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Bleu Cheese Burger
stuffed hamburger topped with tomato relish & bacon


Bleu Cheese Burger Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 40 minutes
Serves: 4

When May sunshine arrives, out comes the grill! We never really stop grilling for the winter, but it's certainly a more regular habit come this time of year. One of our favorites? Burgers. But why have boring plain burgers when you can make them extra awesome? In this recipe, we stuff our burgers with bleu cheese then smother them in tangy homemade tomato relish. Plus bacon, bacon makes any food better! The bleu cheese adds a rich, creaminess that the vinegar of the relish helps balance.

For the wine pairing, the acidity of the tomatoes made us immediately think of Italy. Since burgers aren't the fanciest of foods, we opted for medium-bodied, unfussy varieties that would go down extra easy. For our 'Steal' we're featuring a tasty Montepulciano d'Abruzzo from the Abruzzo region of Italy, and for our 'Splurge' one of our favorite Cal-Ital reds: Summers Charbono. You won't find this variety all over CA but this Summers bottling makes us wish you could.

Wine Pairing

2010 Summers Estate Charbono, Napa Valley
Made from an Italian variety planted in only 100 acres in California - dark, fruity, smooth. ($32)

2010 Cantina Zacagnini Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, Abruzzo
Medium-bodied with a bit of tartness, this rustic table red is best with food. ($15)

Bleu Cheese Burger Ingredients:

1 lb hamburger
3 strips bacon
1 cup crumbled bleu cheese
4 burger buns
1-2 tbsp cooking oil, like canola
1 lb plum tomatoes
1 red bell pepper
1 vidalia onion
1 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp celery seed

Bleu Cheese Burger Cooking Instructions:

1.) To make the relish, chop tomatoes, onion and bell pepper. Mix with the vinegar, salt, sugar and celery seed in a large bowl, then refrigerate for 4 - 24 hours.


(If you're cooking on a charcoal grill, start heating up your coals before prepping the burgers so the fire will be ready when the burgers are!)


2.) To make the burgers, add the bacon to a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Flip the slices after 5 minutes, then let cook another 5 minutes or until nice and crisp. Remove from bacon grease and reserve.


3.) Divide bleu cheese into 4 servings. Roll each serving amount into a ball, then flatten into a disc shape.


4.) Add salt and fresh cracked black pepper to the hamburger meat, then form into 4 patties. Press a large dimple the width of your bleu cheese disc into each patty.


5.) Place the bleu cheese into the dimple in each burger, then press sides of burger to cover the bleu cheese and form it back into a nice burger shape, about 1/2 inch tall and roughly the width of a burger bun.


6.) To prep the grill, brush the grate with a bit of the cooking oil to avoid sticking.
- For a gas grill, turn the heat to high and wait for it to heat up all the way, then add the burgers.
- For a charcoal grill, now that you've got the coals going, find the hottest area of the grill by quickly moving your hand over the grate, then place the burgers there.

7.) Cook the burgers 4-5 minutes on one side, then flip, and cook another 4-5 minutes. The burgers are done when still pinkish on the inside (but not bloody), and the juices run clear. While the burgers are going, you can brush your buns with a little oil or butter and toast on the grill, too!

8.) Remove burgers promptly when done cooking. Let them cool a few minutes, then serve each patty on one of the toasted buns, topped generously with bacon and the tomato relish. Enjoy!

Next Recipe: Braised Short Ribs with Cheddar Polenta 



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