Chef Inspired Burger Stuffed With Blue Cheese

The whole world loves burgers and fries but what about when you want to take the idea and turn it into a delicious evening meal. Gordon Hamersley did that in his cookbook Bistro Cooking At Home with his recipe for Blue Cheese Stuffed Burger with a Port and Green Peppercorn Sauce. 

Living an hour’s drive north of Boston, I have had the opportunity to have dinner several times at Hamersley’s Bistro, one of the top rated restaurants in Boston. This famous South End bistro has been serving homey French inspired food using local New England ingredients  since the late eighties. You can see chef Hamersley wearing his signature Red Sox baseball cap in his open kitchen overseeing each dinner that is prepared.  His signature dish is his roasted chicken but my husband and I have never had it. It is not because we wouldn’t love to try the chicken but each time we are  dining at the restaurant his evening specials have been too tempting.

Recently when I was visiting my friend Sam’s blog My Carolina Kitchen, she had prepared the chef’s Blue Cheese Stuffed Burger from his cookbook. I couldn’t resist preparing one of chef Hamersley’s recipes as well. Of course, I had to fiddle with the recipe a little. No offence to the chef or Sam…I always have to tweak recipes to suit my husband’s and my taste.

You will notice that since this is a French bistro dish that it is not served on a bun. Instead this decadent blue cheese stuffed burger is served like steak frites, and topped a port and green peppercorn sauce. To keep with the bistro theme, I mounded crispy fries along side as well as an arugula salad dressed with a French mustard vinaigrette.

Blue Cheese Stuffed Burger With A Port And Green Peppercorn Sauce
Blue Cheese Stuffed Burger With A Port And Green Peppercorn Sauce

Blue Cheese Stuffed Burgers With A Port And Green Peppercorn Sauce          adapted from Bistro Cooking At Home

Serves two, adjust the recipe accordingly

  • 3/4 lb. ground beef (for 6 oz. burgers)
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. onion powder
  • 2 oz. blue cheese (I used Great Hill Blue, a New England cheese)
  • salt to taste
  • 1 Tbsp. oil
  • 1 shallot, finely minced
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/4 c. port (I used Tawny)
  • 1 c. beef stock
  • 1 c. demi-glace (can substitute beef stock)
  • 1 tsp. or more of green peppercorns plus 2 tsp. of the brine
  • 1/4 c. cream
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped parsley for garnish

Lightly mix the ground beef, pepper, garlic and onion powders and form into four equal patties. Place a slice of blue cheese on top of two of the patties and top with the remaining two and seal the edges. Season both sides of the patties with salt and set aside.

In a small sauté pan, melt butter over medium heat, add the shallots and sauté until soft. Remove the pan from the heat and add the port. Return to the heat and simmer until reduced by half. Add the beef stock, demi-glace, green peppercorns and brine. Let simmer until the mixture is reduced by half. Add in the cream and let simmer until thickened to the desired consistency.

In the meantime, heat the oil in a sauté pan over medium high heat. Add the patties and cook until brown, turn and cook until desired doneness. (Approx. 4 minutes each side depending on the thickness for medium rare.) Let rest several minutes before serving and then top each with some of the sauce. Garnish with chopped parsley.


It was fun trying one of Chef Hamersley’s recipes at home and I thank Sam for the inspiration. Now that the weather is nicer, I think my husband and I will have to drive down to Boston and have dinner at Hamersley’s Bistro again. Who knows…maybe we will try his famous roasted chicken if he doesn’t tempt us with one of his nightly specials.

Note: I have prepared the chef inspired burgers stuffed with blue cheese twice and my recipe above was from the second preparation. Adapting the recipe to my taste, I added seasonings to the meat. I also went from 85% lean to 75% lean on the beef to make the burgers more juicy and it made a big difference.  My sauce is considerably different from the chef’s as I didn’t think the original recipe made enough sauce for my liking. I was pleased with the result. Once summer has arrived, I’m going to prepare the burgers on the grill as I think the flavor will be excellent.

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169 thoughts on “Chef Inspired Burger Stuffed With Blue Cheese

  1. Karen, what a wonderful post and recipe – I like the fact that this is a meal that was inspired by one of your favorite French Bistros/restaurants in Boston – this is a wonderful approach to recipes, a place that you enjoy, recipes that are well written and a slight tweaking to adjust it to your and your husbands tastes! And, of course, you did a marvelous job, this “bun less” burger with blue cheese stuffing and port and pepper sauce is presented in such a loving and delicious looking way!
    Have a wonderful weekend, Karen!

    1. Thank you Andrea, for your lovely compliment. I’m happy that you enjoyed the post. I think this is a dish that you definitely don’t miss the bun. I hope you enjoy the weekend with your family.

  2. YUM!! not only do you have me thinking about burgers and when I am going to get the grill going for the season but you have made me wonder why I haven’t ever been to this bistro when I work and go to school just blocks away!!
    on a different note you have reminded me of sweet memories traveling as a teenager in France. My dad and I would stop and eat “steak frites” at every practically every roadside stand and restaurant we saw serving this!

    1. Hi Carol, I thought about you when I wrote this post…wondering if you ever had been to Hamersley’s Bistro. I’m happy that this post brought back nice memories of you and your father…I love steak frites.

  3. Hi Karen!
    My husband would eat hamburgers every night if he could, but I get so bored with the usual so I am always trying to spice them up a bit. This burger stuffed with blue cheese and topped with the port sauce sounds absolutely mouthwatering. I bet it would still taste wonderful on a nice bun, but I like sometimes skipping the bun like you did and piling up on fries:-). I love restaurants that combine different types of cooking like Hamersley’s. I will have to check it out the next time I am in Boston!

    1. Hi Becki, When it is grilling time each summer when we are in Maine, we often have burgers for lunch. This is one recipe that I didn’t miss the bun. I think you would really enjoy Hamersley’s Bistro…it is wonderful. If you plan to go, be sure to make a reservation as it is extremely popular.

    1. Thank you Kelli, for your nice comment. My husband does enjoy my cooking and he did like this burger. I can’t wait to try cooking this on the grill when we get to Maine.

  4. Mmmm, that’s a favorite! I wish folks weren’t so fat-phobic – 75% ground beef isn’t as easy to come-by anymore…
    Speaking of wonderful Boston eateries – have you tried Sandrine’s in Cambridge? The chef-owner is French, and the food is divine! We got up there last Saturday, for the first time in more than a year…

    1. Hi Marie, I’m glad that you like the dish. I buy most of my meat at Market Basket and they grind it fresh everyday…they also grind special cuts for me as well. The fattier beef made a huge difference in the burger the second time. I don’t think people realize that most the the fat cooks out but that it keeps it moist and tender. I googled Sandrine’s and it will definitely be on my list to try. Thank you so much for the recommendation.

  5. Oh Karen, I am drooling. I love hamburger steaks like this and this version is just delicious. I can imagine the green pepper sauce flowing down to the meat and pairing off with the blue cheese….too yummy!

  6. Yummmmm. I haven’t eaten breakfast yet and I am seriously considering a burger after seeing this.

  7. This burger looks terrific! My husband loves blue cheese – and doesn’t love burger buns – so this recipe will definitely be getting a try at our house.

  8. Sounds a deliciuos way to enjoy burger & chips. This weekend we have a warm forecast and will be our 1st chance to sit outside for lunch, seems like a good one to try. Thanks Karen.

  9. Looking forward to trying this recipe very soon. Your recipes always make me want to run to the grocery store and buy the ingredients for dinner…LOL. On another note, as blue cheese lovers we use it many ways. We love to buy good quality steaks to BBQ. After firing up the grill, butterfly the steaks. Place the steak ‘closed’ on the BBQ until medium rare on both sides. Just before serving, open up the steaks and insert some fresh sage and a good amount of blue cheese. Close them up to melt the cheese just a little and serve immediately.

    1. Hi Reg, I’m happy that you enjoyed the recipe…it is nice to know that my recipes inspire your cooking. Sage and blue cheese sounds good with a steak. I’m looking forward to when we head to Maine for the summer and can start our grilling season.

    1. Hi Donna, If you like burgers and blue cheese, then I think you will really enjoy this dish. I think a green salad goes so well with a beef dish.

    1. Hi Conor, How could I have forgotten that you had thrown down the gauntlet to beat your burger. I’ll lend you a helping hand getting back on your steed 🙂 and accept your nice compliment…it is much appreciated.

  10. There is nothing as tasty as a grilled burger and stuffed with blue cheese (even if I can’t eat it straight) takes the flavour to new heights. I’d love to bite into one right now. Or in this case, slice off a bit with that lovely sauce. 🙂

    1. Hi Andy, Thank you for visiting my blog. I’m happy to know that you enjoyed the post enough to share it with your readers…it is much appreciated.

  11. With the gourmet duo of you and Sam both recommending it, the stuffed burger must be tried. Since your basic burger on a bun is Bev’s favorite meal and she always considers it a delicious evening meal, I’ll have to fix her the usual, but can perhaps get her to try mine 🙂

  12. Sounds sooooooo delicious – next week I give it a try
    have you ever pickeld fresh greenpepper? I have a good recipe if you need one 😉

    1. Hi Pebble, Thank you for stopping by for a visit and your nice compliment. I have never seen fresh green peppercorns…only the brined ones in small bottles.

  13. This looks really yummy! As I’m not too keen on mince meat right now, though, I can totally visualise those chips and the green peppercorn sauce with a steak… Already put that on my “to make” list.

    1. Thank you Kiki, I’m glad you like the looks of the dish. The green peppercorn sauce is very popular in France served over steak. I think you will enjoy the sauce.

    1. Thank you Tanya, for your nice compliment. This is a delicious burger and it definitely didn’t need a bun…I’m glad you like.

    1. Hi Mad Dog, I am totally surprised…you are such an adventurous eater. Although, perhaps that is why you don’t. You could make a mince from venison or perhaps one of your game birds and use the sauce. 🙂

  14. I love all the flavor you have in this burger. I made blue cheese burgers recently, but they were more diner inspired 😉 Looking forward to trying that peppercorn/port sauce. My hubby will love that addition!

    1. Hi Sandra, I think that if you like blue cheese burgers you will enjoy this meal…the sauce goes so nicely. I hope your husband will enjoy the dish.

  15. You had made me long for a burger stuffed with blue cheese….I had to read fast because I wanted to feast on the picture! This recipe is going to be a queue jumper on my list of recipes to try.

  16. How timely is this! Burgers are on the menu for tomorrow night so you have inspired me. Now why haven’t I been to Hamersley’s? Probably because we usually end up in the North End but now I’ve got this on my list – reservations?

    1. Hi Diane, I’m happy to know that I have inspired you with this recipe…there is a lot of flavor going on in the dish that I think you would like. I really think you would enjoy Hamersley’s Bistro. If you can’t get a reservation, they keep a couple of tables in the bar for walk ins…but you have to be there when they open.

  17. It’s only recently I’ve started to eat burgers. As for blue cheese the only one I like is from Fortnum’s and Masons. Far too extravagant! Although, I’m assuming any blue cheese would surely mellow with cooking. How fun to be able to try these. And I happen to agree with the slightly fattier mince/ground beef. I never bother with the lean any more as I always get better results with the not so lean. Fabulous plate of food flavours!

    1. Hi Johnny, A blue cheese from Fortnum’s and Masons has to be outstanding…you definitely have good taste. I’m happy that you like the dish. Thank you for your nice comment.

  18. I love blue cheese! In the summer, I take a sharp knife and slice into the side of filet mignon’s just to the center and then stuff blue cheese into them and grill ’em. I love how you serve these bistro style!

    1. Hi Lesley, I’m a blue cheese lover as well…I love all the strong tasting cheeses. I’m looking forward to summer when we open our cottage on the lake in Maine where I can cook this burger on the grill. It think it will be delicious. Thank you for your nice comment.

  19. I love bistro-style dishes! Simple food that has fancy flavor. And this dish sure qualifies — what a great take on the classic burger. I like everything about this post — great writing, recipe, and photo. Great job! Thanks so much.

  20. That is a beautiful recipe I shall copy faithfully. Coming from N Europe buns never enter the equation and the meat is always served the way you have plated it. Looked up Conor’s: I guess mine has usually been more like his, so this will be fun. Just one Q: you use onion and garlic powder instead of sauteed onions and garlic – I have noticed that on a number of US recipes? If I may ask: why not the ‘real thing’: just learning 🙂 !

    1. Thank you Eha, for your lovely compliment…I’m glad that you like the recipe. Good question about the powdered garlic and onion in American recipes. Powders can give you flavor without actually biting into bits of garlic and onion which sometimes changes of overall texture of a dish. Of course fresh can always be substituted.

      1. Oh Karen, thank you and I am laughing! Being an onion and garlic ‘fanatic’ I don’t mind biting into them a’tall, a’tall, a’tall as the Oirish say 🙂 ! It’s just that all these powders do contain salt as well, and I am very conscious of that!! But you have cleared up a Q which has been with me awhile!

      2. Eha, I’m always happy to help when I can with differences in recipes that occur in different parts of the world. I agree with you…I love onion and garlic. There are two products available…garlic and onion powders and garlic and onion salts. If I mention the powders in a recipe, they are only pure ground powders without any salts.

    1. Hi Fae, I’m happy to know that you like this recipe…I will be making an appreciate at our kitchen table more than once too. I’m glad that you felt the note at the end was helpful…thank you.

    1. Hi Bobbi, I’m sorry that I have you craving a stuffed burger at breakfast time. Believe me, this is one burger that you won’t miss the bun. I’m glad you like it…thank you!

  21. Once again, Karen, you’ve inspired me. I long ago gave up trying to prepare “stuffed” burgers; the stuffing leaked, causing more of a mess than anything else. Your sauce, though, in combination with the bleu cheese, would make another attempt definitely worthwhile. Thanks for sharing your recipes.

    1. Thank you John, it is nice to know that I have inspired you with this recipe. When adding the cheese, think of how you make your ravioli…not to full and crimp the edges well. 🙂

    1. Hi Suzanne, Bistro type meals are comforting I think. Yes, when a person cuts into the burger there is a tasty surprise inside. Thank you for your nice comment.

    1. Hi Raymund, The burger really was juicy. I think it is important to use a ground meat mixture that is not too lean…75/25% worked well.

  22. When I lived in Michigan, there was a restaurant in an old train station. Their specialty was burgers stuffed with blue cheese. We loved them! How delicious they would be topped with your port and peppercorn sauce!

  23. I love stuffing my meatballs with mozzarella and am really looking forward to trying your version with blue cheese!

    1. Hi Jeannee, I had to smile about your comment. When I was writing this post…should it be called a burger if it doesn’t have a bun. I went with the name the chef called it but I still don’t know. Years back it might have been called a chopped steak. What ever name you want to call it, I didn’t miss the bun at all. The sauce really makes this dish go way beyond a simple burger. Thank you for your nice compliment.

    1. Hi Angie, The burger was very juicy when I used a 75% lean beef. The sauce really changes this dish from just a burger to a delicious meal. I’m happy to know that you like the recipe.

    1. Hi Greg, I think this sauce take a really good burger and turns it into something special. I’m glad you like it. Thank you as usual for your nice compliment.

    1. Hi Darryl, Your comment gave me a chuckle…no, I am not a secret food stylist. 🙂 That plate of food was what I ate as soon as the photo was taken. I’m glad that you liked the photo and recipe.

  24. My most favorite burger is with bacon and blue cheese so there is no question I would like this. Good for you for experimenting and making it just the way you want it.

    1. Hi Linda, I think all recipes are just suggestions on how to prepare a dish. I’ve always been one to take an idea and run with it…I’m glad you like my take on the chef’s recipe.

    1. Hi Michelle, I’m happy that you like this dish. I’m lucky that my market will grind whatever meat I select. To me a properly prepared burger that is juicy and tasty can’t be beat…I’m glad that you agree. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  25. My husband loves Blue Cheese Burgers, but he has never had one with a sauce like this. WOW! How wonderful that you were able to make such a lovely restaurant dish at home. This is one stellar burger!

    1. Thank you Adri, for your kind words…I’m happy that you like this recipe. The flavor combination between the burger and the sauce is terrific.

  26. Oh how I love bleu cheese and beef, but have never thought of combining them in a burger! This looks fabulous and that green peppercorn sauce really puts it over the top! Thanks for sharing such a great burger recipe!

    1. Hi MJ, If you like blue cheese and you like beef, there is no question that you will really like this dish. I’m glad that you like the recipe…thank you for your nice compliment.

  27. Hi Karen, I love Sam’s blog, isn’t she great! This is one of my favorite burgers! I’ve never had it with the sauce, but I’ll remedy that soon! Thank you for sharing your recipe! Hopefully you’ll be able to get to your cottage soon to grill your burgers! My OOB neighbor went Down East to her camp in Hancock this weekend for the “grand opening” of the 2012 season!

    1. Hi Mary, I agree with you, Sam has a terrific blog. If you like a blue cheese stuffed burger, I know you will really enjoy this recipe. We had a friend check on our cottage last week. There was still a lot of ice on our steep road down to the lake. I think by this weekend we should be able to start the process of getting the water turned back on and restocking the cottage as we have to take every single thing out when we close it down. 🙂

  28. Love stuffed burger and blue cheese is my favorite cheese. I agree, these burgers would be fantastic from the grill especially served with your homegrown vine ripened heirloom tomatoes, my mouth is watering just thinking about them..

    1. Hi Norma, You are right…I’m looking forward to making this dish again but grilled. Yes, there will be a side of tomatoes as well.

  29. My husband is on his way home from his long booking way…He loves blue cheese and I think I’ll surprise him with these blue cheese burgers! It’s been a long time since he had a home cooked meal! It looks and sounds simply delish!

    1. Hi Linda, I’m sure your husband will enjoy being back home and sharing a meal with you after being away so long. I hope he likes the burger.

  30. That burger looks really juicy and that is my kind of burger. I don’t eat burger as often as I used to but whenever I do, I go for higher fat contents because of the flavor and juiciness.

    1. Hi Ray, I agree with you…the higher fat content keeps a burger juicy. If I can’t have a juicy burger, I might as well not have one. 🙂

    1. Hi Anneli, I’m glad you like this dish…it really was delicious. Thank you for your thoughts, we were not at the marathon. It is a terrible tragedy.

    1. Hi Southern, I know everyone in New England and those effected by this tragedy appreciate your kind thoughts. I’m glad that you like the burger…I know we did.

  31. It is a favorite of ours to stuff burgers with blue cheese, and that sauce does sound good! I’m glad you were not at the marathon, such a tragedy 😦

    1. Thank you Jane for your compliment…I’m glad you like the burger recipe. I appreciate your thoughtfulness and concern about the tragedy in Boston. I know all our hearts are with those personally affected…our country all comes together at times like this.

  32. Well, isn’t this just the oddest thing? I hadn’t been over here for a while, but you were on my mind because of Boston. I was in the grocery store yesterday and I picked up some ground beef because I knew I had blue cheese in the refrigerator and this very idea popped into my head. I must have been channeling you, Karen! I remember watching a hamburger cook-off on television a few years back and contestants were stuffing various things inside of the patties. I’ve been meaning to try blue cheese ever since. I had been planning to serve mine on buns but steak haché is one of my favorite things to order when we are in France, so bunless it is! Topped with your port cream sauce, this is going to be fabulous!

    P.S. So glad to see that you are all right. I’ve been praying for healing, spiritually and physically, for the people of Boston.

    1. Hi Stacy, First thank you so much for your thoughts…we are all praying for those who have suffered. What happened at the Boston marathon was such a terrible tragedy. It does sound like we are on the same wave length…I hope you will enjoy the meal.

    1. Hi Georgia, I’m happy that you like the recipe but I’m sorry I have you craving a burger early in the morning. Thank you for your lovely compliment…I really appreciate it.

    1. Hi Jed, I agree with you about how delicious stuffed burgers are. I think the sauce really added to the the overall flavor…thanks for your comment.

    1. Hi Fuzzie, First I am so happy when I hear from you and know you are still reading my blog even though you aren’t posting any more…I hope all is very well. This is a delicious dish that I have enjoyed twice. I can’t wait to try this recipe when we open our summer cottage and I cook the burger on the grill and then top with the sauce. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  33. Looks fantastic Karen. Love the pomme frites with it – very French. I FINALLY found green pepper corns and used them in place of the capers I originally had to substitute. Loved it, but the flavors were a bit different than the capers. A good different, but there definitely was a subtle difference in flavors.
    Lucky you to be close enough to go to the chef’s restaurant 🙂

    1. Thank you Sam, not only for your nice compliment but for posting the original recipe for chef Hamersley’s dish. We are lucky to be within driving distance of the restaurant…an hour drive each direction so we are there right when they open their door. We always have a wonderful meal. 🙂

  34. This is the first kind of stuffed burger I ever had. I was at a business lunch and the juice from the burger squirted out all over my shirt when I took the first bite. Even with that embarrassment, the bleu cheese stuffed burger became a favorite. Looks great!

    1. Hi Man Fuel, Thank you for stopping by for a visit…it is always nice to welcome another New Englander. This really is a delicious burger. Thank you for your compliment and I look forward to your return.

  35. Wow – this looks brilliant. I have made a note about Hamersley’s Bistro -we’ll be in Boston this summer and it sounds like a great spot to visit.

    1. Hi Jerry, Thank you for your compliment…I’m glad you like the dish. I’m sure you will enjoy Hamersley’s Bistro…we have been several times and the food is terrific.

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