Blue cheese burgers

I can probably count the number of times I used my grill last summer on two hands. That is a downright disgrace. In the intervening seasons we’ve discovered a couple of awesome butcher shops near our apartment (which I might post about later) so I will be taking much greater advantage of our little patio this year.

Instead of making a standard cheeseburger, I always prefer to mix some of the toppings in with the meat or to stuff the burgers. One of my all time favorites is the blue cheese burger, a burger mixed with blue cheese to infuse its deliciousness into every bite. I used to have a great recipe for this but I lost it somewhere along the way, so I modified this one from allrecipes to add a little more cheese and flavor.

The recipe

Note: You’re going to want to start this two hours before grilling.

2 lbs lean ground beef
6 oz blue cheese
1/2 cup fresh chives
1 tsp mined garlic
1/4 tsp Tabasco
2 tsp Worcester
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 1/2 tsp salt
buns

The directions

1. Combine all the ingredients – beef, blue cheese, chives, garlic, Tabasco, Worcester, black pepper, and salt. Do not overhandle the meat – mix until just combined. Refrigerate for 2 hours to let the meat soak up the flavors.

2. Preheat the grill for high heat. Form the burgers into patties a bit larger than the buns you have, because they will shrink a bit. Cut up any veggies you might want to put on your burger.

3. Oil the grill using vegetable oil and a paper towel. Grill patties for about 5 minutes on each side.

4. Serve on buns with toppings and more blue cheese if desired (we did desire!).

The results

We made enough for about 12 burgers, but there were only four of us so we split the meat to make over two days. We bought slider-size buns, so the first day we made small burgers. The burgers turned out a bit dense, which evidently happens when you over-handle the meat. I also forgot that burgers shrink when you cook them, so I should have made them a little bigger.

Despite that, they were still pretty darn delicious. We ate them with some store bought potato salad and Goose Island’s 312, a delicious wheat ale perfect for summer days. Goose Island was recently bought by Anheuser-Busch InBev and the production moved to New York, but 312 is still a Chicago classic.

Luckily there was plenty of extra meat so I switched things up a little the next day. I added a tablespoon or two of panko bread crumbs to the remaining meat try to get the burgers to expand a little. There was a big burger that turned out quite well – not dense at all. The other was smaller and still a bit dense, but possibly because I waited until the following day to eat it for lunch.

All in all, this is an excellent recipe. It’s not perfect though – this is one ripe for tinkering. I’m sure I’ll make blue cheese burgers at least once or twice more this summer and will be sure to post an updated recipe if I figure out a better one.