Saturday, March 12, 2016

Blue Cheese Burgers with Red Wine Onions

I've been grilling like a mad man this week. On Tuesday I grilled burgers. Thursday I made Thai Steak Salad. Last night was lobster tails grilled over mesquite and tonight is steaks with Lone Star Rub. We've had an extremely warm March and hailing from Minnesota, I have to say I am a big fan of global warming.

When it comes to burgers, I'm a huge proponent of grinding your own beef. I just pick a nice fatty cut of chuck roast in the meat department at Costco and grind it with my food processor. Because I have complete control of what goes into my ground beef, I can cook it to medium rare. If you buy store-bought ground beef, you are obligated to cook it to well done for safety reasons.

Be sure to grind it coarse. And when you form the burgers, just lightly hand pack them. If you compress the meat, you'll lose all the juiciness that makes a burger great. This is a Jamie Perviance recipe and it serves four.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium red onion, cut into thin half-moons]
½ cup dry red wine
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1½ pounds ground chuck (80% lean)
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
4 ounces blue cheese
4 soft hamburger buns, split


  1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Add the onion and brown for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook another 5 minutes. Add the wine, thyme, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat, and simmer until the liquid cooks off and the onions are fully softened, about 10 minutes, stirring often.
  2. Prepare the grill for direct cooking over medium-high heat (400° to 500°F). 
  3. Mix the ground chuck, paprika, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper, and then gently form four patties of equal size, each about ¾ inch thick. With your thumb or the back of a spoon, make a shallow indentation about 1 inch wide in the center of the patties to prevent them from forming a dome as they cook. 
  4. Grill the patties over direct medium-high heat, with the lid closed, until cooked to medium doneness, 9 to 11 minutes, turning once. During the last 30 seconds to 1 minute of grilling time, place an ounce of blue cheese on each patty to melt, and toast the buns, cut side down, over direct heat.
  5. Build each burger on a bun with a patty and caramelized onions. Serve right away.

Pairing: Just about any red wine will do. Pinot Noir goes really well with the blue cheese. But if I'm eating a burger, I'll just reach for my favorite ice-cold pilsner.

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