Sunday, July 12, 2009

Saturday night stuffed burgers

While perusing the Food Network website for dinner ideas yesterday afternoon, I came across a recipe for stuffed burgers. Last summer, Rick and I did a few gourmet-ish type burgers, and I was searching for something new to try when I ran across this recipe. I thought it sounded pretty yummy. I had three slices of bacon left over from when we made real bacon bits for our baked potatoes on the Fourth of July, and this recipe sounded like the perfect way to use them. My friend, Amy, has this rule about not eating two different meat types in one dish, but I disagree. Bacon and hamburger go great together!

I had never stuffed any burgers so I thought that this recipe would be fun, too. In the past, we had mixed everything together, but I thought that having the hidden pouch of bacon, cheese, onion goodness would be a neat surprise. For a side, I decided to go with the most awesome cole slaw recipe in the world (well, at least according to me anyway). It is simple and perfect just like slaw should be. To make life easier, I always simply pick up a bag of premixed cole slaw at the grocery store.

With thoughts of stuffing burgers in my mind, I headed up to Publix to get what I needed. I grabbed a Vidalia onion and a bag of pre-shredded sharp cheddar. I'm quite the fan of Vidalia onions. When I was a young girl, my Grandmother Elliott used to eat them, and she was even known to carry a couple slices of these sweet onions (and tomatoes, too) in her purse to supplement her meal when we would go out to dinner. Back then, I (of course) was petrified with embarrassment when she would whip them out of her purse, but I'm glad that I have integrated them into my cooking as an adult.

Unfortunately, I couldn't find a pack of ground beef that was exactly 1 1/2 pounds. As I was hopeless staring at the different kinds and about to grab two packs of lean ground beef, one of the helpful people who works at Publix told me to go for the more fatty meat because it would make our burgers less dry. After I explained our dinner plans to him, he said that he was going have to call his wife and have burgers for dinner, too. I decided to mix the lean ground beef and the fatty kind.

We got a late start yesterday evening. I don't know if it were the fact that I knew that I was going to doing my first real blog about our meal or because we were going to be meeting Niki and Jeff for drinks after they went out for her birthday dinner, but I was feeling a little anxious and rushed. Luckily, I had Rick there to help and calm me down. Usually, he's more of the chopping kind of guy (except for onions of course), but he has started to want to learn more about cooking. It really makes me happy that he wants to learn. I swear it's more fun when we do it together.

Rick was a little skeptical about the whole stuffing process and wanted to do what we did in the past and just mix them up. He was on patty duty and made the eight thin patties while I sauteed the onions in the bacon grease. He did an excellent job and came up with the brilliant idea to make one of the pair smaller than the other which aided in assembling our loaded meat masterpieces. We mixed the cheese, onions, and bacon in a bowl, and I used a 1/3 cup to put the hidden treasure on the patty. Making the patties actually stick together was a bit more of a challenge than I thought it would be. The first one that I put together looked terrific, but from there, we definitely struggled with the perfect presentation. That's okay, though. It's the taste that counts!

As we were heading to out to the grill, Niki and Jeff arrived. Much like our burgers, they were stuffed from dinner at Red Drum, but they kept us company while we cooked our burgers. Prior to last summer, grills scared me. I blame it on some childhood fear that if I messed with it, the grill would blow up on me. I'm happy to report that I'm over my fear, but I do struggle on the grill. I like to "play" with the food while it is cooking, and Rick always has to remind me not to flip whatever we are cooking too early and too often. It's a struggle for me, but I'm learning, though!

On the grill, two of the burgers did fall apart a bit. That yummy, melted sharp cheddar cheese came oozing out while pieces of onions and bacon peaked out of the busted seams.
We had a little bit of leftover cheese mixture, and I added it to one side of the bun (a slice of Velveeta on the other) before toasting them. Yum!!! The burgers were huge, but wow, they were delicious! I really liked the taste of the onion that was sauteed in the bacon grease. Rick decided to add cole slaw to his, and he still insisted that they would've been just as good if they had been mixed instead of stuffed. Today, he has taken it back.

Next time, I'll try to remember to take pictures!!

The untouched recipe from :


  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce (recommended: Frank's Red Hot)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 strips bacon, diced
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup grated sharp Cheddar
  • 4 burger buns
  • Lettuce, tomato, pickles for garnish


Preheat grill to medium.

In a bowl combine beef, garlic, hot sauce, salt and pepper, to taste, being careful not to over mix. Warm a skillet over medium heat and fry bacon until crispy. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Keep heat on skillet and fry a pinch of the beef in the bacon fat to test seasoning. Adjust seasoning, if needed, then form 8 even thin patties, about 1/2-inch thick and set aside. Saute onions in bacon fat in skillet until tender, 5 minutes. Place onions and bacon in a bowl with cheese. Form a spoonful of bacon-cheese mixture into a ball, then place in the center of 4 patties. Top each with another patty and seal the edges. Grill burgers over medium-high heat, flipping once until desired doneness is reached, approximately 4 minutes each side for medium. Serve in buns with garnishes. Alternative: In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, sear the burgers 4 minutes on each side.

My changes: used 1/2 lean ground beef and 1/2 regular; used tabasco for the hot sauce; used 2 cloves of garlic; only had 3 slices of bacon. Instead of dicing the bacon, I tore it apart with my hands.

The cole slaw:


  • 6 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1 cup shredded carrot
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Salt and pepper


In a large bowl, combine cabbage and carrots. In a smaller bowl, make dressing by combining mayonnaise, vinegar, celery seed, sugar, salt and pepper. Toss dressing into cabbage mixture and let chill. Serve in a family style bowl.

My changes: Instead of getting cabbage and carrots, I get a bag of cole slaw from the grocery store. I also added a dash of garlic powder. I also use Light Mayo instead of the real deal.

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