Simple and tasty grilled burgers with a savory topping full of blue cheese and chives. Perfect for pairing with a Belgian-style beer.
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This week’s post is a little different – I’ve teamed up with our local brewery Goat Ridge Brewing Co. for a food and beer pairing. I’m all about locally produced goods and scratch making everything and these guys are just that. A few years ago, two guys with a shared vision and a serious love for beer got together and opened a brewery along with a taproom on a river in our little corner of rural Minnesota. ‘The taproom embodies the spirit of a small town watering hole where locals and visitors, bikers and bicyclists, old-timers and newcomers, aficionados and novices come to meet, swap stories and raise a pint.’ Every beer is handcrafted and brewed on site. The quality of the product is immense. You can taste the heart and soul of this stuff. One of my personal favorites in the Beelzebubba – a Belgian Golden Strong Ale brewed with local white clover honey. This thing packs a wallop of flavor and alcohol (it comes in at 8.5%). I thought the floral and earthy flavors in the beer would pair nicely with the pungent flavor of blue cheese. And beer just pairs well with burgers. So, here it is – Beelzebubba and Grilled Burgers with Blue Cheese and Chive Topping.
These burgers will work great on an outdoor grill or an indoor grill pan. I personally think fall is a great time to grill outside. The weather is nice and cool and most importantly – there are no mosquitoes. However, I just purchased an indoor grill pan and kind of wanted to test it out. The verdict? Burgers grilled indoors or out are equally delicious. I don’t eat burgers that often, so when I do, I make them count. I say make them half pound burgers. Take 2 lbs. of ground hamburger – I think a little bit of fat makes for a better burger. Super lean hamburger can tend to dry out, so I would recommend 85/15 or 80/20. You can go 70/30 if you want to get really serious about it. Split the ground hamburger into 4 portions and form them into patties. Make sure you don’t overwork the meat with your hands. This will make it tough. Quickly form the patties and be done with it. The next step is to sprinkle a generous portion of salt and pepper on both sides of the burger. This will form a nice crust on the outside and flavor the meat. I’m a spice-aholic, but when it comes to burgers, simpler is better. Salt and pepper and that’s it.
If you’re using an outdoor grill, get it nice and hot. If using an grill pan, heat the stove to somewhere between medium and medium high heat. The surface should be hot so the burgers get a sear on the outside. This will also help lock in the juices. Cook the burgers for 4-5 minutes on the first side. Make sure you don’t fiddle with them or press down on them with a spatula. This will release all the juices and dry them out. They should release after 4-5 minutes without sticking. Flip them and do the exact same thing on the other side. Both sides of the burger should have nice grill marks. Cut a red pepper into quarters and throw them right on the grill. The sweetness of the pepper compliments all the other flavors of the burger. Grill the peppers for about 5 minutes of each side. After both sides of the burger are seared, cover the grill or grill pan and allow the steam to cook the inside of the burger. Move the burgers off the direct flame and onto a more indirect flame if grilling outside and turn the burner down to medium if cooking inside. There is no exact cooking time for burgers – it kind of depends on how well you like them done. These half pound burgers required an extra 8-10 minutes of cooking time once covered. An overcooked burger will dry out, but an under cooked burger may be unsafe to eat. It is recommended that ground meats reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees. A food thermometer is the best way to tell if the meat is safe to eat. Don’t cut into the burgers – use a food thermometer and consult this guide with any questions.
Now for the topping – it’s all about the blue cheese and chives with this one. In a food processor, combine 1/2 cup mayo, 1/3 cup sour cream, 2 Tbsp. lemon juice, 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce, 2 cloves of garlic, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Pulse until completely combined. Transfer the sauce to a small bowl. Mince 1/3 cup fresh chives and add to the bowl. Add 2/3 cup blue cheese crumbles as well. Fold the blue cheese and chives into the sauce. Adjust salt and pepper levels to your liking. Place the sauce in the fridge to let the flavors meld.
Once the burgers have finished cooking, remove them from the heat and get ready to build them. Place the burger on your favorite bun (I used kaiser rolls for this recipe), add a handful of spinach for freshness, the grilled red pepper, and then a heaping spoonful of the blue cheese and chive topping. Don’t be shy – really pile it on there. Burgers should be messy and dripping – eating a burger is not a dainty endeavor.
Grab your burger, some chips, and a craft Belgian-style beer from your local brewery (Beelzebubba if you’re in the area). You’re all set. Beelzebubba and Grilled Burgers with Blue Cheese Topping – a match made in foodie heaven.
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- Start outdoor grill or heat indoor grill pan to med/med high heat.
- Form hamburger into 4 uniform patties. Don't overwork the meat.
- Generously salt and pepper both sides of patty.
- Place patties on hot grill and sear for 4-5 minutes on first side.
- Flip burgers and sear for 4-5 minutes on second side.
- Cut red bell pepper into quarters. Place on grill and cook for 5 minutes on each side.
- Move burgers to indirect heat or reduce burner to medium and cover. Cook for 8-10 minutes covered. Safe internal temperature for burgers is 160 degrees. Use a food thermometer to check if burgers are cooked.
- In a food processor, combine mayo, sour cream, garlic, lemon juice, Worcestershire, and salt and pepper. Pulse until combined.
- Transfer to small bowl and add minced fresh chives and blue cheese crumbles. Fold into the sauce.
- Once burgers are finished, place on bun and top with a handful of spinach, red pepper quarters, and a generous helping of blue cheese and chive topping.