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:
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.
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.
Shape into burgers, about this size.
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.
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.
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.