American Stuffed Cheeseburgers

Ah, I love the smell of the first new recipe in ages, don’t you? Onward, then. I was inspired for this recipe by one of the “diners” on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, on Food Network. (We spend far too much time watching that channel). I wondered – you can put normal cheese in the middle of burgers (as I have done), how about burger cheese? You know, American cheese, the flat, square stuff you have with most barbecues.

Well, it turns out, yes, you can do it, and yes, they’re delicious. In fact, some diner in America has done it already, so I came up with a recipe to do the same.

Ingredients

  • One 250g pack minced beef. Not too lean – you need the fat to keep the burgers moist
  • 1tbsp virgin olive oil
  • 1tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Two cloves garlic, crushed
  • Two spring onions (scallions), finely chopped
  • Two slices of burger cheese (you might know them as singles, American cheese slices, processed cheese, whatever!)
  • 1tbsp breadcrumbs
  • 1/2tsp salt, 1/2tsp black pepper, freshly ground

Recipe

Flatten into ovals, fold cheese into quarters and place as shown.
This one is fun! Combine the mince, olive oil, worcestershire sauce, garlic, onion, breadcrumbs and seasoning. Divide into two, and shape into flat, thin ovals, as shown on the right. Fold each cheese slice into quarters, and place about 1/3 of the way up on each oval.


...then fold over and squeeze edges together for yummy cheese goodness.
Next, fold the burger around the cheese, as shown on the right. Make sure you create a good seal around the edges, or the cheese will seep out (to be honest, it’ll do that anyway, but do your best).


Finally, get cooking! They take the normal amount of time on the grill, and when the cheese starts to seep out, you know you’re pretty close. Serve on a bun (or, as we did, a pitta) with salad and the usual ketchup, mustard and pickles. Yum.

Italian Melting Mozzarella Burgers

Feeling a little inspired for Barbecue 17, I came up with a new beef burger recipe. This would also work well with minced chicken. Give them a try.

Ingredients

  • 500g minced beef. Good quality stuff, but not too lean.
  • 2tsp each of chopped oregano and thyme
  • 1tbsp (small handful) chopped basil
  • One ball of mozzarella, preferably buffalo, but it doesn’t matter that much
  • Two cloves crushed garlic
  • Half a red onion, chopped finely
  • 2tsp breadcrumbs

Recipe

This one is a little more complex, but not much, I promise. Combine the minced beef with the chopped herbs, garlic and onions. Use your hands. Try to form burger balls out of the mix – if it’s too wet, add some of the breadcrumbs. As Ina Garten (TV chef extraordinaire) says, you can add all you want, but you can’t take away.

Mmmmm, mozzarella... delizioso!
Slice the mozzarella into cubes around half an inch in width. You could also use those rather cheap mozzarella pearls for this. Now for the science bit. Divide your burger mix into four. With each quarter, form a ball, then a flat burger shape. Now, press a cube of mozzarella into the middle, and shape the burger around the cheese. It’s quite important that you do this well – if the cheese is showing, it’ll just seep out when you cook the burger.

Cooking is as with normal burgers – 5 minutes per side. Slice one open and you’ll see what I mean – these are really something rather special. Buonissimo!

Spicy Beef Burgers

It’s recipe time. This one was really a spur of the moment thing: we had some minced beef; MattBurgers had already been done at MattFest, and I fancied something different. This is a slight twist on my Indian Turkey Burgers, removing a little of the rawness of the onion by pre-cooking a few of the ingredients. So, you’ll need:

Ingredients

  • One pack of minced beef (1lb/500g). As I’ve said before, don’t get stuff that’s too lean – you need the fat to keep the burgers juicy.
  • Half a yellow bell pepper, chopped quite small
  • Half a large red chilli, chopped very finely
  • Two cloves of garlic, crushed
  • Half a red onion, chopped quite small
  • 1tsp medium chilli powder, 1/2tsp ground cumin, 1tsp garam masala, 1tsp ground coriander
  • 1tsp each of nigella (black onion) seeds and black mustard seeds, ground
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Quite a list, as usual for my spiced stuff. You could substitute a few of the spices for a good curry powder (note: not chilli powder), but if you do it my way, you can control quantities to your liking.

Recipe

Fried onion, garlic, pepper and chilli
Begin by frying the onions, pepper, chilli and garlic on a medium heat until softened (about 3 minutes, stirring frequently). Add the ground nigella seeds and mustard seeds and cook for another couple of minutes.

When done, tip onto a plate, or such, and leave to cool almost completely (see above left). Once cool, the recipe is pretty simple! Combine the rest of the spices with the meat and the fried onions and pepper. If the mixture is too wet, add some breadcrumbs. You shouldn’t need an egg, as the oil used to fry the onions will moisten the mixture to begin with.


Mmm, spicy beef... ignore the sausages
Grill as usual (around 5 minutes per side) on the barbecue. Delicious!