The Incredible Blue-Cheeseburger

June 12, 2010 § 8 Comments

Perhaps you’re thinking that cheeseburgers inevitably involve the dismal American cheese, the alarmingly-orange cheddar or, if you are lucky, pepper jack. If that’s so, you are in for a surprise. Meet the new cheeseburger – made with blue cheese!

I swear to God, these were the best burgers I made in my life – or tasted, for that matter. Because of how it melted inside, blue cheese imparted an incredible degree of juiciness, tenderness, and richness to my burgers, and the sharp, crisply tang of it blended beautifully with the robust beefiness of our grass-fed meat (in general, I find that blue cheese and beef are made for each other).

So what you do is this:

bluecheeseburger1

Grab a pound of (grassfed) beef, and add all of the following to it:

  • GRATED onions – never chopped – I don’t want any chunks in my burgers, and I want onions to release the maximum of their juice directly into the meat. Please promise me you will always grate onions for your burgers from now on? It makes all the difference. I used a micro-plane grater, which gave me most of the onion juice. Because, back in the Old Country, everyone ground their own meat with hand-crank grinders, onions (and herbs) would just be passed through it together with the meat, ending up very much pureed.
  • chopped cilantro – a must in any burger! While I am no fan of cilantro straight-up, I found that it blends wonderfully with other herbs and seasonings for an amazing overall taste.
  • a clove of garlic, PRESSED (we want all the juice we can get, remember)
  • salt and pepper to taste

and, last but not least

  • the crowning glory of it all – 1/2 C (or more to taste) of blue cheese.

bluecheeseburger2

Mix everything together nicely with your hands (you don’t have to shape it into a ball like this, but I love to). I like to mix my burgers really thoroughly.

bluecheeseburger3

Shape into burgers, about this size.

blueburger4

Preheat the coals until they are glowing and covered with a layer of white ash. Pick up the grate with a hot-pad (or a couple), and oil it with a brush away from the fire (I hold it over lawn so the oil doesn’t drip onto my deck).

Replace the grill’s lid, leaving the holes in the top open all the way, and grill the burgers until browned on both sides. Rotate burgers 90 degrees once per side to give them the attractive criss-cross grill marks. Which didn’t work all too good in this case.

blueburger

With just a tiny hint of pink in the center, these were absolutely perfect.

Rather than fussing with buns, I like to serve my burgers on slices of bread that I make for our family 5-6 times a week anyway. I don’t have to have my bread match my meat in shape – having grown up in Soviet Union with the reality of rationing and, at one time, huge bread lines that took an hour to get through, I am just glad meat and bread are there.

blueburgerlast

I don’t like to mask the smoky flavor of charcoal-grilled meat with ketchup and mustard, using only onions (sweet onions in this case) and tomatoes to top my burgers (but tomatoes are not in season, and I don’t normally buy them out of season). With all that beautiful blue cheese, onions, and cilantro, they need nothing else.

§ 8 Responses to The Incredible Blue-Cheeseburger

  • Tes says:

    It sounds so yummy. The burgers look so juicy. It really is incredible!

  • Tom Hudgens says:

    I love the little “secrets” embedded in your recipes, like the bit about cilantro here. Most people who don’t like the flavor of it “directly” would never use it at all! I think it is easiest to acquire the taste for cilantro in a hot climate, with spicy food. The first time I really “got” the flavor of cilantro (20 years ago) was in Indian-spiced lentils…then shortly after that, I found I liked it in Mexican food. Now I like it in everything…and yes, I agree that it enhances the flavors of other herbs.

  • Sofya says:

    I think that’s just the kind of climate I grew up in… so cilantro was a part of many, many things. People would even eat whole bunches of it (along with whole bunches of scallions and purple basil and what not) along with their meal, in place of green salad people would have here. However, I feel like, in Azeri dishes, cilantro never tasted as harsh (to me) as it does in Mexican food, because it was blended with many other things. It is more prominent on its own in Mexican and Asian food. The same is true for hot peppers – I never had one till I got to Bulgaria, and not ever in quantities that people use here. I guess what I am saying is that in Azeri cooking, the flavors were always subtle yet very flavorful because of the combination of things. Kind of to the point that you couldn’t quite pinpoint every spice in a stew, or in a kebab marinade, etc. Although my own cooking is not nearly this subtle, there are definitely echoes.

  • Liene Coleman says:

    So I have been craving these hamburgers ever since I saw the pictures. We finally made them today and my husband said they were the tastiest hamburgers he has ever tried or grilled. Good job Sofya on providing good recipes!

  • John says:

    Wow. I love everything about this recipe. Thanks.

    I’ve just booked your site for future recipes since I’ll be doing much of the household cooking this summer.

    Thanks,

    JR

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