGER10 for ten percent off on ground beef at the Perdue Farms store or find our ground beef at retailers across the country. Check out our Where to Buy page to find the closest to you.

Our followers will name one burger the best. Will it be the American Classic? The Green Chile Cheeseburger? How about the Western Ranch burger? Join in, and please share your own burger recipes. We love seeing your creativity!

ground beef

Tips for Cooking the Best Grass-fed Burger Ever

We’ve all been to the barbecue where the burgers cooking on the grill smell delicious, but then, when it’s time to eat, you’re faced with a platter of hockey pucks. You pile on all kinds of condiments and vegetables to make it palatable, but still, that gray, tough, dry chunk of meat lurks at the center.

It’s not hard to make a great burger, but it takes a little care, from the time you buy the meat until you take it off the grill. By following a few basic tips, your grass-fed burgers will be the envy of your grilling neighbors.

Choose the right meat.

Start with good meat and the right fat percentage. Panorama Organic’s grass-fed, organic 85/15 blend is the perfect ratio of meat to fat. If you go too lean, your burgers will be dry. Adding an egg to the mix will give you a tad more moisture for the perfect level of juiciness.

Thaw correctly.

If you’re starting with frozen ground beef, never thaw it in the microwave. Ideally, you should defrost it in the refrigerator for a day. In a pinch, you can let the package sit in a bowl of cold (not warm) water until it thaws, changing the water several times.

Don’t overwork the beef.

Blend it gently with your hands just until the seasonings are incorporated. Too much mixing will make the burgers tough. The same rule applies when you’re making the patties. Don’t overhandle them. Also, wet your hands with water so the meat doesn’t stick.

Make a dimple in the middle of each patty with your thumb. This will help keep the shape of the patty as it cooks.

Chill the patties before you start cooking.

Unlike most meats that should be at room temperature before you put them on the heat, burgers should be as cold as you can get them without being frozen. They cook more evenly with less shrinkage and they hold together better.

Use high heat and a meat thermometer.

With grass-fed, it’s easy to overcook because it cooks quickly. Using an instant-read thermometer will help you keep from overdoing it. For medium rare, the perfect combination of pink and warm in the middle, the internal temperature should be 130 degrees F.

Flip as many times as you like.

The burgers cook quicker and more evenly. And don’t press on the patties with a spatula while they’re cooking. That squeezes all the juice out and makes them dry. 

Cook them in a cast iron pan on the stove.

If there’s snow covering your grill, don’t fret. Cast iron holds high heat evenly and the flat surface allows the burgers to cook in their own juices. Just make sure to turn on your exhaust fan.

Give them time to rest after they come off the heat.

Cover the platter with foil and let them sit for at least ten minutes while you toast the buns and get the rest of the condiments ready. That allows the juice from the surface to migrate back into the center of the meat.

Spicy Beef Tacos

Tacos are easy, they’re delicious, and they make a simple, on-the-go weeknight dinner.

Serves 4

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
  • 1 dozen corn tortillas
  • 1  cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 2 avocados, peeled and sliced thin
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
  • ½ cup sour cream (optional)

Place a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat and add olive oil. Once the oil is hot but not smoking, add the ground beef, breaking it apart with a wooden spoon until it begins to brown.

Add the chile powder, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Stir well to disperse all the seasonings. Continue cooking until beef is cooked through and no pink pieces remain.

Meanwhile, warm the tortillas over a gas flame or on a griddle, turning occasionally, then wrap in a clean towel to keep warm.Place tortillas on plates, top with ground beef, cheese, tomato,onion, avocado, cilantro and sour cream if using. Serve immediately

Whole30 Smoky Sweet Potato Chili

Thanks to our friends at Whole30 for this easy, healthy, and delicious mid-week dinner. If you start it in the morning in the slow cooker, it will be ready and waiting for dinner. Be sure to look for Whole30-compatible tomato products that don’t have any added sugars.

Makes 6 servings

  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 poblano pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (4 cups)
  • 1 can (10.75 ounces) Whole30-compatible tomato puree
  • 1 can (15 ounces) Whole30-compatible crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups Whole30-compatible tomato juice
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chile powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked salt or regular salt
  • Finely chopped red onion (optional for garnish)

In a large skillet, cook the beef over medium-high heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until browned, about 10 minutes.

Drain off the fat.

Transfer the beef to a 4- to 5-quart slow cooker. Add the onion, poblano pepper, sweet potatoes, tomato puree, crushed tomatoes, tomato juice, vinegar, chile powder, smoked paprika, cumin, garlic powder, allspice, cayenne, and salt to the cooker.

Stir to combine.

Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours. If desired, top servings with chopped onions.

Summer Burger Bash

Nothing says summer like a bunch of fat, juicy burgers on the grill, especially when they’re made with organic, grass-fed beef from American family ranches. You can always stick with the classic American cheeseburger, but to give you a little inspiration, we’ve come up with some tasty alternatives. We’ve made these into half-pound burgers, but if you prefer to eat a little lighter (and save room for the homemade ice cream), you can always make them quarter- or third-pound. Just remember to take them off the grill a few minutes sooner than the bigger burgers. Make all of the condiments and toppings in advance so they’re ready when the burgers are.

Makes 4-8 burgers

Basic Burger

  • 2 pounds Panorama organic and grassfed ground beef, preferably 85-15
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, eggs, seasoned salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. Use your hands to mix only until blended. Separate the mixture into 4 equal parts (or 6 or 8, depending on the size of the burgers you want) and form the mixture into patties, about an inch thick for the half-pound burgers, a little thinner for the smaller ones.

Refrigerate until well-chilled.

Heat the grill to high and cook the burgers to the desired doneness. Medium rare is perfect. Because of the leanness of the meat, the burgers will cook faster than you might be used to. Keep an eye on them and avoid overcooking.

Remove the burgers to a sheet pan and tent with foil to allow to rest before serving.

Follow the instructions below or create your own burger.

American Classic

  • 1 slice Cheddar cheese for each burger
  • 1 bun for each burger
  • Melted butter
  • Mustard and mayonnaise to taste
  • 2 large tomatoes, thickly sliced
  • 1 red or yellow onion, sliced
  • Sliced dill pickles
  • Several leaves of lettuce

After flipping the burgers on the grill for the final time, add a slice of cheese to each. Finish cooking, allowing the cheese to melt. 

While the patties are resting, brush the insides of each bun with melted butter, then place on the grill until toasted.

Layer each bun with mustard, mayonnaise, a patty, tomato, onion, dill pickle, and lettuce. Serve immediately.

Green Chile Cheeseburger

  • 1 roasted, peeled, and seeded green chile for each burger
  • 1 slice pepper jack cheese for each burger
  • 1 thick slice red onion for each burger
  • 1 large bun for each burger
  • Melted butter
  • 1-2 tablespoons lime cilantro mayonnaise for each burger

After flipping the patties on the grill for the final time, add a green chile and a slice of cheese to each. Finish cooking, allowing the cheese to melt. While the patties are finishing, place a thick slice of red onion on the grill for each burger. Cook until charred and softened. Remove from the grill and reserve.

While the patties are resting, brush the inside of the buns with melted butter and toast on the grill.

To make the lime cilantro mayonnaise, add 2 teaspoons finely chopped cilantro and the juice of one lime to a cup of mayonnaise. Stir well. Keeps refrigerated for up to a week.

To assemble the burgers, spread the lime cilantro mayonnaise on each bun, then layer a patty with the cheese and chile and a grilled red onion. Serve immediately.

Bacon Avocado Blue Cheese Burger

  • 1 teaspoon crumbled blue cheese for each burger, plus extra for the condiment
  • 1 large bun for each burger
  • Melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon blue cheese mayonnaise for each burger
  • 2 slices thick cut bacon, cooked crisp, for each burger
  • 2 avocados, peeled, seeded, and sliced
  • Sliced tomato and lettuce leaves, optional

After flipping the patties on the grill for the final time, sprinkle each with crumbled blue cheese. Remove from the grill and allow to rest.

Brush the inside of the buns with melted butter and toast on the grill.

Make the blue cheese mayonnaise by adding ¼ cup blue cheese crumbles to a cup of mayonnaise. Stir well.

To assemble the burgers, spread the blue cheese mayonnaise on each bun, then layer a patty with the bacon and avocado. If you desire, add sliced tomatoes and lettuce leaves.

Serve immediately.

Steakhouse Burgers

  • ½ cup A1 or your favorite steak sauce
  • 1 bun for each burger
  • Melted butter
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms, sauteed in butter
  • 1 cup caramelized onions
  • 1-2 tablespoons horseradish mayonnaise for each burger

As the burgers are cooking, brush each one with the steak sauce. When they reach the desired degree of doneness, remove from the grill and allow to rest. 

Brush the inside of the buns with melted butter and toast on the grill.

Make the horseradish mayonnaise by mixing 1 tablespoon of prepared horseradish with 1 cup of mayonnaise.

To assemble, spread the horseradish mayonnaise on each bun, then layer a patty, a portion of the mushrooms, and a portion of the onions. Serve immediately.

You can caramelize the onions and saute the mushrooms in advance and refrigerate until ready to use. Warm them before adding to the burgers.

Western Ranch Burgers

  • 1 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1 slice Monterey Jack cheese for each burger
  • ½ cup melted butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 slices Texas toast for each burger
  • 1 thick slice red onion for each burger
  • 2 slices thick-cut pepper bacon cooked crisp for each burger
  • Sliced tomatoes and lettuce for garnish

After flipping the burgers once, brush the cooked side with a generous helping of barbecue sauce. Repeat on the other side. After flipping the last time, top each burger with a slice of cheese. When the cheese has melted, remove from the grill to a sheet pan and tent with foil to rest.

Place the onion slices on the grill and cook until slightly charred. While the onion is cooking, combine the melted butter and garlic and brush both sides of each slice of Texas toast. 

When the onion slices are almost done, place the Texas toast slices on the grill and brown on both sides.

To assemble the burgers, place a teaspoon of barbecue sauce on the bottom slice of toast, then add the burger. Top each with 2 slices of bacon, a slice of red onion, a slice of tomato, and a lettuce leaf, then drizzle with more barbecue sauce and finish with the second piece of toast.

Stuffed Pizza Burger

  • ½ pound bulk Italian sausage
  • 1 cup pizza sauce
  • ¼ cup shredded parmesan
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 4 slices provolone
  • 4 slices mozzarella
  • 4 brioche buns
  • Melted butter
  • Dijon mustard
  • Sliced onion, tomato, and lettuce

Divide the meat into 8 thin patties. Refrigerate.

In a small skillet, brown the Italian sausage. Drain any excess grease and then add ½ cup pizza sauce. Simmer for five minutes.

Sprinkle the refrigerated beef patties with Italian seasoning. Divide the sausage mixture to top 4 of the beef patties. Sprinkle with parmesan. Cover with the remaining patties and seal the edges well.

Grill over high heat, turning carefully to prevent the burgers from leaking. After flipping the final time, add a slice of provolone and a slice of mozzarella to each burger. Once the cheese has melted, remove the burgers to a sheet pan and tent with foil to rest. 

Brush the inside of each bun with melted butter, then grill until toasted. 

To assemble the burgers, spread the bottom of each bun with Dijon mustard, then top with a patty, a slice of onion and tomato, and a lettuce leaf. Drizzle the remaining pizza sauce over each burger and top with the other half of the bun.

Southern-style Burgers

  • 1 teaspoon Creole seasoning
  • 1 large burger bun for each burger
  • Melted butter
  • Spicy Remoulade Sauce (recipe follows)
  • Fried Green Tomatoes (recipe follows)

Make the remoulade and refrigerate.

Before placing the patties on the grill, sprinkle with the Creole seasoning. When the burgers are finished, remove from the grill and tent with foil to rest. Brush the buns with melted butter and toast on the grill.

While the burgers are on the grill and then resting, make the fried green tomatoes.

To assemble the burgers, place a teaspoon of remoulade on the bottom bun, then add the burger and a couple of slices of fried green tomatoes. Drizzle generously with more remoulade, then top with the rest of the bun.

Spicy Remoulade Sauce:

  • ¾ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Creole Seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
  • ½ teaspoon dill pickle juice
  • ½ teaspoon Louisiana hot sauce
  • 1 small clove garlic, crushed

Whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, paprika, Creole seasoning, horseradish, pickle juice, hot sauce, and garlic until well-blended. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary. Cover and refrigerate for several hours.

Fried Green Tomatoes

  • 3 large green (unripe) tomatoes, cut into thick slices
  • Salt
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • ¾  cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon Creole seasoning
  • ½ cup fine cornmeal
  • Sunflower oil for frying

Sprinkle the sliced tomatoes with salt and allow to stand for at least 30 minutes and up to one hour to let the liquid release. 

Stir together the egg and buttermilk in a small, wide bowl. Combine ½ cup of flour with the seasoning in another small wide bowl, and the cornmeal and remaining flour in a third bowl.

Heat the oil at a depth of about ½ inch in a medium-size skillet to 350. 

Dredge each tomato slice in the seasoned flour, then dip in the egg mixture, and finally, dredge in the cornmeal. Place in the heated oil and fry until brown on each side. Using a slotted spatula, remove to a paper towel-covered plate. Avoid stacking the fried tomatoes to keep them crisp. Keep warm.