Stuffed Roasted Garlic Paste and Blue Cheese Hamburgers

While all the real chefs out there seem to be ingredient-driven--as in what looks best at the farmer's market that day makes it on the menu that night--I've pretty much stayed the course with being more ohhh-that-might-make-for-an-interesting-challenge driven. Matt's birthday meal was no exception: I had my heart set on grinding my own meat. One of my pals lent me her meat-grinding attachment--thank you Kathleen--and that was it. I had the challenge and the grinder. I only needed the recipe.

At first, I wanted to do Ad Hoc's version, but let us remember that this was for Matt's birthday dinner and Ad hoc's version didn't call for cheese. Uh, no. I remembered Gourmet had written something about making your own burger from scratch in one of their close to last issues, but when I found it, again, it just wasn't Matt enough. I turned to Martha and her recent issue, but then I remembered that she and I are fighting. So, very inspired yet still recipe-less, I kept looking and finally found one in Michael Chiarello's garlic and blue cheese version.
(1. Martha Stewart Living's June issue, 2. Ad Hoc at Home cover, 3. via Ad Hoc at Home, 4. via Gourmet's A Burger With (Homemade) Everything.)

Our version: (Recipe by Michael Chiarello. Culled burger knowledge from aforementioned places put to use in below result by me.)
Two reasons why the Michael Chiarello recipe won out. 1. Blue Cheese 2. Garlic paste, made by roasting salt and peppered garlic cloves in olive oil until they get nice and caramelized and then mashing it all together once cooled.
Apart from the satisfaction of knowing exactly what's in your ground meat, another advantage of grinding your own meat is being able to season it beforehand. We used skirt steak, which came highly recommended via Gourmet .
I was totally expecting clean, spaghetti-ish lines of ground meat to shoot out of the business end of the grinder like it does on TV, but instead I just got this glacier-flow of minced meat.
Maybe grinding meat and hamburgers in general don't make for the prettiest pictures, but this burger was delicious. Easily the best burger I've ever had. Consider the facts: You make a skirt-steak patty, make a little well in the patty, put some blue cheese and garlic paste in that well, and then cover it up with another patty and seal the edges. The result is one giant patty. Chiarello specifies 3oz. per half, but we didn't have a scale and definitely overestimated. So, word to the wise: Think manageable-eating-sized burgers. Also word to the wise: Make this garlic paste. It's the gift that keeps on giving. 


Matthew said...

This was my favorite birthday dinner -- that burger was crazy good.

Amelia Morris said...

you would say that. now I remember everything--you being freaked by the rawish-egg factor of the carbonara.

Mark and Marsha said...

That's a great burger. Marsha and I would totally order a couple of those, but poor Marsha is a vegetarian so I would have to eat both of them! ;-)

Matthew said...

No way. I would eat the carbonara again in a heart beep!


Rachel said...

that looks pretty awesome. i could've used one of those yesterday post-patio-laying.... it reminded of this: http://paninihappy.com/condiment-week-roasted-garlic-onion-jam/
which was fantastic and also the gift that kept on giving.

Jessica said...

Your burger has me salivating! Yum! I am definitely impressed with your efforts. That is a birthday dinner he will remember!


Eva / Sycamore Street Press said...

I had never thought to grind my own meat, but now you've made me want to give it a try! And the garlic paste sounds amazing.

Heather Taylor said...

Wowza!!! Matt is the luckiest young husband alive!