Bacon and cheese are great on a burger, but they’re even better when they’re inside it. Mixing in traditional toppings with ground beef not only makes more hamburgers with less meat, it also offers moisture insurance on the grill for today’s leaner beef, even grass-fed. Or, try it with ground turkey, bison or lamb.
Cheese is a must—3 ounces for the best ooze factor—and artisanal cheeses, like Manchego or goat feta elevate the everyday burger. Add in a single complementary ingredient—small quantities of anything from finely chopped prosciutto to sundried tomatoes—with an egg for binding. Mix, shape and you’re set to grill. Never again will you overcook a burger while waiting for the cheese to melt, and you’ll taste those terrific toppings in every single bite.
In addition to the Bacon-Blue Cheese Burgers below, try these combinations:
Sharp Cheddar- Mushroom Burgers:
3 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, cut into 1/4-inch cubes and chilled (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup cooked chopped mushrooms
Pepper Jack-Green Chile Burgers:
3 ounces Pepper Jack cheese, cut into 1/4-inch cubes and chilled (about 1/2 cup)
1 (4-ounce) can diced green chiles, well drained
—By Lynne Sampson Curry