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 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.